Alabama Crimson Tide: Alabama recruiting

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Three-star offensive guard Montel McBride (Plant City, Fla./Plant City) verbally committed to Alabama after the linemen challenge portion of The Opening.

McBride also held offers from Florida State, South Florida, Central Florida and Louisville.

The 6-foot-4, 349-pound interior line prospect said he chose Alabama because it was his dream school.

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- With the battle for his high school eligibility won, quarterback David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./North) has turned his attention to aiding Alabama in its quest to again sign the nation's top recruiting class.


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The Uncommitteds: Alvin Kamara 

February, 5, 2013
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Editor's note: From now until signing day, TideNation will examine the remaining uncommitted prospects still considering the University of Alabama. Today, we look at ESPN 150 running back Alvin Kamara.


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The Uncommitteds: Eddie Vanderdoes 

February, 4, 2013
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Editor's note: From now until signing day, TideNation will examine the remaining uncommitted prospects still considering the University of Alabama. Today, we look at ESPN 150 defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- If Alabama is going to claim the title of the No. 1 class in the country, a lot of things are going to have to fall into place, maybe none more so than Eddie Vanderdoes. Should the five-star defensive tackle from Northern California opt to sign with the Crimson Tide on signing day, it might be enough to unseat the leader in the clubhouse, Florida.


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The Uncommitteds: Laremy Tunsil 

February, 1, 2013
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Editor's note: From now until signing day, TideNation will examine the remaining uncommitted prospects still considering the University of Alabama. Today, we look at ESPN 150 offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- That vacant spot at right tackle is calling. When D.J. Fluker decided he would forgo his senior year and enter the NFL draft, he left Alabama with some pretty big shoes to fill.

The 6-foot-6, 335-pound former All-SEC selection won't be easily replaced. And he's just one of three offensive linemen who left Tuscaloosa in January.

While that might spell worry for the hopes of the offense as a whole, it also means opportunity for early promotions, and an added draw for potential recruits like ESPN 150 offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil.


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The One Who Got Away: Keenan Allen 

January, 31, 2013
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- When Keenan Allen committed to the University of Alabama, he said he could hear the joy in coach Nick Saban's voice. He told reporters it was the happiest he'd heard the coach in all the times he had spoken with him.

"He just told me welcome to the Alabama family and that he hoped I was ready to go to work," Allen said at the time of his commitment.

The former four-star athlete's word didn't hold long, though.


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From the moment Nick Saban stepped on campus, the recruiting game changed at the University of Alabama. Unburdened by the previous regime's bout with NCAA sanctions, Saban and the coaching staff set to the recruiting trail and began winning battles throughout the Southeast.

Alabama, previously on the outside looking in at the top 10 classes in the country, soon found itself owning the class rankings. From 2008 on, UA was the only school in the country to finish in the top three of the ESPN class rankings every year. If its No. 2 ranking holds during the next week and a half, that streak will be pushed to six straight years.

In that vein, TideNation set out to rank Saban's top recruiting classes since his arrival at Alabama in 2007. Based on class rankings and on-field production, here's how it looks:


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4-star Eddie Jackson picks Bama

January, 30, 2013
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Eddie Jackson has come a long way. The four-star athlete was an unknown until late in the recruiting cycle. On Wednesday, he gave a verbal commitment to the University of Alabama, the reigning national champions.

“I like how the program is run,” Jackson said. “It’s just everything that they stand for. I can be that guy from Fort Lauderdale, the first guy to come up there and have a chance, a chance to go up there and play.”

The Florida native had a number of other offers to choose from including Florida State, LSU and Tennessee, but ultimately, he couldn’t turn down a chance to play for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.

During his official visit to Tuscaloosa earlier this month, Jackson sat down with the Alabama head coach, and Saban told the No. 54-ranked wide receiver that he has a chance to compete for a spot at cornerback as a freshman.

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The uncommitteds: Reuben Foster 

January, 28, 2013
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Editor's note: From now until signing day, TideNation will examine the remaining uncommitted prospects still considering the University of Alabama. Today, we look at ESPN 150 linebacker Reuben Foster.


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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama has utilized more and more true freshmen each year, and it should be no different with the 2013 class. The Crimson Tide already have 21 commitments, including 10 ranked in the ESPN 150. It also doesn’t hurt that nine of them have already enrolled and will compete in spring practice.

Instant-impact recruits

RB Derrick Henry: With Eddie Lacy leaving a year early for the NFL, T.J. Yeldon expects to carry the load at running back next year for Alabama. But who will spell him? Both Jalston Fowler and Dee Hart are coming off major knee injuries, and Kenyan Drake will be just a sophomore. After the season Yeldon put together, don’t count out another true freshman making an impact in the backfield next year.

The Tide expect to sign at least three, possibly four ESPN 150 running backs, but the most physical and ready to play is Henry -- who broke the high school career rushing record. The 6-foot-3, 243-pound could see some time at H-back as well, but expect him to start out as a running back.

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'14 RB Scarbrough on Tide season

January, 11, 2013
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TideNation reporter Greg Ostendorf caught up with 2014 Alabama commit Bo Scarbrough (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Northridge) to get his thoughts on Alabama’s season and the combine he attended in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Offseason storylines: Running game 

January, 10, 2013
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Editor's note: The season is over and the Alabama Crimson Tide are national champions yet again. But what happens next? TideNation examines the most pressing storylines of the offseason as the Tide gear up for another title defense.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Who would have thought that after losing Trent Richardson the Alabama running game would become more dynamic in 2012? For that matter, who would have thought that when Mark Ingram left two years ago the production on the ground would actually improve? Losing back-to-back Heisman Trophy-caliber tailbacks has done nothing to slow down the Crimson Tide. Alabama has instead improved its number of rushing yards, yards per carry and rushing touchdowns in each of the last three seasons despite watching some of the best running backs in the country move on to the NFL.

[+] EnlargeT.J. Yeldon
AP Photo/Romeo GuzmanT.J. Yeldon thrived as a freshman in Alabama coach Nick Saban's established two-back system.
"There’s a standard," UA running back Eddie Lacy said. "They left a high standard here. So coming into this season I didn’t want to shoot straight for their standard, I just decided that I would play the game that I know how to play and whatever the outcome may be, let it be what it is. It ended up pretty good and I’m pretty much up there with those guys."

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Forecasting the Tide: Safety 

January, 3, 2013
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Editor’s note: Every Tuesday and Thursday between now and national signing day, TideNation will review each position and look at who figures to start, who could rise up the depth chart and who might be on the way. Today we’ll look at the safeties.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- It's hard to imagine that Robert Lester came to Alabama in the same recruiting class as his high school teammate Julio Jones. Lester, now a fifth-year senior is about to compete in his final collegiate game while Jones is set to play in the Pro Bowl in his second season with the Atlanta Falcons.

The two friends took the same track but at vastly different speeds.

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Ole Miss leads for Robert Nkemdiche 

January, 2, 2013
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. –- On Day 3 of practice for the Under Armour All-America Game at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports, No. 1 prospect Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) finally confirmed what has been speculated around the recruiting world for months.


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Title in hand, LB Thomas sets visits 

January, 2, 2013
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Five-star linebacker Matthew Thomas (Miami, Fla./Booker T. Washington) said he wanted to win a state championship before he would deal with his recruitment.


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