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Thursday, January 10, 2013
Tide commits see a rise in new rankings

By Greg Ostendorf

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Univeristy of Alabama was well-represented in the various all-star games last week, and if the final ESPN 150 and ESPN 300 rankings for the 2013 class were any indication, the Crimson Tide commitments must have performed well against the nation’s best.

The new rankings, which came out following last week’s all-star games, included nine Alabama commitments in the ESPN 150 and 13 future Tide players in the ESPN 300.

Yulee, Fla., athlete Derrick Henry, who enrolled at Alabama this week, is still the highest-ranked player in the Tide’s class. After setting the national career rushing yards record as a senior, Henry jumped to No. 9 in the latest rankings, and he also earned a fifth star. He is currently the only five-star in Alabama’s class.

This week, ESPN 150 defensive end DeMarcus Walker flipped from Alabama to Florida State, but Jonathan Allen -- the Tide’s other defensive end commitment -- continued his ascent in the rankings as he moved up to No. 28, passing Walker on the way.

UA quarterback commitment Cooper Bateman impressed scouts with his performance at the Under Armour All-America Game, and the rankings reflect that. Bateman, who threw the lone touchdown during the game, climbed from No. 89 to No. 44. He’s now the No. 3 pocket passer in the country.

Of all 13 Alabama commitments ranked in the ESPN 300, the biggest move came from in-state offensive lineman Grant Hill. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound lineman held his own against some of the top defensive lineman in the country last week at the Under Armour game.

Said ESPN national recruiting director Tom Luginbill after the week of practice, “Let’s make this short, shall we? Grant Hill may be the most underrated lineman in this class. He will see a big jump in our next rankings.”

As expected, Hill saw quite a jump. He moved up from No. 246 to No. 86 in the rankings, the biggest jump for any player.

With all of the upward activity by the Alabama commitments in the ESPN 300, it’s no surprise that the Tide also moved up to No. 2 in the class rankings. Both UA and Florida passed up Notre Dame, but the Gators still hold the No. 1 class.