10 Elite 2014 Recruits Who Could Spurn Alabama
'Bama practically drafts recruits, as it is rarely told no by prospects. However, the conclusion of the 2014 recruiting cycle could be different for the Crimson Tide. Several elite recruits may spurn Alabama for other programs.
A defensive end could opt for a Big Ten program, while another may sign with one of Alabama's rivals. A talented athlete could elect to stay in California, an offensive guard could do the same and a defensive tackle looks primed to sign with a lower-level SEC program.
Solomon Thomas, DL
A 5-star prospect, Solomon Thomas is a defensive lineman who would be a good fit in Alabama's defense. He is 6'3" and 256 pounds, has solid quickness at the snap and displays good strength at the point of attack.
With his ability to play strong-side defensive end in a 4-3 defense, and the 5-technique position in a 3-4 alignment, Thomas is a hot commodity. Alabama is in the picture, but Stanford is the team to beat in this race, says 247Sports.
Malachi Dupre, WR
At 6'2.5" and 187 pounds, Malachi Dupre has the tools to be outstanding in college. He has smooth athleticism, great build-up speed and has good hands.
Dupre, who is from Louisiana, has the Crimson Tide after him. However, Alabama will need to beat out UCLA and LSU to land him, according to 247Sports. There's a chance that Dupre signs with Alabama, but he's more likely to end up in Baton Rouge or Westwood.
Whoever lands this 5-star prospect could be getting a difference-maker on the perimeter.
Damien Mama, OL
A southern California native, Damien Mama is a 5-star offensive lineman who can play guard or right tackle. The 6'4", 370-pounder has quick feet for a big man.
Mama has the ability to dance with rushers in short areas, can anchor to stop their progress to pressure the quarterback and has amazing strength at the point of attack. He certainly fits the mold of an Alabama offensive lineman, but he is expected to sign with USC, according to the experts at 247Sports.
Tony Brown, CB
A premier defensive back prospect, Tony Brown can play several different positions on defense. The Texas native is 6'0", weighs 188 pounds and has explosive athleticism.
Brown has great strength for back-end defender, exceptional speed and plays with outstanding instincts. Playing for the Crimson Tide is an option, but he is expected to opt for LSU, according to 247Sports. Another school to keep an eye out for is Stanford.
The 5-star prospect could be ready to contribute as a true freshman, but it likely will not be at Alabama.
John Smith, ATH
Having versatile football players is never a bad thing, and 5-star athlete John Smith certainly is versatile.
He can play receiver, safety and return kicks on a 6'1", 200-pound frame.
Smith, who is from southern California, has great speed, agility and ball skills. He possesses good strength, has a great burst and is always looking to get better. Smith will visit Alabama on November 8th, according to 247Sports, but he could spurn the Tide for Notre Dame, USC, Ohio State, UCLA or Michigan among other programs.
Matt Elam, DT
Alabama loves defensive linemen who have great size. That is why it is not shocking that 6'6", 350-pound defensive tackle Matt Elam is a target.
The Kentucky native looks great on the hoof, and plays to his size on every play. Elam, who is considered a 5-star prospect on 247Sports' own board, would be a great fit as a nose tackle in Tuscaloosa, as he is a natural space-eater in the trenches.
Alabama has a good chance to land him, but Kentucky is expected to beat out the Tide in this race, per the experts of 247Sports.
Raekwon McMillan, LB
Another elite defensive prospect who would be a good fit in Alabama's scheme is 5-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan.
The Georgia native has the classic traits of a 3-4 inside 'backer. McMillan is 6'2", weighs 242 pounds and has good ball-location skills. He routinely reads his keys, fills gaps and plays big at the point of attack.
McMillan is lethal in the box and also flashes the athletic potential to become adequate in zone coverage. However, the majority of the experts at 247Sports expect him to sign with Ohio State.
Laurence Jones, S
At 6'2" and 214 pounds, Laurence Jones is one of the biggest safety prospects in recent memory. However, do not expect him to be moved to linebacker in college.
The Louisiana native has great range, is natural roaming in space and has a knack for jumping passing lanes. Jones shows good speed, is quick out of transition and has the hands of a receiver. Other safety prospects may be more willing to entrench themselves in the box, but Jones is tremendous versus passing plays.
He is expected to decide between LSU and Alabama, and many of the experts at 247Sports predict the Tigers will sign the 5-star prospect.
Da'Shawn Hand, DE
Hand, who plays in Virginia, is 6'4" and 254 pounds. He has above-average quickness at the snap, is a good athlete and has excellent strength at the point of attack. Hand uses his hands well, and can play an array of positions along the defensive front.
Many experts at 247Sports predict him to sign with Michigan.
Leonard Fournette, RB
Fournette is a 6'1", 226-pounder from Louisiana who has an excellent combination of power, strength, speed, agility and vision. He also is an asset in the passing game, as he has good hands. 'Bama is known for its rushing attack, and Fournette would fit well in its offensive scheme.
It would not be surprising to see him opt to play in Tuscaloosa, but LSU appears to be where he will run, according to 247Sports.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
To find out more about the players who could have the guts to spurn Alabama, use the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map! This is an interactive tool that is a terrific resource for recruiting information!