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Tales From the Road: Alabama

6/5/2013

Each week, Tales From The Road provides news and updates about where Alabama’s coaches are recruiting and which prospects are getting noticed.

This week’s targets: The week has been all about Alabama’s first summer camp. Prospects from across the country have flocked to Tuscaloosa to either compete or just to visit. The headliner was five-star Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe), the No. 1 offensive tackle in the country, who last visited for the Crimson Tide’s spring game in April. Robinson recently tweeted that his decision will come down to Alabama and LSU. Other ESPN 150 stars who have been on campus this week include quarterback David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./Norman North) running back Racean Thomas (Oxford, Ala./Oxford), defensive tackle Elisha Shaw (Tucker, Ga./Tucker) and athlete Ronnie Clark (Calera, Ala./Calera).

Area of interest: The state of Arkansas isn’t what you’d call a recruiting oasis year in and year out, but there’s still talent to be had. Last year, Alabama plucked out ESPN 150 running back Altee Tenpenny (North Little Rock, Ark./North Little Rock), the No. 1 player in the state. This year, the top player still available is four-star defensive tackle Joshua Frazier (Springdale, Ark./Har Ber). Not surprisingly, the Tide are among his five finalists. This week, Nick Saban and his staff decided to get a head start on next year’s crop, offering 2015 quarterback Ty Storey (Charleston, Ark./Charleston) and 2015 tight end Will Gragg (Pine Bluff, Ark./Pine Bluff). Both prospects camped at Alabama.

Prospect performance: The top campers thus far have been a pair of defensive lineman. Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin) got things started with a dominant performance during Monday’s session, and Johnny Dwight (Rochelle, Ga./Wilcox County) did his best to match Elam on Tuesday. Both prospects received rave reviews from the UA coaching staff. Elam remains one of the top targets for Alabama, but Dwight went ahead and committed to the Tide before leaving. Fellow commitments Bo Scarbrough (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Tuscaloosa County), Kalvaraz Bessent (Kingsland, Ga./Camden County) and Shaun Dion Hamilton (Montgomery, Ala./Carver) also worked out at the camp, but the star from that group might have been 2015 Tide commitment Mekhi Brown (Columbus, Ga./Carver), who impressed the coaches with his workout on Tuesday.

What to watch for: Although Cornwell and Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway) look like the early front-runners to become Alabama’s quarterback in this class, the staff is not done evaluating targets yet. Four-star Jacob Park (Goose Creek, S.C./Stratford) is expected to be on campus Wednesday to throw for the coaches. He was one of the first targets to be offered by the Tide. DeShone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) is scheduled to visit Tuscaloosa next week, but he's already said that he will not throw while on campus. Kizer is coming off an MVP performance at the Columbus Elite 11 over the weekend, an event that featured multiple Tide quarterback targets.