Alabama Football Recruiting: Breaking Down Future Stars of Crimson Tide Offense

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IJanuary 25, 2013

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JANUARY 08:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide speaks to the media during the Discover BCS National Championship Press Conference at the Harbor Beach Marriott on January 8, 2013 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Not that it's much of a surprise to anyone, but the Alabama Crimson Tide have the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, per

In this particular recruiting class, the Crimson Tide have some downright studs who will no doubt make their offense a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

Let's take a look at who these players are and what makes them so special.


Cooper Bateman, QB

Height: 6'3''

Weight: 195 lbs.

Bateman has great height for the position, and considering his age he might not be done growing yet. That height will allow him to easily see over the line, giving him great vision down the field.

He isn't the fastest player on the field, but he is quick enough to avoid the pass rush, step up and make throws if the pocket breaks down. There's no doubt Bateman will be strictly a pocket passer at the collegiate level.

Also in his repertoire, Bateman has incredible accuracy and arm strength to make all the tough throws, and even maintains passing precision when under pressure. Unfortunately, he is better out of the shotgun than anything else and his drop-back skills could use some major work.

And speaking of being under pressure, Bateman can also throw on the run and still be quite effective. This Alabama recruit is as good as they get for pro-style quarterbacks at the collegiate level.


Derrick Henry, ATH

Height: 6'3''

Weight: 240 lbs.

Henry is listed as an athlete because it hasn't been determined where he will play with 'Bama, but he certainly has the goods to be an elite running back or offensive stud in the college game.

In high school, Henry was an incredible running back whose speed made the rest of the players on the field look like they were standing still. While he possesses great agility to go around defenders, he is also strong enough to run right through them.

There aren't too many negatives for Henry, although it must be said that he has trouble deciding when to keep a run inside, or when to break it to the outside. Also, Henry can use his size and strength to be more of a head-down runner rather than trying to run around defenders all the time.

With all of his immense skills, it would be a shame not to see Henry on the offensive side of the ball. However, those talents are far too impressive to ignore and it would be shocking to see him play anywhere but on offense.


O.J. Howard, TE

Height: 6'5''

Weight: 221

Howard is another one of those incredible athletes who can play just about any position on the field, but for now we'll focus on him as a tight end for the Crimson Tide.

He has great size to play the position and his tall frame makes him an ideal target in the red zone. Howard does still have some room to grow and that could be the difference in his blocking abilities as a tight end.

When the ball is thrown his way, Howard has great hands to make the catch and can even pluck the ball out of the air when necessary. Route running is an area where Howard can use some work, but that shouldn't be too big of an issue moving forward.

Howard isn't the fastest guy on the field, but he can still make defenders miss and will be a matchup nightmare for opposing linebackers. His physical style of play means he won't be running around defenders, but rather right through them to pick up extra yardage.