Alabama Football Recruiting: What You Need to Know for National Signing Day
With National Signing Day less than a month away, teams are gearing up for the stretch run where 2014 recruiting classes will be finalized.
While Alabama currently has 24 commitments for its currently No. 1 class, there are still a few things that need to be sorted out, like recruits closing in on final decisions and last-minute swaps that could be made as a result of coaching changes.
Here’s everything you need to know for Alabama’s national signing day.
All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.
Top Remaining Targets
The Tide legacy would give Alabama a second 5-star cornerback commit for a defense that is in desperate need of someone to step into that position.
Humphrey is set to decide between Florida State and Alabama.
Elam would solidify what is already a stellar defensive line class for Alabama. The 5-star nose tackle could come in and play right away in the Crimson Tide’s D-line rotation.
He will decide between Kentucky, Notre Dame and Alabama.
Evans is probably the longest shot of the trio, but he would be a big get for Nick Saban and co. Evans, a five-star outside linebacker, would provide much-needed depth at the position after the departure of Adrian Hubbard.
Evans will choose between Auburn, UCLA and Alabama, according to al.com's Matt Scallici.
Cameron Robinson: 6’7” 335 lbs., OT, West Monroe, La.
Tony Brown: 6’0” 188 lbs., CB, Beaumont, Texas
Laurence Jones: 6’2” 220 lbs., S, Monroe, La.
David Cornwell: 6’5” 241 lbs., QB, Norman, Okla.
Cameron Sims: 6’4” 199 lbs., WR, Monroe, La.
Shaun Dion Hamilton: 6’0” 240 lbs., LB, Montgomery, Ala.
Jarran Reed: 6’4” 310 lbs., JUCO DT, Scooba, Miss.
D.J. Pettway: 6’3” 250 lbs., JUCO DE, Scooba, Miss.
Da’Shawn Hand: 6’4” 265 lbs., DE, Woodbridge, Va.
Bo Scarbrough: 6’2” 225 lbs., ATH/RB, Bradenton, Fla.
Christian Miller: 6’4” 222 lbs., OLB, Columbia, SC
Ross Pierschbacher: 6’4” 290 lbs., OT, Cedar Falls, Iowa
Ronnie Clark: 6’2” 215 lbs., OLB, Calera, Ala.
Josh Frazier: 6’3” 335 lbs., DT, Springdale, Ark.
Dominick Jackson: 6’7”, 304 lbs., OT, San Mateo, Calif.
JC Hassenauer: 6’2” 292 lbs., C, Saint Paul, Minn.
Derek Kief: 6’5” 197 lbs., WR, Cincinnati, Ohio
Joshua Casher: 6’1” 297 lbs., C, Mobile, Ala.
Chris Williams: 6’1” 181 lbs., S, Kingsland, Ga.
Keith Holcombe: 6’4” 210 lbs., LB, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
O.J. Smith: 6’2” 320 lbs., DT, Bossier City, La.
Montel McBride: 6’4” 329 lbs., G, Plant City, Fla.
Johnny Dwight: 6’2” 303 lbs., DT, Rochelle, Ga.
JK Scott: 6’4” 185 lbs., K/P, Denver Colo.
Players Who Could Contribute as Freshmen
The departure of left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio created an opportunity that someone like Robinson is prime to take advantage of.
By all accounts, Robinson looks like he could come in and play from day one. 247Sports has him rated as its No. 3 prospect overall, and he should get an opportunity to compete for the starting left tackle job.
Tony Brown/Marlon Humphrey
Alabama never had a consistent No. 2 corner opposite Deion Belue, and with his senior year in the books, the Tide will have an open competition for both cornerback spots, as well as a third and fourth “Star” and “Money” defensive back.
Brown and Humphrey, two five-star commits, would figure to be right in the mix from the start.
While he may be a long shot, Cornwell will get his shot in a crowded quarterback competition. Enrolling early will help him get up to speed on the playbook and set him up to start competing come spring.
Storylines to Watch
Can Tide Close Strong?
While landing Humphrey is considered critical, getting one of either Elam or Evans would solidify this class.
The Crimson Tide struggled at times on defense this year, uncharacteristically more so than it had recently, and adding talents like Humphrey, Elam and/or Evans would be another piece to the puzzle that Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart could plug in.
How Do Assistants Affect Commits?
Alabama has had two swift changes to its coaching staff with the additions of Lane Kiffin (offensive coordinator) and Bo Davis (defensive line). Former defensive line coach Chris Rumph was a key part in landing a couple of Alabama’s commitments, and Davis was recently recruiting some to come to USC before he was hired by Alabama.
Josh Frazier expressed some confusion on Twitter after Davis’ hiring.
But staff turnover can work as a positive for Alabama, too.
Marlon Humphrey was close with Jeremy Pruitt, who today left Florida State to become defensive coordinator at Georgia. TideSports.com's Aaron Suttles noted on twitter that this could be a positive for Alabama.
Tony Brown has awesome hair. No, seriously. Check out this photo gallery and look at all the different styles.
Da’Shawn Hand was choosing between Alabama and Michigan, and the engineering major chose Alabama because of…academics? He noted some of Alabama’s impressive (non-football) facilities to Brandon Parker of The Washington Post:
“Dean [Charles] Karr, the engineering dean, he’s a football guy. I love that guy,” said Hand, a self-described nerd who mentioned an earthquake simulator as one of the highlights of his official visit to Tuscaloosa in October. “I love civil engineering, and they have that major, and a couple players that actually play now are taking that major.”
Laurence “Hootie” Jones’ nickname came from his grandmother.
“When I was younger and I was a baby, my eyes were so big like an owl, like a hoot owl, so they just started calling me 'Hootie,'” Jones said according to ESPN.com’s Greg Ostendorf.