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Thursday, December 6, 2012
Five for '14: Wide receivers

By Greg Ostendorf

Speedy Noil
Speedy Noil of New Orleans would be a fit as a slot receiver in the 2014 class.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- It was evident that the University of Alabama made an effort to get the ball to its wide receivers this season. Whether it was because of new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier or just a surplus of playmakers at the position, the Crimson Tide aired it out more than they had in past years.

With that in mind, the wide receiver position has become more important to the Tide in recruiting.

In the 2013 class, Alabama already has commitments from four-star wide receiver Raheem Falkins and ESPN 300 athlete ArDarius Stewart, who is expected to play on offense when he gets to Tuscaloosa. The staff is still recruiting Robert Foster, the nation’s No. 2 receiver, and Eldridge Massington, who’s expected to visit this weekend.

Even if the Tide can land either Foster or Massington to round out their current class, they still want to find more playmakers at the position in 2014.

Targets

WR DeMarcus Bingham (Foley, Ala./Foley): The comparison to Julio Jones is scary. Same high school, same number and even the same hairstyle. Bingham isn’t quite the physical specimen Jones was coming out of high school, but the 6-foot-3, 200-pound receiver has the size and the hands to be an impact player at the next level. Following in Jones’ footsteps, it’s no surprise that Bingham’s top school is Alabama, but he’s still waiting for the Tide to offer.

TE Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian): The lone tight end on this list, Blazevich looks to be Alabama’s top target at the position in 2014. Similar to the wide receiver position, the tight ends could take on a bigger role in the future, especially with commitments from ESPN 150 targets O.J. Howard and Josh McNeil. Blazevich already has more than 20 scholarship offers, but he visited Tuscaloosa in October for the Mississippi State game, and the Tide should make the cut when he trims his list soon.

WR Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla./Homestead): It’s still early, but Lane is among the nation’s elite at wide receiver for 2014. Some would say he’s Alabama’s top target at the position for next year. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound prospect was a standout at the Tide’s camp in July, when he earned a scholarship offer from head coach Nick Saban. Lane already has a relationship with current UA wide receiver and former Sunshine State star Amari Cooper.

WR Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp): Malone has seen his stock take off recently following an impressive junior season. In the last two months, the ESPN Watch List star has received offers from North Carolina, Notre Dame and South Carolina. Most recently, he visited Ohio State for the Michigan game. He made a trip to Tuscaloosa in September to watch Alabama play, and if the Tide offer, they could immediately become a factor.

WR Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr): It’s never easy to take a Louisiana prospect away from LSU, but if anybody can do it, it’s Alabama. The Tide have had success recently in the Pelican State, and they have already extended an offer to Noil. The 5-foot-10 prospect is a dynamic athlete who could fit the role of slot receiver. He’s also teammates with 2014 Watch List star Gerald Willis III, the brother of Alabama freshman safety Landon Collins.

Other targets: WR Blake Bone, WR Malachi Dupre, WR Demarre Kitt, WR Jake McCrary, TE Jacory Washington