Thursday, October 24, 2013
Recruits will be watching: Tide-Vols
By Derek Tyson
Though Alabama will have several top visitors in attendance for its game against LSU on Nov. 9, there are still plenty of recruiting storylines to follow when the Crimson Tide host long-time rival Tennessee this weekend.
No. 4 overall prospect Da'Shawn Hand will be in Tuscaloosa this weekend for his second of three official visits.
Both teams have top-five recruiting classes, and the game will draw plenty of recruits from all over the Southeast. Here's a closer look at which recruits will be focused on this game Saturday.
DE Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge): The No. 4-ranked player in the country will be in Tuscaloosa for his second of three official visits. It appears that Michigan has the advantage for this five-star prospect, but Nick Saban is one of the best recruiters in the country, and Bama will pull out all the stops to impress Hand and his family. Hand is also planning to visit Florida in early November before making a decision on Nov. 14. This visit will go a long way in determining where the No. 1-ranked defensive end will play college football next season.
RB Bo Scarbrough (Bradenton, Fla./IMG) -- Alabama commit: The No. 2-ranked athlete in the country will take an unofficial visit to Alabama this weekend. Scarbrough visited Notre Dame last week and has talked about taking other official visits in the future. Alabama would like to use this opportunity to impress the multi-dimensional player enough for him to reaffirm his pledge to the Tide. Scarbrough is the 20th-ranked player in the country.
DT Dante Sawyer (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett): It appears as if Sawyer, the 40th-ranked player in the country, will make his decision between South Carolina, Tennessee and Auburn. Sawyer visited Tennessee last weekend to watch the Vols defeat South Carolina. Would a bad loss to Alabama hurt Tennessee's recruiting momentum for Sawyer? Only time will tell, but he will certainly be paying attention to this game.
LB Shaun Dion Hamilton (Montgomery, Ala./Carver) -- Alabama commit: This ESPN 300 linebacker will take an unofficial visit to Alabama this weekend. The 98th-ranked player in the country has been committed to Alabama since April but has recently shown interest in Ole Miss. Like Scarbrough, Alabama would like to shore up a commitment from this four-star linebacker.
DT Jarran Reed (Goldsboro, N.C./East Mississippi CC): Reed, a junior college prospect, had Alabama in his list of top schools last year before eventually signing with Florida. This recruiting cycle, Reed is wide open but just visited Tennessee last week. This could be a chance for both schools to make a favorable impression on the 6-foot-4, 305-pound defensive tackle.
DT Elisha Shaw (Tucker, Ga./Tucker): Ole Miss and Georgia are other teams that are in the mix for Shaw, but Alabama appears to be the team in the lead at this moment. His unofficial visit to Alabama this weekend could strengthen the Tide's lead for the 82nd-ranked player in the country. A surprising Tide loss could swing the momentum back in the direction of Ole Miss or Georgia.
DT Cory Thomas (McCalla, Ala./McAdory): Thomas, a three-star defensive tackle, will be taking an unofficial visit to Alabama this weekend. The 6-6, 265-pound interior lineman has a top three of Tennessee, Florida and Mississippi State -- with the Vols being his current leader. Alabama, depending on how bad they push for Thomas, could jump in to his top group with a favorable visit. Tennessee, with a huge upset over the No. 1 team in the country, could cement itself as his top choice.
DT Charles Mosley (Brighton, Tenn./Brighton): This unofficial visit to Alabama will be the third time this three-star prospect has seen the Vols play this season. The massive two-way lineman continues to have Tennessee and Alabama out in front, and this game could go a long way in his decision. The numbers crunch in the class could come into play with Mosley, who is also considering Ole Miss and others.
2015 DB Maurice Smitherman (Adamsville, Ala./Minor): This 5-10, 170-pound defensive back picked up a big offer from LSU on Tuesday night. He also holds offers from Ohio State, Miami, Arkansas and many others. This unofficial visit to Alabama this weekend could play a factor in who has the early lead for this talented junior prospect.
2015 DE Christian Bell (Hoover, Ala./Hoover): Bell, the 161st-ranked player in the ESPN Junior 300, will be on an unofficial visit to Alabama this weekend. Bell already has offers from Mississippi State, South Carolina and Southern Miss. Like Smitherman, Alabama has a chance to jump into the lead with an impressive visit.