Alabama Crimson Tide: Florida football

DBs from SEC blanket combine

February, 22, 2013
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Several of RecruitingNation's SEC sites took a look this week at the players headed to the NFL combine, which begins today in Indianapolis, and other predraft camps. Click here to read the entire predraft series. Today: Defensive backs and special teams.

Alabama Crimson Tide


It's hard to imagine that the Alabama secondary in 2011 yielded five NFL prospects. Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick and De'Quan Menzie were all drafted a year ago. Dee Milliner and Robert Lester stuck around and won one more ring before hanging it up in 2013.

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SEC's DLs, LBs strong at combine

February, 21, 2013
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Several of RecruitingNation's SEC sites will look this week at the players headed to the NFL combine, which begins Friday in Indianapolis, and other predraft camps. Today: Defensive linemen and linebackers.

Alabama Crimson Tide


Alabama's front seven was rock solid and had a distinctive rock-n-roll flair in nose guard Jesse Williams. Though the Crimson Tide defense lacked a true superstar, Williams' Mohawk haircut, countless tattoos and colorful face paint made the unit stand out.
  • DT Jesse Williams (Position rank: No. 8)
    Strengths: Like his counterpart on the middle of the Alabama offensive line, Barrett Jones, Williams is nothing if not versatile. He played both defensive end and nose guard at UA and possesses the type of strength and quickness that would allow him to do the same at the next level.
    Weaknesses: While Williams is above average in defending the run and the pass, he's not superb at either. His production at Alabama was less than ideal, which can be attributed to the scheme on defense, but a lack of sacks and tackles for loss highlight an inability to consistently rush the passer.
    Comparable: In terms of versatility and athleticism, he is similar to Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams.
  • ILB Nico Johnson (Position rank: No. 8)
    Strengths: Johnson -- who no longer is scheduled to attend the combine -- has the look of an NFL linebacker at 6-foot-2 and 249 pounds. He is a solid wrap-up tackler with good instincts. The fact that he has had no off-field trouble or injury concerns will only help his draft stock.
    Weaknesses: The emergence of C.J. Mosley hurt Johnson in 2012. When Alabama had to defend multiple-receiver looks, Johnson often came off the field in favor of Mosley. Johnson is built for run support, but his lack of athleticism hurts in terms of being an every-down linebacker.
    Comparable: Johnson looks and plays like New Orleans Saints linebacker Curtis Lofton. Both are sure tacklers with good instincts getting between the tackles and getting to the ball carrier.
  • DE Quinton Dial (Position rank: No. 27)
    Strengths: Every so often an Alabama player doesn't hit his potential until he has left college. Dial might be one of those guys. The big, thick defensive end has the raw size (6-foot-5, 307 pounds) and skill to play at the next level and will likely do well in team workouts leading up to the draft.
    Weaknesses: A lack of production at Alabama will create a glass ceiling for Dial. While scouts can fall in love with measurables, they still want to see the talent on tape.
    Comparable: Dial could learn a thing or two from Baltimore Ravens defensive end DeAngelo Tyson, who didn't blow away anyone at Georgia, but after being selected late in the seventh round has become a solid contributor. In terms of size, the two compare favorably, as Tyson comes in at 6-foot-2, 315 pounds.
  • Damion Square (Position rank: No. 29)
    Strengths: Square isn't going to light up the scoreboard with sacks or tackles for loss, but he's consistent. Under coach Nick Saban's watchful eye, Square developed into a solid defender against the run and pass, and understands the idea of gap-assignment football.
    Weaknesses: Simply put, Square doesn't possess the necessary athleticism to get drafted. If there is a player hurt most by missing out on the Senior Bowl, it's him.
    Comparable: N/A

Florida Gators


The heart of the Gators’ 2012 defense will participate in the combine today. DT Sharrif Floyd, whose stock is rising rapidly as he is projected to be taken as high as No. 3, had a fantastic season and anchored UF’s front. He dominated Florida State’s front, and his mixture of size, strength and quickness has scouts drooling. ILB Jon Bostic started every game the past two seasons and was UF’s leader on defense. Nobody was more dependable than Bostic. OLB Jelani Jenkins was limited in 2012 because of a broken finger, a strained hamstring and a broken foot, but when healthy he’s a solid player. OLB Lerentee McCray was forced into action at the buck position (hybrid end/linebacker) because of the injury to Ronald Powell. He didn’t produce big numbers but was a high-effort, high-motor guy.

