TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — As Alabama officially entered the offseason with the conclusion of spring practice, it also cranked up its recruiting efforts into high gear.
It offered 15 prospects, most of which are for the 2017 cycle and beyond.
This shouldn’t surprise anyone. At this point, most of the 2016 prospects have gone through the recruiting wringer and are just gearing up for their senior seasons. Many of them already have a general idea of where they want to go to school.
For the 2017 prospects, though, this is the offseason where they’ll attend camps and clinics to give college coaches their first up-close look at these guys. Alabama needs to get after them now, because by next offseason, it would mostly already be too late.
Let’s take a look at Alabama’s recruiting efforts this week:
Elijah Holyfield, 2016 4-star running back from Atlanta, Georgia
There’s no question what Alabama’s most high-profile offer was this week. Evander Holyfield’s son, Elijah, a top 2017 running back, got an offer from the Crimson Tide.
Combined with his heavy interest in Auburn, this should be a major decision process to watch for Alabama fans.
Holyfield said earlier this month he’s in no rush to commit.
"Yeah [Auburn wants] something now, but I'm going to wait for a little while," Holyfield told al.com’s Wes Sinor. "I'm just trying to keep a level head and try to wait it out and see everything."
Holyfield holds offers from just about every top school in the country, making Alabama one of the later teams to get in on his recruitment. But you can never count out Nick Saban and Alabama in a recruitment, especially for a prospect right next door in Georgia.
“Whichever school lands him will get a patient playmaker, someone who can be a game-changer in the backfield,” Bleacher Report’s Damon Sayles wrote last week on Holyfield’s recruitment. “And while Holyfield may be Auburn's to lose, you can bet that Alabama will put its cards on the table to earn his verbal commitment.”
Cam Akers, 2017 4-star running back from Clinton, Mississippi
One of the top players in the state of Mississippi picked up an offer from the Crimson Tide this week. Akers is rated the No. 2 player in Mississippi and the No. 6 running back in the 2017 class by 247Sports.
"It was truly a blessing," Akers told TideSports.com’s Andrew Bone. "I always liked Alabama since I was a kid. It meant a lot. I talked to Coach Davis. He told me he wanted to offer me. He said he talked to my coach. They wanted to extend an offer to me. They want me to come to a camp."
While Alabama doesn’t have a running back commitment for the 2016 class, it actually already has one for 2017, when Akers would come in. Najee Harris is rated a 5-star by 247 and the No. 1 running back in the entire class.
Still, Akers wants to come in and make his mark, like several freshman Alabama running backs have been able to do under Saban.
“If I were to choose Alabama in the future, I would want to play,” Akers told 247Sports’ Hank South. “They have good coaches and good running backs. They send running backs to the league every year. So I would definitely try to make my mark.”
Jake Fromm, 2017 4-star quarterback from Warner Robins, Georgia
Alabama extended an offer to its fourth quarterback for 2017 so far. Fromm visited Alabama’s campus before A-Day and then officially picked up an offer when a big-name coach visited his high school.
"Coach Kiffin came by the school this morning,” Fromm told TideSports.com’s Andrew Bone on Tuesday. "He came to see our team workouts. He saw me throw the ball around. Coach showed me a text during the class and let me know about the offer.
"I love it. I went down to see Bama a couple of weekends ago. I loved everything I saw. I loved the charisma down there. I loved the Crimson. They definitely have a history of winning.
"I talked to Coach Saban, Coach Smart and Coach Kiffin. They gave me all the good reasons to come to Alabama. They were trying to sell Alabama. They had nothing but good things to say."
The Crimson Tide are the most high-profile offer right now for Fromm, whom 247Sports rates as the No. 7 pro-style passer in the class. Ole Miss, North Carolina and South Carolina have already offered him, too.
"I definitely don't plan on waiting until signing day to announce a decision. I will commit whenever I feel comfortable,” Fromm told Bone. "I live in Georgia, so I grew up watching Georgia on Saturdays a little bit. The recruiting process has opened my eyes, though. I have realized there are a lot of great schools out there. Alabama is definitely one of them."
Other offers from the week
Trey Blount, 2017 wide receiver from Powder Springs, Georgia
Micah Clark, 2017 4-star offensive tackle from Holmdel, New Jersey
Tyler Gerald, 2016 4-star guard from Portsmouth, Ohio (Ohio State commit)
Tee Higgins, 2017 5-star wide receiver from Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Justin Mascoll, 2018 weakside defensive end from Snellville, Georgia
Anthony McFarland Jr., 2017 5-star running back from Hyattsville, Maryland
Jeffrey Okudah III, 2016 5-star safety from Grand Prairie, Texas
Donovan Peoples-Jones, 2017 5-star wide receiver from Detroit
Cesar Ruiz, 2017 4-star center from Camden, New Jersey
Trey Sermon, 2017 4-star running back from Marietta, Georgia
Drew Singleton, 2017 4-star outside linebacker from Paramus, New Jersey
Dalyn Wade-Perry, 2017 4-star defensive tackle from Englewood, New Jersey
Marc Torrence is the Alabama lead writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes and reporting were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information courtesy 247Sports, unless otherwise noted.
Follow on Twitter @marctorrence.