Alabama Crimson Tide: Deshone Kizer

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Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic quarterback DeShone Kizer said last week that Notre Dame exceeded the criteria he was looking for in a school. When Notre Dame offered a few days later on June 5, the Irish immediately jumped into his top group.

Following a weekend visit to South Bend, the 6-foot-5, 208-pound signal-caller, the No. 6 ranked dual-threat quarterbacks nationally, committed to Notre Dame. Central Catholic coach Greg Dempsey confirmed the commitment of his four-star and Elite 11 quarterback.

Alabama and LSU were considered the top two for Kizer before the Notre Dame offer, with Tennessee just behind its SEC counterparts. Kizer was planning visits to both the Tide and Tigers later this week. The offer from Alabama was not a committable one.

This commitment is welcomed news for Notre Dame, which has not had much positivity around the position the last few weeks. Everett Golson, who led the Irish to the national championship game last season, was suspended from school in late May. A few days later, ESPN 150 quarterback Kyle Allen, who many felt could end up signing with Notre Dame, pledged to Texas A&M.

Former backup quarterback Gunner Kiel, a member of the ESPN 150 in 2012, left the program this spring as well.

Ohio has been kind to the Irish the past two recruiting classes. In the 2013 class, Malik Zaire of Kettering (Ohio) Archbishop Alter signed with the Irish and enrolled in January.

Later this month, Kizer will compete at the Elite 11 finals after taking top honors in a regional event in Columbus, Ohio, on June 1. LSU coaches Les Miles and Cam Cameron watched Kizer at the event.

Kizer is the 11th commitment in the Irish’s 2014 class and is the latest piece to what is becoming a stellar offensive haul. Four-star running back Elijah Hood and four-star offensive tackle Alex Bars are both members of the ESPN 150, and Sam Mustipher (No. 11 guard), Justin Brent (No. 38 receiver) and Quenton Nelson (No. 19 guard) are also four-star recruits. Three-star offensive tackle Jimmy Byrne is also committed.

Notre Dame’s class ranks No. 8 nationally but could move up with Kizer’s commitment.
Editor's note: Each week the TideNation staff will address an issue surrounding the Alabama football program. Today's question: Can a mobile quarterback work in Tuscaloosa?

Alex Scarborough's take

Nick Saban hit the nail on the head this week when he said, "You usually win because of people." As much as the system predicts and allows for success, those running it are the ones who truly make it work. "If you've got good players," Saban told reporters, "you've got to get them the ball." Even if that means scrapping the system to do it.

Saban, of course, was referring to the move toward dual-threat quarterbacks in college football and his willingness to recruit those types of athletes to Alabama. In his six seasons as head coach of the Crimson Tide, he's never had a mobile quarterback running his system. But that doesn't mean he's not open to the idea, he said.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- DeShone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) was ready to commit a few months ago. Then LSU offered. Alabama came soon after. Those two offers made Kizer slow his recruitment down.

With baseball and basketball now done, he will finally have his first opportunity to see both schools up close next week.


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Tales From the Road: Alabama 

June, 5, 2013
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Each week, Tales From The Road provides news and updates about where Alabama’s coaches are recruiting and which prospects are getting noticed.

This week’s targets: The week has been all about Alabama’s first summer camp. Prospects from across the country have flocked to Tuscaloosa to either compete or just to visit. The headliner was five-star Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe), the No. 1 offensive tackle in the country, who last visited for the Crimson Tide’s spring game in April. Robinson recently tweeted that his decision will come down to Alabama and LSU. Other ESPN 150 stars who have been on campus this week include quarterback David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./Norman North) running back Racean Thomas (Oxford, Ala./Oxford), defensive tackle Elisha Shaw (Tucker, Ga./Tucker) and athlete Ronnie Clark (Calera, Ala./Calera).

Area of interest: The state of Arkansas isn’t what you’d call a recruiting oasis year in and year out, but there’s still talent to be had. Last year, Alabama plucked out ESPN 150 running back Altee Tenpenny (North Little Rock, Ark./North Little Rock), the No. 1 player in the state. This year, the top player still available is four-star defensive tackle Joshua Frazier (Springdale, Ark./Har Ber). Not surprisingly, the Tide are among his five finalists. This week, Nick Saban and his staff decided to get a head start on next year’s crop, offering 2015 quarterback Ty Storey (Charleston, Ark./Charleston) and 2015 tight end Will Gragg (Pine Bluff, Ark./Pine Bluff). Both prospects camped at Alabama.

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It’s been quite the week for four-star quarterback Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway). He made a stop at Alabama on Thursday before flying up to Columbus, Ohio, to visit Ohio State and compete in the Elite 11 this weekend.


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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Since the conclusion of spring practice, the University of Alabama coaching staff has been busy hitting the road, evaluating recruits. No coach has compiled more miles than offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

Nussmeier, the Crimson Tide’s quarterback guru, has already seen three prospects this week. After checking in on DeShone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) on Tuesday, he made a stop in Norman, Okla., on Wednesday to watch David Cornwell, the nation’s No. 1 pocket passer.


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Alabama has five offers out to 2014 quarterbacks, although the Crimson Tide coaches would not accept a commitment from any just yet. One quarterback could be closing in on turning his scholarship into a legitimate offer soon, though.

Dual-threat quarterback DeShone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) threw for Alabama offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier on Tuesday.


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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- When it comes to recruiting quarterbacks at the University of Alabama, it’s more like trying out for the school play.

The signup sheet is the Crimson Tide’s coaches scouring for prospects, tirelessly reviewing film and the, ultimately, choosing a handful of players to bring in for auditions.

[+] EnlargeTyler Harris
Radi Nabulsi/ESPNBesides Alabama, Tyler Harris holds offers from Mississippi State and Troy.
So far, four signal callers -- David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./North), Tyler Harris (Blackshear, Ga./Pierce County), DeShone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio, Central Catholic) and Jacob Park (Goose Creek, S.C./Stratford) -- have made the cut. All four have earned scholarship offers from Alabama.

The first was Cornwell, an ESPN Watch List member. He initially discovered he was offered from head coach Nick Saban at the Tide’s first junior day in January. This week, he called back to confirm it.

“I kind of knew I had it, but I just wanted to confirm it,” Cornwell said. “That’s what Coach Saban did -- he confirmed it for me. It was just really cool to talk with him, a guy in such a high position and at the top of his profession.”

Harris picked up his offer three weeks later. It was his first.


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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Technically, ESPN Watch List quarterback David Cornwell received a scholarship offer from Alabama when he attended the Crimson Tide’s first junior day in January, but was it official?


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A week ago, DeShone Kizer sat down with his parents to discuss his future. The three of them were planning to end the Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic quarterback’s recruitment.


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