Alabama Crimson Tide: Louisville Cardinals

National signing day is approaching quickly. With three official visit weekends remaining before Feb. 5, here is a look at a number of prospects who could flip to and/or from SEC schools in the coming weeks.

Florida commit Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla./Homestead): Lane, No. 28 in the ESPN 300, is scheduled to officially visit national champion Florida State with the Gators fighting hard to keep the uber-talented wide receiver. The flip from Florida to the Seminoles by Dalvin Cook (Miami/Central High), the nation’s No. 20 prospect, makes the chore even tougher for the Gators


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1. I am willing to give Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich a pass on Bobby Petrino. Jurich hired Petrino at Louisville 11 years ago, the first head coaching position Petrino had at any level. Jurich knows the man and Jurich knows what he is getting into. I don’t think it’s a gamble at all. But here’s the unusual part of the story: how many bosses give a guy his first chance at the big time and, no disrespect to Western Kentucky, his second chance at the big time?

2. Michigan hired away Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, and here’s betting both Nussmeier and Tide head coach Nick Saban were ready to move on. There was talk in Newport Beach over the weekend that former USC coach Lane Kiffin may end up running the Crimson Tide offense. It may be an ideal job for Kiffin -- Saban doesn’t allow his assistants to speak to the media. Whoever it is better know how to convert a fourth down in the red zone. Alabama’s last two losses in the SEC (Texas A&M in ’12, Auburn in ’13) hinged on the failure to do so.

3. Niners offensive coordinator Greg Roman and Penn State must be interested in each other. The university interviewed him Monday even as San Francisco began its preparation for the NFC semifinal Sunday at Carolina. Roman has no connection to Penn State, other than being a Jersey guy, which means he may be able to recruit the neighborhood. Bill O’Brien didn’t have a connection, either, and that worked out well.


Canes DE commit Thomas to take visits 

December, 8, 2013
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- ESPN 300 defensive end Chad Thomas (Miami/Booker T. Washington), a Miami verbal commitment since July, ended his high school career on Saturday night with a 40-21 victory over Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles in the FHSAA class 4A state championship game.

The 6-foo-5, 240 pound defender said after the game he will likely take all five of his official visits before signing day on Feb. 5.

The No. 70 prospect in the country, who was visited by Alabama offensive line coach Mario Cristobal this past week, said the Crimson Tide will get one of his visits next month.


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: The nation’s No. 1 player, Leonard Fournette, took an unofficial visit to LSU this past weekend and it looks like he liked what he saw; Saturday’s victories by ASU and Arizona could have a lasting impact on the Pac 12 recruiting race, and Alabama, Florida State and Louisville are trying to change the mind of one of Miami’s top commitments.


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Michigan visit impresses ESPN 300 duo 

September, 13, 2013
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Michigan certainly didn’t hurt itself in its recruitment of ESPN 300 standouts Marshon Lattimore (Cleveland/Glenville) and teammate Erick Smith.

The two headed up to Ann Arbor, Mich., last weekend on an unofficial visit for the Notre Dame game and were impressed.


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ESPN.com's preseason power rankings

August, 9, 2013
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College Football Power Rankings illustrationESPN IllustrationTBD BY EDITORIAL


Not surprisingly, the back-to-back BCS champions are again preseason favorites and top ESPN's power rankings. But a number of elite programs are ready for their chance to dethrone the king.

Top 15 breakdown
No. 1 Alabama
No. 2 Ohio State
No. 3 Oregon
No. 4 Stanford
No. 5 Texas A&M
No. 6 (tie) Georgia
No. (tie) South Carolina
No. 8 Louisville
No. 9 Clemson
No. 10 Florida
No. 11 Florida State
No. 12 LSU
No. 13 Notre Dame
No. 14 (tie) Michigan
No. 14 (tie) Texas

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- CeCe Jefferson isn't ready to commit yet, but the ESPN Junior 300 defensive end has at least named a leader.

Jefferson has put Florida top his list and said he plans on being on campus a lot during the season. But the Glen St. Mary (Fla.) Baker County standout says he's still going to take some trips elsewhere before making his decision.


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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The first quarterback to arrive at Alabama’s camp this week was 2015 signal-caller Kevin Dillman (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada), the nation's No. 1 dual-threat prospect and No. 28 player overall in the new ESPN Junior 300 rankings.

He threw for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide coaches on Sunday before flying back to California for a team obligation. La Mirada head coach Mike Moschetti discussed the visit.


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The mayor of Columbus, Ohio, had a message for four-star defensive tackle Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin): He better be back at Ohio State soon.

The No. 2 prospect in Kentucky visited the Buckeyes on Thursday, and he had an opportunity to meet mayor Michael B. Coleman.


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FAIRFIELD, Ohio -- Part of a tight-knit family, Fairfield (Ohio) High School lineman Danny Burns would like to play in front of his mom and grandparents in college. But that won’t be a major factor in his decision.

So it is more coincidence, he says, that schools from bordering states Michigan and Kentucky lead for him.


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CARMEL, Ind. -- Austin Roberts goes to Carmel High School, but Indiana is not his home. He was born in Dallas, but that’s not his home, either. The closest thing to home would be the state of Florida, but he lived in three different cities and was there for a little more than half of his life. The other half was spent moving from city to city.

That’s the life you live when your father coaches in the NFL. Alfredo Roberts, Austin’s father, is currently the tight ends coach for the Indianapolis Colts.


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NORCROSS, Ga. -- ESPN 150 defensive end Lorenzo Carter seems to never stop grinning, even on the football field. His 100-megawatt smile calls to mind another affable defensive end, Michael Strahan, complete with the trademark gap. Even a shoving match with a teammate resulted in Carter falling down laughing about it later.

During the Norcross spring game on Friday, Carter and offensive tackle Horatio Walker tangled as they went at each other in the trenches. Walker held Carter’s jersey and was rewarded with a shot to the helmet.

“Well it was a run, and I don’t think Horatio respects me on the run yet, but it is all good,” Carter said between guffaws. “He tried to bully me around, but I was not having that so I had to hit him back. I was having fun out there.”


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If defensive tackle Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin) didn’t know where he stood with the University of Alabama before this week, he does now.

On Tuesday, UA assistant coach Lance Thompson visited Elam at his school. The following day, head coach Nick Saban talked with the Kentucky native via Skype. The Crimson Tide offered back in February at a junior day


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Q&A: ESPN 150 DT Shaw on new offers 

April, 24, 2013
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Elisha Shaw (Tucker, Ga./Tucker) already holds offers from Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State and a handful of other big-time programs, so he wasn’t surprised to get a new offer on Monday.

He was surprised, however, that it came from Texas. The ESPN 150 defensive tackle met with Texas offensive line coach Stacy Searels on Monday and could look into checking out what the Longhorns have to offer this summer.


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BUFORD, Ga. -- ESPN Watch List defensive end Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) credits his blindingly pink socks and highlighter yellow shoelaces with helping him win the defensive lineman MVP award at the Atlanta NFTC on Saturday.

The award came with a brilliant gold dog tag that complemented his outfit. But what really caught Carter’s eye, and fashion sense, was the big gold box that he was handed that contained his invitation to The Opening.


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Alabama In Line For No. 1 Class ... Again
National recruiting analyst Craig Haubert breaks down the Crimson Tide's quest for a four-peat atop the ESPN Class Rankings.Tags: Mekhi Brown, Daylon Charlot, Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide
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