As it stands right now, Alabama's football recruiting class for 2009 is ranked at No. 6 by Scout.com. With 20 current commitments, the Crimson Tide has room for six to eight more in this class.
Here's a quick glance at the superstars who we'll see in the US Army All-American Bowl and the Under Armour High School All-American Game this weekend.
Richardson is a five-star super-athlete/running back out of Pensacola, FL. At 5'11" and 225 lbs., Richardson has impressed everyone with a pair of eyes at the Under Armour practices this week. Richardson has great movement and elusive cut-back skills that's typical of superstars playing in the NFL.
With his size, he is a punishing back that will not (and doesn't) shy away from a hit. Yet, Richardson surprisingly has soft hands, allowing him to pose a dual threat on screen passes and short routes.
Richardson is currently considered a soft verbal commitment to Alabama, but only because Nick Saban encourages his players to take all official visits. Richardson will take official visits to LSU and Florida before he signs his LOI with Alabama.
Kirkpatrick is a five-star defensive back recruit from Gadsden, AL. With Kirkpatrick's height, frame, and unbelievable skill, every major program in the US is knocking on his door. Although most consider Kirkpatrick a lock for Bama's 2009 class, Kirkpatrick insists that he doesn't have a leader. So far, he's injured his ankle and his wrist during practice at the US Army All-American Bowl, but Kirkpatrick will still play on Saturday.
Kirkpatrick plans to take all of his official visits and announce on National Signing Day, on Feb. 4, 2009. Most experts and analysts predict Kirkpatrick to wear crimson in 2009.
At 6'7", 327 lbs., Fluker is the biggest offensive lineman at the US Army All-American Bowl. The four-star offensive lineman from Foley, AL has dominated during the practice sessions and is expected to have a spectacular performance on Saturday.
Fluker is currently a solid verbal Alabama commitment. However, Fluker has ties to New Orleans, given that he is a Katrina transplant. Fluker has official visits set with LSU, but he's still considered a lock for Alabama.
At 6'3" and 225 lbs., five-star receiver Kendall Kelly (Gadsden, AL) looks like a tight end. However, Kelly has a certain grace about him, as well as a physical knack to find and take the ball. With 4.5 speed, Kelly isn't going to beat his opponents with speed. Kelly beats his opponents by running great routes, getting physical, and taking the ball. Look for Kelly to bully the East DBs on Saturday at the US Army All-American Bowl.
Kelly has narrowed his leaders down to three: Alabama, Clemson, and LSU. Kelly has official visits planned and will announce on National Signing Day. Most analysts and recruiting experts expect to see Kelly wearing crimson in 2009.
McCarron, simply put, has a rocket for an arm. The four-star/fifth-ranked QB from Mobile, AL, is the official starter for the West on Saturday at the US Army All-American Bowl. At 6'4", McCarron has the height and arm to run a pro-style offense. At 189 lbs., McCarron needs to put on 15 lbs. before he'll be ready for the SEC. Look for McCarron to connect with Reuben Randle and Kendall Kelly on Saturday.
McCarron is a solid commitment for Alabama. He plans to take his official visits, but he is a lock for Alabama's 2009 class.
Vontaze Burfict is the nation's No. 1 linebacker. Coming in at a very close second is five-star recruit Nico Johnson from Andalusia, AL. At the US Army All-American practices, Johnson has shown incredible strength and his ability to pursue and make the tackle. Johnson is explosive and smart when it comes to shedding blockers and making the tackle.
Johnson is a solid verbal commit to Alabama.
Randle, the 6'3", 195-lb. five-star wide receiver from Bastrop, LA, is quite possibly the best wide receiver in the nation. Randle will be the icing on the cake for his college of choice. Randle has practiced well at the US Army All-American Bowl, but has sat out recently due to hamstring issues. Stepping in to take the spotlight is three-star Pat Patterson from Macon, MS.
Randle is being pursued aggressively by Alabama and LSU. At the start of the season, many thought Randle was an LSU lock. However, given Alabama's success on the field this year, and with the help of Nick Saban, Randle is now 50/50 between the two universities. Randle plans to make his decision at the US Army All-American Bowl.
NOTE: The US Army All-American Bowl will be broadcasted from San Antonio, TX, by NBC at 12pm CST on Jan. 3, 2009.
The Under Armour High School All-American Game will be broadcasted from Disney's Wide World of Sports in Orlando, FL, by ABC at 8pm on Jan. 4, 2009.