Alabama Crimson Tide: alabama football recruiting

ATHENS, Ga. -- Christian Miller (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley), the nation’s No. 2 outside linebacker, was in Athens on Wednesday, talking with Mark Richt and Kirk Olivadotti. Miller liked what he heard. In fact, he left campus thinking he could easily see himself suiting up for the Bulldogs.

NORCROSS, Ga. -- ESPN 150 defensive end Lorenzo Carter seems to never stop grinning, even on the football field. His 100-megawatt smile calls to mind another affable defensive end, Michael Strahan, complete with the trademark gap. Even a shoving match with a teammate resulted in Carter falling down laughing about it later.

During the Norcross spring game on Friday, Carter and offensive tackle Horatio Walker tangled as they went at each other in the trenches. Walker held Carter’s jersey and was rewarded with a shot to the helmet.

“Well it was a run, and I don’t think Horatio respects me on the run yet, but it is all good,” Carter said between guffaws. “He tried to bully me around, but I was not having that so I had to hit him back. I was having fun out there.”


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ATHENS, Ga. -- Viewers who tuned into last year’s SEC championship game were treated to an epic battle between Alabama and Georgia that was not decided until the last play of the game. It was the latest in a series of battles between schools that clash again and again on the recruiting trail, year after year. Both have targeted a sophomore defensive tackle from North Carolina. In fact, both programs offered Shy Tuttle (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson) on the same day.


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JEFFERSON, Ga. -- A bystander watching Preston Williams (Lovejoy, Ga./Lovejoy) warm up at the Georgia state track and field championships simply said, “Who is that guy?” Williams stood on the edge of the long jump pit -- where he was challenging for a state title as only a sophomore -- and exploded with a flat-footed jump to the middle of the pit, reaching a height and distance that turned heads.

As did his outfit. Williams wore blindingly bright yellow shoes, mismatched socks (one was a multi-colored, neon leopard print, while the other was decorated with cupcakes), cut-off camouflage sweat pants over black leggings and a Lovejoy t-shirt. The ensemble was topped off with a gray scarf that would look great on a 78-year-old retiree from Boca Raton but seemed out of place wrapped around Williams’ noggin as a headband.

Preston Williams
Radi Nabulsi/ESPNSophomore Preston Williams is turning heads, and for more than just his fashion sense.
“This is my look,” Williams said. “My jumping look -- I am exotic.”

While his fashion is eclectic, the true answer to who Williams is a lot more complicated.


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ATHENS, Ga. -- In a trend that is becoming as common as hat ceremonies when picking schools, another ESPN 150 prospect took to Twitter this morning to announce he is nearing a decision. This time it was No. 42 Dante Sawyer (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) who told his followers to “stay tuned.” He spoke to DawgNation to explain what he meant.


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BUFORD, Ga. -- ESPN Watch List defensive end Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) credits his blindingly pink socks and highlighter yellow shoelaces with helping him win the defensive lineman MVP award at the Atlanta NFTC on Saturday.

The award came with a brilliant gold dog tag that complemented his outfit. But what really caught Carter’s eye, and fashion sense, was the big gold box that he was handed that contained his invitation to The Opening.


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BUFORD, Ga. -- ESPN Watch List quarterback Tyler Harris (Blackshear, Ga./Pierce County) competed in the Elite 11 Atlanta regional on Saturday, showing his trademark velocity despite the windy conditions. Toward the end of the camp he was placed in the second group, but after hitting the mark on some tough throws, Harris was promoted to the first group, which contained the day’s top performers.

Despite outperforming more than 50 other quarterbacks and making the final group, Harris will not rest until he picks up an invitation to the Elite 11 competition.


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Coveted OLB names a top five 

March, 14, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Outside linebacker Jacob Pugh (Tallahassee, Fla./Godby) isn’t exactly sure of how many offers he has. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior has not counted them. Once he had received over 30 offers to the top programs in the nation, there really seemed no point in doing so. Pugh is more concerned about the five that he has on top.


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ATLANTA -- With a wind-chill factor in the low 20s and occasional snow flurries blowing through the air, outside linebacker Petera Wilson (Memphis, Tenn./White Station) had a hard time staying warm Saturday. The cold kept his legs tight and he was not happy with his 40-yard dash or agility shuttle times. After having driven from Memphis, Tenn., to Atlanta to compete in the Nike SPARQ Combine, the talented junior left Lakewood Stadium cold and disappointed.


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ESPN Watch List defensive tackle Joshua Frazier (Springdale, Ark./Har Ber) has doubled his offer list in the last month. The 6-foot-4, 330-pound junior has added offers from USC, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and now Georgia.


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ESPN Watch List offensive guard Jerald Foster (Lincoln, Neb./Southeast) was slightly surprised on Monday when he was told that coaches from the University of Georgia wanted to talk to him. He had already heard from Alabama earlier that day and now the Bulldogs were looking to speak with him. Foster is no longer surprised when a new school wants to talk to him as he already has offers from Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Ohio and Wake Forest.

“[Georgia] said they liked my film and they gave me an offer,” Foster said. “It was a great feeling.”

Foster plans some research into the Bulldogs program.

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Georgia quick to offer Watch List RB 

February, 16, 2013
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Many high school prospects are evaluated for months or even years before a college program extends a scholarship offer. Highlights from sophomore seasons are compared to those of junior seasons to see progression and potential. Players who make a name for themselves as juniors are visited as seniors to gauge their possible impact at the next level. And then there are prospects like Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) for whom the entire process takes three or maybe four days.


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Top safety target plans to hit road 

February, 13, 2013
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Cortez McDowell’s extensive offer list has grown yet again. Tennessee and Kentucky are the two most recent entrants into the race for the signature of the Locust Grove (Ga.) High School safety. Programs such as Alabama, Florida State and Georgia are among the 13 schools that have already extended scholarship offers to the 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior.

To help make sense of all the opportunities and figure out a favorite, McDowell is hitting the road.


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TideNation signing day recap

February, 6, 2013
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Alabama landed the No. 1 class in the nation on Wednesday. Here's a look at how the day went, with analysis and breakdowns of each player as the LOIs rolled into Tuscaloosa.

6:39 a.m. CT -- DE Jonathan Allen (Ashburn, Va.): The four-star prospect, who measured in at 6-foot-3 and 263 pounds on his visit, is expected to start out at the Jack linebacker position when he gets to Alabama, but defensive coordinator Kirby Smart said he could still move to inside linebacker or the other outside linebacker spot.

6:50 a.m. CT -- WR Robert Foster (Monaca, Penn.): Last year, Amari Cooper put on a show all week at the Under Armour All-America Game. It was just a preview of what’s to come for Tide fans as Cooper went on to break all the freshman receiving records at Alabama. This year, it was Foster who put his talents on display at the Under Armour game, proving to be one of the top wide receivers in the country. It might be tough to make the same type of impact that Cooper made with all of Bama's receivers returning, but his talent is clear. If Foster can adapt to the offense quickly, he has a shot at getting on the field as a freshman despite the depth at his position.

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Watch: Henry, Howard talk signings

February, 6, 2013
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Tom Rinaldi interviews Alabama early enrollees Derrick Henry, the No. 9 player in the ESPN 150, and O.J. Howard, who's ranked No. 45. Henry and Howard talk about the early arrival in Tuscaloosa and the benefits of avoiding National Signing Day drama.

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