Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The O-zone: Iron Bowl edition
By Greg Ostendorf
TideNation recruiting writer Greg Ostendorf brings you another edition of The O-zone, a confidential look inside Alabama recruiting. Get the latest updates from the gridiron and the hardwood as it pertains to the Crimson Tide.
Laremy Tunsil is the No. 1 offensive tackle prospect in the ESPN 150 and the No. 4 overall prospect in the nation.
Sunshine State trio
Alabama’s top remaining target in 2013 is five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, and the Tide continue to get help recruiting him from ESPN 150 commitments Derrick Henry and DeMarcus Walker. Henry and Walker have pitched the idea of the Florida trio playing together at the next level. Tunsil visited UA earlier this month for the Texas A&M game which just so happened to be the same weekend that Henry was in town. The two talked throughout the visit about the chance to one day be teammates at Alabama. Currently, Tunsil has the Tide in his top two along with Georgia. Unlike the other two, Tunsil is not expected to enroll early and plans to wait until signing day to make a final decision.
“I was just saying that I wanted to play with him and how me and him would be great together,” Henry said of his conversation with Tunsil. “If he came, I would work him every day, and I’d expect the same thing from him for me.”
The Iron Bowl will take place this weekend, and as it is every year, Alabama and Auburn are going round for round off the field, on the recruiting trail. This year, the top prize is ESPN 150 defensive lineman Dee Liner. Although he committed to Auburn early in the process, the Tide haven’t let up their pursuit. He’s visited Tuscaloosa twice in the last month, and he’ll be back on campus this weekend for the Auburn game. Alabama is also expected to host another in-state Auburn commitment this weekend -- Pinson Valley wide receiver Earnest Robinson. The ESPN 300 star is expected to stay true to his commitment if AU head coach Gene Chizik is retained, but if that doesn’t happen, Robinson will likely reopen his recruitment.
Outside of Liner, Robinson and the current Alabama commitments, the bulk of this weekend’s visitors comes from the 2014 class, but there’s no shortage of talent. From outside the state, ESPN Watch List linebackers Kain Daub and Raekwon McMillan are both expected to make the trip to Tuscaloosa. Daub will come up with his teammate and current Tide commitment DeMarcus Walker, and McMillan plans to ride over with Wayne County High School juniors Krenwick Sanders and Jeremy Patterson. Also, TideNation confirmed that ESPN Watch List offensive lineman Andy Bauer will make the trip from Missouri to Alabama for Saturday’s Iron Bowl. Bauer recently decommitted from Missouri. As expected, the top in-state juniors will also visit this weekend, including Rashaan Evans, Marlon Humphrey, Bo Scarbrough, Racean Thomas and Tre Williams.
*Update: Raekwon McMillan will now visit Ohio State this weekend, not Alabama.
Room for a Vol?
When Derek Dooley was fired from Tennessee over the weekend, it opened the door for other schools to come in and poach their recruits. For Alabama, there weren’t many targets to be had, but the Tide do have their eye on at least one Volunteer commitment -- three-star defensive lineman Jason Carr. I’ve been told that the UA staff likes the 6-foot-5 prospect, enough to where they have even extended a ‘scholarship offer,’ but there still may not be room in this class to take him. Either way, Carr, a native of Memphis, Tenn., is expected to take an official visit to Alabama before he makes a final decision. If he decommits from Tennessee, Ole Miss is considered to be another potential landing spot.
Holding it together
Alabama’s 2013 class is filling up fast, but will the Tide be able to keep all of their current commitments? The most speculation has been on ESPN 150 running back Altee Tenpenny. With Henry and Tyren Jones already on board, is there room for all three running backs? Tenpenny, a native of North Little Rock, Ark., has already visited the in-state Razorbacks twice this season, and he plans to take an official visit there before signing day. He’s also expressed interest in taking an official visit to Georgia and possibly Oklahoma State. The Alabama commitment visited Tuscaloosa earlier this month for the Texas A&M game, but sources say he’s torn on whether or not he wants to stick with the Tide.
“He’s kind of going both ways,” said a fellow UA commitment. “He’s saying he’s thinking about it, and then obviously he wants to stay. I can really see where he’s coming from because of the talent they have coming in with our recruiting class.”
New PG target
The early signing period has come and passed for basketball, and Alabama signed a pair of big men -- Shannon Hale and Jimmie Taylor. However, the Tide missed on a number of potential guard targets and now find themselves looking for a late addition to the class. Their search took them to New Haven, Conn., over the weekend for the National Prep Showcase where head coach Anthony Grant and one of his assistants scouted point guard Travis Jorgenson. At this point, it’s nothing more than an evaluation. Jorgenson, once committed to Missouri, doesn’t have an offer from the Tide yet, but he’s one of the top remaining point guard targets in 2013. Expect Grant and his staff to do a full evaluation before they make a run at him.