Alabama Football Recruiting: Biggest Storylines to Emerge from OL/DL Camp
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A number of the nation's top linemen participated last weekend in Alabama's second summer camp session, which focused on players on the offensive and defensive lines.
Linemen are a point of emphasis for Nick Saban and his staff in this recruiting cycle, so what are the biggest nuggets of information that Tide fans can take away from this camp?
New DL Offers
Defensive ends Davon Godchaux, a 4-star recruit from Plaquemine, La., and Cory Thomas, a 3-star recruit from McAdory, Ala., worked out and earned an offer from Saban.
Godchaux is a 6’4”, 265-pounder with offers from schools such as Florida, Florida State, Texas A&M and UCLA.
Thomas is a 6’6”, 270-pounder with offers from schools such as Mississippi State, Clemson, Tennessee and Florida.
With other defensive end recruits such as Da’Shawn Hand and Lorenzo Carter as candidates to play the "Jack" or "Sam" outside linebacker positions, Alabama could look at both Godchaux and Thomas as true ends to fit in the 3-4 scheme.
New OL Offers
Perhaps the camp’s biggest surprise was the play of 3-star center JC Hassenauer from St. Paul, Minn. The 6’2”, 290-pounder was offered and became the Tide's 13th commitment on Tuesday. His pledge fills a major need in this cycle.
A pair of 2015 offensive linemen with names familiar to Tide faithful also picked up offers. Atlanta guard Dallas Warmack, the younger brother of former All-American offensive lineman Chance Warmack, and Tampa tackle Jake Fruhmorgen, whose father, John, played at Alabama in the 1980s, earned tenders with their performances.
Considering that these offers came after Alabama’s staff watched them up close, expect the Tide to heavily pursue these prospects moving forward.
Top Talent Flashes
B/R interview with DE Solomon Thomas
After hosting some of the top skill players in the country in the first camp, the linemen took center stage on the Tide’s practice fields last weekend.
Both the offensive line and defensive line groups were stocked with talent, with players such as Solomon Thomas, Roderick Taylor and Josh Frazier, a 4-star defensive tackle from Springdale, Ark., headlining the group of uncommitted prospects on campus.
Despite having a pair of commitments from 3-star defensive tackles O.J. Smith and Johnny Dwight, a seeming smorgasbord of top interior defensive linemen are beating down Saban’s door for the opportunity to join the Tide’s 2014 class.
While they may not have glossy rankings from recruiting services, Smith and Dwight were thoroughly scouted and were both able to showcase the skills that made them priorities for Saban and his staff.
OL/DL Boards Coming into Focus
Highlights of OL Cameron Robinson
With two camps in the books, the Tide’s recruiting board on the offensive and defensive lines is starting to become clearer.
The newest development on the offensive line is the addition of Hassenauer at center.
Cameron Robinson, a 5-star recruit from West Monroe, La., remains the top option at tackle, with Roderick Johnson, a 4-star recruit from Florissant, Mo., and JUCO 4-star Chad Mavety being other candidates with interest.
At guard, with Viane Talamaivao already committed, Taylor could be the top name left on the board.
The defensive line is more settled with Smith and Dwight in the fold. Names such as Hand, Carter, Godchaux, Solomon Thomas and Cory Thomas are players who could wind up putting their hand in the dirt should they select Alabama.
Regardless how it plays out, the 2014 class should give Alabama’s offensive and defensive lines a major infusion of talent.