With Terrence “Mount” Cody departing for the NFL this past year, Alabama has been looking for the next “diamond in the ruff” behemoth defensive tackle.
They found him in Jesse Williams (Rivals 4 Star DT, Scout 4 star DT) out of Arizona Western JC in Yuma, AZ. He is on the verge of a 5 star ranking on both sites.
Tackle is not a huge position of worry since they have Josh Chapman, Kerry Murphy, and a couple youngsters on the team already, not to mention Quinton Dial and D.J. Pettway in this year’s class already. Most coaches’ philosophy though is that you can never have enough big men on your roster.
Gabe Wright (Rivals #7 DT, Scout #7 DT) out of Columbus, GA, Viliami Moala (Rivals #9 DT, Scout #4 DT) from Sacramento, CA, and Tim Jernigan (Rivals #3 DT, Scout #1 DT) out of Lake City, FL are other prospects on ‘Bama’s board.
Jernigan is thought to be a Florida “lean”, and Moala’s interest may have peaked in ‘Bama’s favor when they signed Isaac Luatua out of California. Wright has yet to narrow his list.
After the signing of Williams, Alabama is most likely done at the defensive tackle position, but in my opinion, if Jernigan wanted to come to Alabama, his scholarship would still be waiting. Let's see if his visit to the Capstone next weekend for the Florida game influences his decision at all.
Nick Saban thinks he may have found the successor to Marcel Dareus in Rock Hill, South Carolina’s famed weak side defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney (Rivals #1 WDE, Scout #1 DE).
Considered the No. 1 overall recruit in the nation by just about every scouting service in the country, Clowney would headline this year’s signing class, and possibly make it rival the class being put together in Austin. Many "recruit-niks" consider Clowney to be the top defensive line prospect to come out in the past 5 years.
That's saying something about this young man's natural ability.
LaMichael Fanning (Rivals #10 DT, Scout #17 DE) is already in the fold in this year’s class, but it does not matter how many ends you already have on your team. When a player the caliber of Clowney comes along, you drop everything and snag him up.
Some scouts think he is ready for the NFL right now, so just imagine what a few years under Saban’s wing would do for his draft status.
It was last reported that South Carolina and ‘Bama were his top two schools, with Clemson in the mix as well. Most think he will choose ‘Bama over the home-state school because he would get more recognition at Alabama since he would be on national television every week, and the fact that he would be better coached and more prepared for a NFL career in Tuscaloosa than in Columbia.
Other possibilities at Defensive End are Jermauria Rasco (Rivals #10 SDE, Scout #3 DE) out of Shreveport, LA; Ishaq Williams (Rivals #4 WDE, Scout #7 DE) of Brooklyn, NY; Ray Drew (Rivals #2 WDE, Scout #8 DE) from Thomasville, GA; and finally Xzavier Dickson (Rivals #5 WDE, Scout #15 DE) of Griffin, GA.
Rasco is being pursued heavily by quite a few teams.
The Texas Longhorns are after him for the last spot in their No. 1 ranked signing class. LSU has been in the mix since day one, and they are the in-state school.
It will be tough to pull him out of the Louisiana recruiting hot-bed, but Saban still has his ties to the state from his coaching days at LSU, and we all know it's been done before. (Perfect example is Luther Davis, another highly touted defensive end prospect out of Louisiana from Saban's 1st signing class at Alabama that he stole out from underneath Les Miles' fingertips...Miles blew whatever gasket he had left after this coup)
Meanwhile, Williams has already visited the Capstone once over the Summer. This athlete has considerable talent, but it just seems like a tough pull all the way from New York state. But we shall see.
Ray Drew has changed favorites more than Steve Spurrier changes quarterbacks, so there's no telling where he ends up signing.
He's a stud though, and hopefully Saban can sway him during his official visit. This star in the making has got to have his head on straight, which is obviously a plus; rumor is that he is an ordained minister. He sounds like a coach's dream recruit.
Dickson may be the most likely to sign with the Tide outside of Clowney. I predict a "grunge match" fight between Alabama and Georgia all the way to signing day for his signature.
Anyway you look at it, 'Bama's Defensive Line signing class will most likely be the top in the nation this year...