Meet the 2013 Tide Players – Kenyan Drake, Reggie Ragland, Cooper Bateman


Oct 27, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back Kenyan Drake (17) carries the ball as Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Corey Broomfield (25) pursues him at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

As we have seen in previous Meet the 2013 Tide Player articles, Alabama has duplicate numbers. In today’s installment of the series, we see it again.

Kenyan Drake

Many Alabama fans tended to forget about the incoming freshman running back from Powder Springs, Georgia during the 2012 offseason. The talk focused on Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon. Kenyan Drake surprised many by showing up to Tuscaloosa bigger and stronger than the recruiting websites listed him during the recruiting process.

In week one, Drake got his chance to play, carrying the ball once for two yards. Drake went from the fifth-string running to third-string after Jalston Fowler and Dee Hart went down with injuries.

On the season, Drake played in 12 of Alabama’s 14 games. He rushed 42 times for 281 yards and five touchdowns.

He had eight carries for 33 yards in Alabama’s 2013 A-day game.

Recruiting services rated Drake as a four-star player out of Hillgrove High School. 247Sports ranked him as the number seven player in the talent-rich state of Georgia while naming him the No. 4 all-purpose running back.

In 2013, Alabama fans should expect Drake to be the number two guy behind Yeldon. He showed plenty of promise in 2012 and gave Alabama fans plenty of reason to believe he will be a solid backup.

Reggie Ragland

Ragland signed with Alabama in 2012 as one of the top linebacker prospects in the nation. Scout and Rivals rated him the top middle linebacker. ESPNU and 247Sports ranked him as the No. 2 middle linebacker.

He did not see much time on the defensive side of the ball in 2012, but did get playing experience on special teams. In 11 games, Ragland made five tackles for the Crimson Tide.

The sophomore from Bob Jones High School in Madison, Alabama made three tackles during the A-Day game in April. He looks to work his way into the linebacker rotation in 2013 and to a more prominent role in 2014 after C.J. Mosley graduates.

Cooper Bateman

Alabama signed two quarterbacks in the 2013 signing class along with accepting Luke Del Rio as a walk-on. Cooper Bateman is the most highly-rated quarterback of the three. He was rated a four-star prospect by all four major recruiting sites.

Rivals rated him as the No. 11 pro-style quarterback in the 2013 signing class, which was his worst position rating. ESPNU saw him as the number three pro-style prospect, and Scout joined 247Sports as rating him as the number five pro-style prospect in the class.

Fans saw Bateman throw three passes during A-Day. Two of those passes were intercepted, and the third was completed for three yards. Fans should expect very little out of Bateman in 2013. If he plays, it will only be because of Phillip Ely’s transfer. Prior to that, I said Bateman would redshirt and still feel that is the most likely scenario in 2013.