Thursday, December 27, 2012
Five for '14: Offensive line
By Greg Ostendorf
Giant OT Orlando Brown Jr.'s participation in the Tide's camp this past summer was his first visit to the Tuscaloosa campus.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The offensive line was a clear position of need for the University of Alabama in the 2013 recruiting class, and the Crimson Tide have addressed it with four commitments to this point and potentially more to come.
In addition to the two in-state linemen, Bradley Bozeman and Grant Hill, Alabama has already signed junior college offensive tackle Leon Brown, and on Tuesday, the staff reeled back in former UA signee Brandon Hill, a 6-foot-7, 390-pound tackle.
The top target still on the board is Laremy Tunsil, the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle, but if he chooses to sign elsewhere, the Tide are still looking to bring in one more lineman to round out the class.
Even with the possibility of five offensive linemen coming to Tuscaloosa next year, Alabama will more than likely make the position a priority again in 2014, and many of the nation’s elite are already high on the Tide.
OT Andy Bauer (St. Louis/De Smet): Once committed to Missouri, Bauer has since opened up things again, and Alabama is in good position despite the distance from home. The ESPN Watch List offensive lineman visited UA once over the summer and again in November for the Iron Bowl, at which he watched the Tide take down their in-state rival. The staff has told him he’s versatile enough to play all five positions on the line.
OT Orlando Brown Jr. (Duluth, Ga./Peachtree Ridge): At 6-foot-8, 370 pounds, Brown Jr. is the by far the biggest name on this list. He also has the pedigree to go along with the size as his father played offensive line in the NFL. The ESPN Watch List star visited Alabama for the first time this summer, when he competed in the Tide’s camp, and he has since earned a scholarship offer from the reigning national champions.
OT K.C. McDermott (Wellington, Fla./Palm Beach Central): UA assistant coach Jeff Stoutland knows how to discover talent on the line, but he didn’t have to go far to find McDermott, who hails from his former coaching territory. McDermott, a Florida native, doesn’t have an offer from the Tide yet, but he visited Alabama in October for the Mississippi State game. He has offers from Florida, Miami, Notre Dame and Ohio State among others.
OT Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe): Every year, Alabama and LSU seem to go head to head for at least one elite recruit. In 2014, Robinson could be that guy. The 6-foot-6, 325-pound lineman is considered to be the top offensive tackle in the country. He camped at Alabama over the summer and made a return trip last month for the Iron Bowl. He has maintained a top two of Alabama and LSU, with Texas as a possibility.
OG Rod Taylor (Jackson, Miss./Calloway): Although he doesn’t have all the scholarship offers yet, Taylor is right near the top of Alabama’s wish list for 2014. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound star already has an offer from the Tide after he dominated their camp for the last two summers. He’s listed as a guard, but he’s versatile enough to play anywhere on the line. He visited Tuscaloosa multiple times this fall for games.