Alabama's Recruiting Machine Doesn't Take a Break for Football Season

Douglas WebbCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 29:  University of Alabama coach Nick Saban directs his team prior to taking on Florida State University September 29, 2007 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Tuscaloosa, AL—With football season in full swing, it seems as though most Bama fans have put recruiting on the back burner. While Bama fans might not be thinking about it, they're fully aware that Alabama's coaching staff never quits recruiting.

The Tide picked up what it thought was its 22nd commitment of the 2010 class this past week when all-world defensive end/linebacker Alfy Hill committed to join the Tide.

Around the same time, four-star offensive lineman Jawuan James out of the Peach State decided to reopen his recruitment. James claims no favorites and says he's starting his recruitment with a clean slate. 

Walls98 is a longtime poster from BamaOnline who routinely gives out his thoughts on recruiting. He's a knowledgeable source who is highly reliable with his information. These were his thoughts on the James situation:

"This has been in the works for a while now, folks, and is really not that much of a surprise," said Walls. "He (James) looks headed to Tennessee. The Vol staff has been working the depth chart angle for a while now with James, and it appears to have had paid off."

Walls went on to explain our situation with current line prospects after the James defection.

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"James will likely be a solid player for whomever ends up landing his services, we have many, many other options. Damien Robinson, Shon Coleman, who despite being committed to Auburn, is still in play at this moment, and my personal favorite, offensive tackle prospect Arie Kouandjio. We are in pretty good shape for Robinson and Stone at this point."

Walls felt James isn't the only possible defection from the 2010 class.

"Keiwone Malone: The Vol staff is all over him as well, but we will not go down without a fight on Malone. Watch Ole Miss here too; his commitment to Alabama is shaky right now."

So the defection of James together with the commitment of Hill leaves Alabama sitting at 21 current commitments. Though there has been no official word from the Tide staff, speculation has the Tide taking as many as six or seven more commitments.

Five-star athlete Keenan Allen out of Greensboro, NC has offers from across the country. His final schools include, among others, Alabama and Oregon. After a visit to Oregon this summer, the Ducks had taken a lead over the Tide. Alabama's coaches Bo Davis and Sal Sunseri haven't given up, though, and according to Walls appear to have closed the gap with Oregon.

"We are looking much, much better for Keenan Allen," said Walls. "No set timeline for a commitment from the five-star athlete, but I would be surprised if he is not in crimson when all is said and done."

Unfortunately, the news isn't so good for the Tide regarding Allen's fellow Greensboro native Gabe King. Walls feels as though the highly-rated defensive end appears headed west to play college football despite the Tide's best effort.

"No such luck for Gabe King," said Walls, adding, "he's headed to the left coast."

Linebacker C.J. Mosley would be the final piece of the puzzle to an already talented linebacker haul. With junior college re-sign Devonta Bolton and future "jack" linebacker Alfy Hill already committed, Mosley would give the Tide a group of linebacker signees as good as any in the country.

If the Tide finishes as strong as they have in recent years, their signing class will once again finish in the top five in the nation.

That's come to be just about a given with Saban at the helm.

Patrick Walls' blog can be found here: Walls98 Bama Ball