- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- It was going to be hard to top Alabama’s linebacker class in 2012. The Crimson Tide signed four linebackers, all ranked inside the ESPN 150. Even Denzel Devall, a defensive end in high school, has moved to outside linebacker and made an impact as a true freshman.
The 2013 class got off to a similar start when the nation’s No. 1 linebacker, Reuben Foster, committed to Alabama. However, he later flipped to Auburn, leaving Tide legacy Walker Jones as the only true linebacker in the class.
ESPN 150 defensive end DeMarcus Walker, UA’s top-ranked commitment, is expected to play the Jack linebacker spot when he gets to Tuscaloosa.
Still, the position remains thin a year after the Tide landed such an impressive group.
Although there are some elite targets still available this year, Alabama already is turning some of its attention to 2014 -- when they have a chance to duplicate the success from last year with the talent both in state and nationally.
ILB Kain Daub (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood): During the summer, Daub committed to LSU, but that doesn’t mean his recruitment is over. He has since transferred to Sandalwood High School where he is now teammates with DeMarcus Walker, an Alabama commitment. The junior linebacker says Walker is in his ear every day, talking about the Tide, but will that be enough to flip the ESPN Watch List star?
OLB Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn): Evans grew up in Auburn. His father played for Auburn University. It wouldn’t be right for him to attend school across the state at Alabama. However, the 6-foot-4 outside linebacker visited Tuscaloosa last weekend for the Mississippi State game and came away impressed. He already has an offer from the Tide, and he’s planning to attend another game at Bryant-Denny Stadium later this month.
ILB Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County): It’s going to be a while before McMillan makes a decision, but he’s already narrowed his list to five and Alabama has made the cut. The ESPN Watch List star, who plans to announce his decision at the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game, has yet to visit Tuscaloosa for a game. Kirby Smart’s future at Alabama might determine whether or not the Tide have a chance.
OLB Chris Register (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley): Although he doesn’t have an Alabama offer yet, Register has the Tide among his top schools. The junior linebacker visited Tuscaloosa over the summer for camp, and he has been high on Alabama ever since. The UA coaching staff recently went to watch one of his games, and an offer could be coming soon. With an offer, Alabama could jump to the top of the list.
ILB Tre Williams (Mobile, Ala./St. Paul’s): There might not be a better prospect in the state of Alabama than Williams, and he has the offer list to prove it. Despite offers from all over, including USC, it’s expected to be an Alabama-Auburn battle with Florida State having an outside chance. Williams has already visited all three of those schools this fall. Working in the Tide’s favor is the pipeline from St. Paul’s to Tuscaloosa.
4dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough