Friday, April 19, 2013
A-Day: Recruits flock to Tuscaloosa
By Greg Ostendorf
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- It’s A-Day weekend, which means top recruits from across the nation are about to descend on the University of Alabama for the Crimson Tide’s spring game.
It’s an event that has become almost like game weekend in the fall for both fans and recruits, and it’s no different this year with a large, impressive group of prospects set to be on campus. Will Alabama add to its 2014 class when it’s all said and done?
ESPN 150 TE Tyler Luatua has family ties to the Crimson Tide.
For ESPN 150 targets Tyler Luatua (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) and Gerald Willis III (New Orleans/Edna Karr), the trip to Alabama this weekend is for family reasons. Both prospects have a brother who plays for the Tide. Issac Luatua is competing for playing time on the offensive line, while sophomore Landon Collins, the brother of Willis III, has a chance to earn a starting safety spot by the time the season starts in the fall.
Tyler Luatua, ranked No. 37 nationally, is more likely to follow his brother to Tuscaloosa. This will be his first visit to UA, and a good first impression could go a long way in landing his signature. Willis III has been to Alabama before, but the Tide are hoping to crack his top three after the weekend.
Next to commit?
Recently, the spring game has produced a couple of commitments each year. Could the trend continue this year? The most likely visitors to pull the trigger include defensive lineman Charles Mosley (Brighton, Tenn./Brighton) and cornerback Stephen Roberts (Opelika, Ala./Opelika).
Mosley nearly committed to Alabama when it offered on signing day, but the staff told him to hold off and make sure it was the right decision. After looking around at other schools, he again might be ready to commit. For Roberts, it would be a more difficult decision, because he’s right in Auburn’s backyard. However, the UA coaches are very high on the in-state cornerback, and he currently has the Tide on the top of his list.
“Alabama has a great football program,” Roberts said. “I know they’ve got a lot of great cornerbacks, and the secondary is what I like. They kind of fit my style of play.”
Keep an eye on: DE Dante Sawyer (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett)
Nobody knew for sure which spring game ESPN 150 linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton (Montgomery, Ala./Carver) was going to attend this weekend, but when he committed to Alabama on Wednesday, he made it pretty clear he was heading to Tuscaloosa.
After making his commitment, Hamilton didn’t waste any time talking about the Tide’s recruiting class and the players he was going to target to join him, which included Roberts and other potential visitors Ronnie Clark (Calera, Ala./Calera), Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover) and Elisha Shaw (Tucker, Ga./Tucker). Hamilton will do his part to pitch the Tide targets this weekend.
“They better get read,y because I’m coming after them hard,” Hamilton said. “We’ve got to get this class, because we’ve got to be No. 1 again. I plan on winning another recruiting title.”
Representing the ESPN 150
The initial ESPN 150 rankings came out Thursday, and at least a dozen in that group are expected to visit Alabama this weekend. In addition to Clark, Hamilton, Humphrey, Luatua, Sawyer, Shaw and Willis III, the Tide are expecting to host quarterback David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./Norman North), linebacker Tre Williams (Mobile, Ala./St. Paul’s) and top commitment Bo Scarbrough (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Northridge) for Saturday’s spring game.
ESPN 150 linebackers Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield) and Jacob Pugh (Tallahassee, Fla./Godby) are making stops in Tuscaloosa on Friday. There’s no doubt that it will be a star-studded group on campus this weekend for Alabama.