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OLs from SEC can thrive at combine

February, 20, 2013
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Several of RecruitingNation's SEC sites will look this week at the players headed to the NFL combine, which begins Friday in Indianapolis, and other predraft camps. Today: Offensive linemen.

Alabama Crimson Tide


It's only fitting that the best offensive line in college football would produce some of the most intriguing prospects in the NFL draft. Alabama will likely have three offensive linemen taken in the first few rounds in April, further proof of the talent that resided in Tuscaloosa this past season.

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SEC sends several RBs to NFL combine

February, 19, 2013
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Several of RecruitingNation's SEC sites will look this week at the players headed to the NFL combine, which begins Friday in Indianapolis. Today: Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers.

LSU Tigers


Perhaps it says something about LSU's offense in 2012 that among a record 13 players invited to the NFL combine from the Tigers, only two are offensive skill players who are generally considered, at this point, marginal talents. Running backs Spencer Ware and Michael Ford are the only skill players invited to Indianapolis, which is understandable when one considers LSU was 10th in the SEC in total offense. It's also a sign of youth. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger, fullback J.C. Copeland, running back Jeremy Hill and all of LSU's primary threats at wide receiver will return in 2013.

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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.

2014 QB Tyler Harris close to first offer 

December, 29, 2012
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ATLANTA -- Although 2014 quarterback Tyler Harris (Blackshear, Ga./Pierce County) doesn’t have any scholarship offers yet, he’s hoping his performance this week at the Georgia Junior Bowl will turn some heads and possibly even earn him his first offer.

“I think as far as media goes, there’s not a greater place to come than here because you’ve got all of these great companies working to get your name out there,” Harris said.

“For me, one thing I need to work on as far as getting recruiting is being under center, so coming here and learning to take a snap from under center and doing my drops, it’s really going to help me out in the future.”

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Haney: If there were a 2012 playoff ...

November, 14, 2012
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The seeds would be Oregon, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M, Florida and LSU. But how would it play out? ESPN Insider Travis Haney lines it up, gets some help from the oddsmakers, and picks his champion.

Read the story here. Insider

2014 LB Daub decommits from LSU 

November, 6, 2012
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Linebacker Kain Daub (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) is no longer a commitment for LSU's 2014 class, his mother confirmed Tuesday.

Daub's reversal is the latest blurb in a long line of recruiting news for the Tigers this week -- though this is the first instance of bad news for LSU. The ESPN Watch List member projects to be one of the top players in the state of Florida next season, and he'll likely be one of the best defenders in the nation.

The decommitment doesn't come as a huge surprise with Daub, as he recently allowed earlier this season that he'd reopen his recruitment to other schools after having shut it down. The Tigers were hoping to reaffirm their status with Daub during last weekend's massive home game against Alabama, but he was unable to make the nine-hour trip.

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On The Mark: BCS title contenders

October, 8, 2012
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The initial BCS standings come out next week, so there's a little time for teams to make up some ground that they might have lost. Mark Schlabach breaks down a handful of title contenders, including Alabama, Oregon, Florida, LSU and USC.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Defensive back Quin Blanding (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside) was one of only two 2014 prospects to compete at the Champion Gridiron Kings this weekend at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports, but the talented safety more than held his own.

The 6-foot-2, 196-pound athlete said he just wanted to prove he belonged at such a prestigous event.

"I feel like I did great," Blanding said. "I'm just having fun and just contributing with my team and just helping them out. Being a big safety and an underclassman, I just want to show that I can play with them too."

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