Alabama has 20 commitments for its 2012 class and is looking to add to it in the coming months. Since 20 players have verbally committed, there will be only a few spots left to add to the class, but the Crimson Tide have found themselves in prime contention for some of the best uncommitted prospects in the country.
Here are five players who will add to the class—including one that Alabama should extend a scholarship to. Enjoy.
Landon Collins is an elite 6'0", 205 lb. safety prospect that hits like a truck—he reminds me of a young Roy Williams. Not only can he lay the hit stick, but he can also cover very well, showing how versatile he really is.
Currently, it is a three-team race between LSU, Alabama and Texas, with the Tigers and Tide being the front-runners. Collins is from Louisiana, so the pressure to stay in-state must be quite prevalent, but interestingly enough, Collins' girlfriend is attending Alabama next fall, which could seriously diminish the urge to stay home.
If he pulls the trigger on the Tide, he would team up with FS prospect Eddie Williams to form one of the greatest safety tandems in recent memory. Although Texas has made a late surge for Collins, I believe it is just too late for them and will be between Alabama and LSU.
Either school would be a great choice. However, Alabama not only has a better recruiting class, but also has a much better NFL pipeline, has a defensive back guru in Nick Saban and also has his girlfriend going there next fall. In the end, all of those factors will sway Collins to play for Alabama and become a future All-American for the Tide.
Quay Evans is a 6'2", 320 lb. monster from Morton, Miss.
He is arguably the best defensive tackle in the country and could also play nose tackle at an elite level. He is an athletic freak that can move like a linebacker. He currently has a top three of Alabama, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, with the Bulldogs as the presumed leader.
Although Mississippi State may have a slight edge on Alabama, the Tide have had several opportunities during the season to impress Evans in person and have done so and more. Evans was on hand for the Alabama-Arkansas game and came away astonished at the atmosphere.
He also was at the Ole Miss game and saw Alabama completely dominate the Rebels. If Evans picked the Bulldogs, it would obviously be because of the location, but if he wants to truly develop into an unstoppable force and possibly be a first-round draft pick, then he should undoubtedly choose Alabama. I think with all the time left until National Signing Day, Evans will realize that the best thing for him is to head to Tuscaloosa.
With 330 lb. Darren Lake already committed, the Tide can solidify the NT position with depth for years to come.
Cyrus Jones is an electrifying athlete from Baltimore, Md.
Just from watching the tape, it is very clear that Jones is among the more versatile and explosive players in the entire country. He can be a factor at the highest level at wide receiver, cornerback and returner. Jones currently has Alabama as his leader and it doesn't look as though any other team might catch up with the Tide.
When examining the Alabama roster, as well as the 2012 recruiting class, Jones may have a quicker impact at cornerback. If Dre Kirkpatrick declares for the draft, then both starting cornerbacks will be gone, so depth will be quite a concern. With Jones' athleticism and lack of depth at the position, it will be very hard to keep him off the field.
Travell Dixon is a 6'2", 200 lb. cornerback from the JUCO ranks.
Although many schools are interested in him, most believe that he's Alabama's to lose. Saban loves tall, fast and physical corners, and that's exactly what Dixon brings to the table. Moreover, after watching his tape, he reminds me a lot of Dre Kirkpatrick with his style of play. Since Alabama will lose its top two corners, and Dixon has experience at the college level, he can come in and immediately provide quality depth at the position.
Now, let me begin this slide by saying that Alabama has not yet offered Samuels a scholarship. That being said, I strongly feel as though they should extend an offer to this young man from Fairhope, Ala., for several different reasons. Samuels is a versatile player and has experience at different positions on the offensive line.
A former teammate of a few of my friends, Samuels is apparently the real deal, coming from a school that gets overlooked in its region. Samuels is a hard-working, tough football player that just so happens to be the nephew of former Tide standout, Chris Samuels.
In college, Samuels would most likely play center or guard, and there will be a need for depth at both positions after the season's end. At 6'2", 290 lbs., Samuels already has the size but would need a redshirt year to get the strength—something in which he would definitely entertain. I don't know if Alabama will offer him a scholarship, but I think they definitely should. He would commit on the spot, work hard in the offseason, redshirt, come in with a great attitude and develop into a productive SEC lineman.
While I highlighted four players Alabama will get and one they should make and offer to, I believe that there will be one de-commitment—wide receiver Casey Gladney.
With the Tide already securing commitments from two elite receivers in Chris Black and Amari Cooper, Gladney may find himself left out and under-appreciated. That, along with the already existing depth at wide receiver and the possibility that either Justin Thomas or Cyrus Jones becomes a wide receiver in college, may cause Gladney to decide to take his talents elsewhere.
In the end, this will be a very successful year in recruiting for the Alabama Crimson Tide, obtaining depth and talent at every position, as well as their standing with some of the top uncommitted prospects. It will be interesting to see how everything unfolds, but you have to like Alabama's chances at success this time of year.