Reuben Foster Switches Commitment to Auburn: 8 Elite Prospects Alabama Must Get
With Reuben Foster de-committing from Alabama and committing to archrival Auburn, (Scout.com), Alabama's recruiting class will take a bit of a hit in the rankings.
Surely, Foster was the highest-rated and most-talented commit the Tide had.
Yet, he has now flipped and is headed to play on The Plains. 'Bama is now faced to move on without him. For this read, I'm going to give you eight elite prospects the Tide still have their sights set on.
These eight have good interest in Alabama and are not consolation prizes by any means.
8. Kendell Beckwith, ATH
Beckwith is a 6'2", 225-pounder that is among the most versatile players in the nation. He plays dual threat QB right now, but he can be a factor as a DE, WR, OLB, RB and on special teams.
He's a big-bodied athlete with solid agility and movement skills that best project at either DE or OLB. Beckwith, a Louisian native is keen on LSU and Alabama, but per Scout.com Clemson, Miami and Tennessee are also in the mix.
7. Hunter Henry, TE
Henry is a 6'6", 240-pound TE prospect from Arkansas that has the body of an in-line seam player, but the hands of a joker type.
Henry shows solid release quickness in-line, good speed during his route and solid quickness to separate from linebackers in coverage. Yet, his catch radius, ball skills and hands are also excellent and allow him to snatch everything thrown his way.
Scout.com reports that Vanderbilt, Stanford, Georgia, Arkansas, Oklahoma—and of course— Alabama are his main suitors.
6. Vonn Bell, DB
Bell is a versatile DB from Tennessee that can play SS, FS and boundary cornerback. At 6'0", 190 pounds, he has excellent ball skills and is what I call a "natural interceptor."
An instinctive DB, Bell has good foot quickness, comes out of transition quickly and has a great short-area burst to make a play on the football. This guy jumps passing lanes like they owe him money.
Alabama is part of a core group pursuing Bell that, according to Scout.com, includes Ohio State, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Clemson and Vanderbilt.
5. DeMarcus Walker, DL
Walker is a 6'4", 280-pound defensive lineman from the Jacksonville, FL area who gets it done with initial burst. He's sudden at the snap and can jump on top of blockers with ease.
A solid athlete, Walker can escape mass with quickness, free himself up and display a solid short-area burst to finish on ball carriers or on the passer.
He's versatile enough to fit as a 4-3 DT or 3-4 DE.
I think it'll be Florida or Alabama for him, yet also look out for Auburn and Florida State.
4. Matthew Thomas, OLB
Thomas can play both OLB in a 3-4 or in a 4-3.
He has the skills of a classic chase guy, as he shows excellent first-step quickness and ball vision. He also demonstrates the lateral speed to sift through traffic.
Thomas can factor well as a blitzer, crashing down off the edge to get to the passer. He also has the athleticism to drop back into coverage and play as an underneath pass defender.
Alabama, Georgia, Florida State and Miami are four schools I'd watch out for in this race.
3. Laremy Tunsil, OT
The nation's No. 1 OT prospect, Tunsil goes 6'6", 295 pounds and has great athleticism for a trench man.
He's very raw in his technique and can catch blocks too often, but his ceiling is high.
He has great knee bend and flashes great initial quickness, agility and balance to re-direct and adjust to rushers. He can get upfield to tag a moving target and has the athleticism to reach, pull and trap.
Florida and Georgia are the main two programs in this race, clearly, but Tunsil told Scout.com that 'Bama is in his top three.
2. Robert Foster, WR
Foster is an uber-dangerous WR from Pennsylvania that stands 6'2", 185-pounds with electric speed.
He could have the best release quickness of any WR in the country.
Foster can elude jams at the line with lateral quickness. He can explode upfield, detach from coverage and catch the football. He's also terrific after the catch, as Foster shows natural run instincts, vision and elusiveness with the football in his hands.
Pitt and Penn State are in the hunt, but don't be shocked to see Foster make a return trip to Tuscaloosa in the fall.
1. O.J. Howard, TE
Yes, I know Howard has already committed to Alabama, but don't act like he hasn't flirted a little bit with Auburn.
Seeing a big-time talent like Foster switch to the Tigers could re-open Howard's eyes and make him think about Auburn again.
Alabama must work to keep the 6'5", 225-pound TE committed, as he's an integral part of their 2013 class. Getting an athletic marvel like Howard into the Alabama offense will help open things up and give them a much-needed weapon.
'Bama has to make sure Howard stays committed, as Foster's flip could influence him a little bit.
Edwin Weathersby has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects & writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (now ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.