Friday, January 4, 2013
UA Game: Breaking down the Tide
By Greg Ostendorf
The University of Alabama was well represented at the Under Armour All-America Game this week with six commitments. The Crimson Tide contingent didn’t just show up during the practice sessions. They made an impression. ESPN national recruiting director Tom Luginbill was in Florida all week, and he breaks down each and every Alabama pledge.
QB Cooper Bateman (ESPN 150 -- No. 89) Bateman has exhibited some leadership qualities this week that we have not seen from him before. Each day he has made huge strides and you can see very clearly that he has some intangibles that you cannot coach. The physical tools are present, but there is a presence about him within this group that is magnetic. He has been as advertised and even exceeded expectations in some areas.
Alabama wide receiver commit Robert Foster has impressed during Under Armour practices.
WR Robert Foster (ESPN 150 -- No. 28) If Foster is a qualifier and gets into Alabama, look out. He is tall, smooth, quick and fast. So much of his game athletically is effortless. He has been one of the most impressive wide receivers we have had here in six years.
TE O.J. Howard (ESPN 150 -- No. 42) Howard has some slight tension to his hips, but it does not impede his ability to perform. His measurables are off the charts and he has very, very good ball skills and hand-eye coordination. He is a long-striding weapon that can push the seam. He has been a very difficult match-up for linebackers and safeties to handle.
OL Grant Hill (ESPN 300 -- No. 246) Let’s make this short, shall we? Grant Hill might be the most underrated lineman in this class. He will see a big jump in our next rankings.
DE DeMarcus Walker (ESPN 150 - No. 35) In our opinion, Walker is going to develop like Marcell Dareus in the sense that he will be a swing 5 technique/nose guard, not a true end. He is really active, plays hard and should grow into a nice tackle with first step explosiveness.
CB Maurice Smith (ESPN 150 - No. 83) Smith is a press or hard cover 2 player if he remains at cornerback for the next level as a boundary player. Could be a possible move to safety in his future. He is a tough player in run support as well.
The Under Armour game will kick off Friday at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN.