Picking and choosing top recruits has become the norm for the Alabama program, and heading into the 2014 recruiting year, there are 10 in-state guys that can’t slip through the Tide’s grasp.
The Tide have landed more than their share of top in-state recruits over the past few seasons and they hope to continue that trend with this class. Here is a look at the 10 recruits that the Tide will focus on this cycle from the state of Alabama.
Alabama lost a major contributor in the secondary this year when Dee Milliner departed early to the NFL after 2012. The secondary will hit another round of departures following the 2014 season with John Fulton and Deion Belue departing after that year.
The Tide need corners, and top in-state target Marlon Humphrey is the best in the country. He also happens to hail from Birmingham and is a legacy to the Tide program.
Marlon Humphrey is the son of former Crimson Tide star Bobby Humphrey, and he is rated as the No. 1 corner and the No. 4 overall player in the country (247Sports).
He would fit the program's mold for corners and would excel in the program. Humphrey is very high on the Tide, and all signs point to him landing in Tuscaloosa.
Rashaan Evans is a stud from the outside linebacker position that is a teammate of 2013 signee Reuben Foster. He is a lengthy player that would fit well into an outside position in the Alabama defense.
Evans has a high ceiling, and he could add a good bit of bulk to his 6’3” frame in the future.
Alabama needs to put a full-court press on Evans this recruiting season, as he is a top linebacker in the state is currently high on rival Auburn.
He is considered to be the No. 8 outside linebacker and the No. 131 overall player in the country for 2014 (247Sports).
If the Tide are able to land Evans, it would be one of the many steals this staff has pulled from the grip of Auburn over the years.
E.J. Moss has yet to receive a firm offer from Alabama, but the athlete from Ashville, Ala. is one of the premier dual-threat quarterbacks in the state for 2014.
His skills should transition well into another position in college, but to this point, the projections are hard to determine. He will likely play offense, but he has the body to jump across to defense in the future as well.
He is currently rated as the No. 42 athlete and the No. 465 overall player in the country (247Sports).
As he attends skills camps in the future Moss will pick up steam on the recruiting trail and become one of the elite players in this cycle from the state of Alabama.
Look for Moss to become a major in-state battle between the Tide and Tigers this winter.
Justin Thornton is a premier defensive end from Vigor High School in the hotbed of Mobile, Ala. The Crimson Tide have owned that section of the state over the past few seasons, but the return of Dameyune Craig to Auburn—a Mobile native—turns up the heat on the Tide staff starting this fall.
As of now, Thornton is very high on Florida, but he has announced a top five of Florida, Texas A&M, LSU, Auburn and USC.
Alabama has work to do for the No. 3 weak side defensive end (247Sports), but there is a lot of time between now and signing day.
Expect his recruitment to heat up this summer and for Alabama to re-enter the picture before the fall hits.
Bo Scarbrough is an elite athlete from Northridge High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He is rated as the No. 2 athlete and the No. 13 overall recruit in the 2014 class (247Sports).
Scarbrough has been committed to the Tide since Sept. 7 of last year, but he has continued to make visits to other schools.
He appears to be very solid to the Tide, but nothing is set in stone in recruiting. Expect Scarbrough to sign with the Tide but for there to be some storylines surrounding his recruitment before it comes to an end.
Racean Thomas is heading into the 2014 recruiting cycle with two schools on his mind right now—Alabama and Auburn.
Thomas is at a position of need for both programs as the ground game is the bread and butter for both the Tide and Tigers offenses. Thomas is the No. 4 running back in the country (247Sports) for 2014 and has the talent to be an early contributor.
This will be a battle that rides down to signing day.
Arkansas, Clemson and Florida are trying to jump into the discussion, but with both in-state schools pushing for his signature, he will almost surely stay inside the Alabama borders.
The Tide signed a big class in the backfield in 2013, and adding Thomas to the fold would give Alabama the best backfield in the country heading into the 2014 season.
Tre’ Williams is a major inside linebacker prospect in the 2014 class and is a major focus for Alabama heading into the heat of the recruiting year.
Williams is the No. 2 inside linebacker and the No. 28 overall recruit in the country (247Sports) for the 2014 class.
This is another player from Mobile that the Tide have to land. Picking up a solid body to bring into the fold at linebacker is a must in this class with every starter at linebacker departing after 2014.
Picking up Williams would be one of the highlights of this class and would firmly entrench the Tide in the Mobile recruiting circles.
Shaun Hamilton is flying a bit under the radar currently in the state, but he is a game-ready inside linebacker.
Hamilton is a solid inside threat that is rated as the No. 16 inside linebacker in the country (247Sports).
The Tide will be chasing an uphill battle with Hamilton’s recruitment, but plucking this type of talent from Auburn’s backyard is a focus for the Alabama staff. Hamilton currently holds a 4.65 40 (247Sports) and heads into 2013 as a All-State selection.
Watch for summer camps to bring a rise in his star status over the next few months.
Jordan Sims is a massive body at the offensive guard position that could shift to tackle once he makes it to college.
Sims is very high on Alabama and is currently rated as the No. 18 guard in the country (247Sports).
The Tide are in need of additional offensive linemen heading into 2014, as a massive wave of talent will be on its way out after that season.
This is a player that could step in and earn some snaps as a freshman, but if redshirted, he will become an elite SEC lineman over the course of an offseason. Sims would be a huge pickup for the Tide in this class.
Draequon Murphy is one of the most underrated defensive back prospects in the 2014 class. He is rated as the No. 25 safety in the country for 2014 (247Sports), but he should see his stock rise this summer.
Murphy hails from Montgomery and is teammates with top inside linebacker Shaun Hamilton. Expect both to receive a lot of fan mail from the Tide coaches.
With Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix and Vinnie Sunseri both departing after 2014, safety is a major need for this class. Look for the Tide to make a hard push for Murphy heading into the summer and fall.