Alabama Football Recruiting 2013: Analyzing Tide's Chances at Coveted 4-Star DE

Wes ODonnell@wesodonnellFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2012

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Only one of 18 committed players in Nick Saban's 2013 recruiting class is a defensive end, but that will change sooner rather than later.

Saban has no reason to panic—the Tide never do—but last year's class only consisted of one defensive end too.

Granted, last year's signee and this year's commit are ESPN 4-star stars, but Saban can never have enough talent on the defensive front. He's proven that time and time again, and it's a huge reason he's been successful in Tuscaloosa.

The Tide have approximately 17 offers out to defensive ends in this year's class. Some, like No. 1 overall Robert Nkemdiche and top 10 recruit Carl Lawson, have already committed to other schools.

Greg Gilmore of South View High School in Hope Mills, North Carolina has not committed yet.

The consensus 4-star recruit told's Chad Simmons that he's down to just four schools and could make his decision soon. Fighting with Alabama for his services are three familiar faces—Clemson, Florida and LSU—and here's what he had to say about the Tide:

Alabama plays a 3-4 scheme and I could play the five-technique there. I like their defense and they put a lot of players in the NFL too. Coach Nick Saban coached me up while I there and I really liked that about him. He loves his players and everyone in Tuscaloosa loves the players there. There is noting not to like Alabama.

At 6'4", 275 pounds, a 5-tech spot is perfect for Gilmore. He's still young, will certainly still develop and grow and should the NFL be something he's considering, it doesn't get much better than Alabama. (To see what Gilmore had to say about the other schools, you can click here.)

What we know about the Clemson Tigers is that they are on a complete tear on the trail right now. They not only landed Robert Nkemdiche, but they landed two other 4-star defensive ends as well.

Florida, like Alabama, has 18 recruits committed, and 17 of them are ESPN 4-stars. They do not, however, have a defensive end in the class as of yet. 

And LSU, lurking as always, has two defensive ends committed; however, only one is an ESPN 4-star or higher.

With a number of defensive ends already committed to Clemson and Florida still lagging behind 'Bama and LSU in terms of overall success, the Tide and Tigers have to be considered the favorites.

Between those two, it appears the Tigers have a slight edge as of right now.

Most of the things Gilmore had to say about Alabama he had to say about LSU, and it is impossible to downplay the relationship he's developed with Tigers defensive coordinator John Chavis, who was his recruiter.

Alabama is still very much a possibility, but if his recent visit to campus wasn't enough to shake him off the Tiger beat, then it may be too late. Saban's pulled some rabbits out of hats before, so anything is certainly possible, but the Tide are fighting from behind in this one.