Alabama Crimson Tide: Trey Johnson

When Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) announced he was planning to take official visits to Alabama, Ohio State and Tennessee shortly after his team’s state runner-up finish, BuckeyeNation said the trip to Ohio would be important.

Developments since then prove just how vital this weekend will be for the Buckeyes as they try to round out an already stellar defensive recruiting class by adding the ESPN 150 safety.


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Hackenberg, Olsen earn UA Game starts

January, 3, 2013
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Black Team offense

Quarterback: Christian Hackenberg (Penn State)

Running back: Alvin Kamara

Receiver: Alvin Bailey (Florida), Robert Foster (Alabama), Damore'ea Stringfellow (Washington)

Tight end: O.J. Howard (Alabama)

Offensive tackle: Darius James (Texas), Denver Kirkland

Offensive guard: Grant Hill (Alabama), Joas Aguilar (Texas A&M)

Center: Hunter Bivin (Notre Dame)

Captains: Kelvin Taylor, Hunter Bivin, Robert Nkemdiche, Ben Boulware

Black Team defense

Defensive end: Robert Nkemdiche, Elijah Daniel

Defensive tackle: Greg Gilgmore (LSU), Kennedy Tulimasealii (Hawaii)

Inside linebacker: Ben Boulware (Clemson)

Outside linebacker: Alex Anzalone (Notre Dame), Matthew Thomas

Safety: Keanu Neal (Florida), Leon McQuay III

Cornerback: Vernon Hargreaves III (Florida), Tarean Folston (Notre Dame)

Black Team special teams

Long snapper: Tyler Kluver (Iowa)

Kicker/punter: Sean Covington (UCLA)

(Read full post)

#UAGame practice: Day 2 notebook 

January, 1, 2013
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- There were several standouts at Tuesday's Day 2 practice for the Under Armour All-America Game (5 p.m. ET Friday, ESPN). Two players -- one for Team Nitro, the other for Team Highlight -- said they are closing in on their college decisions and will make their announcements Friday. Meanwhile, the nation's No. 1 player left the field at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports with an injury.

Folston closing in on decision

Four-star athlete Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) is set to make his college decision Friday. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound ESPN 150 will chose between Notre Dame, Florida State and Oregon.

Folston has been a standout defensive back during the first two days of practice, but he's being recruited by all three of his final schools to play running back.

He said he likes the familiar feeling he gets from Notre Dame and Oregon.

"It's just a home feeling, the fans around there are great fans. The community is all involved in football. It's just a nice town and a home feeling environment. With Oregon, it's pretty much the same as Notre Dame. They are two different schools but I call it 'the village,' just everybody in that place comes together and helps support the team."

Florida State is the only school Folston is considering from his home state, but he insists distance won't be a factor in his decision.


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#BlueChipBattles: Dec. 21

December, 21, 2012
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Dee Liner, Reuben Foster, Tray MatthewsESPN.comReuben Foster (center) is torn between good friends Dee Liner (left) and Tray Matthews (right).

No. 1 ILB Reuben Foster has voiced his desire to play with at least one of his SEC-bound friends next season. But will he follow Tray Matthews to Georgia or hook up with Dee Liner wherever the ESPN 150 DL settles? It remains to be seen, but the mystery surrounding his recruitment keeps Foster at the top of our #BlueChipBattles.

Each week, RecruitingNation summons its writers from around the country to compile a list of the top 10 battles for elite football recruits leading up to February's signing day.

Here are this week's top battles Insider, and you can take a shot at ranking the top 10 recruiting battles on SportsNation.

The O-zone: Eyes on WR Foster 

October, 11, 2012
10/11/12
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TideNation recruiting writer Greg Ostendorf brings you another edition of The O-zone, a confidential look inside Alabama recruiting. Get the latest updates from the gridiron and the hardwood as it pertains to the Crimson Tide.

UA visits Foster

Alabama is looking to add another wide receiver in this class, and the top option is still ESPN 150 star Robert Foster (Monaco, Pa./Central Valley). The Tide made it clear that he was a priority when UA assistant coach Mike Groh traveled up to Pennsylvania over the weekend to pay him a visit. According to Central Valley head coach Mark Lyons, Groh spent the day with Foster at school, took in his game that night, and the two grabbed a bite to eat afterwards. At this point, Foster is considering Alabama, Ohio State and Pittsburgh and plans to take official visits to all three schools before he makes a decision. Distance is not thought to be a major factor in Foster’s decision.

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2013 Breakdown: Linebackers 

July, 16, 2012
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The strength of the University of Alabama’s 2012 recruiting class was at the linebacker position. The Crimson Tide signed five linebackers in the class, four ranked in the ESPN 150, but before it ever inked the 2012 class, the UA coaching staff landed the top linebacker in 2013, Reuben Foster. The nation’s No. 2 prospect committed to Alabama last summer at the Tide’s camp, but it wouldn’t stick. Last week, Foster flipped his commitment to Auburn, leaving Alabama searching for a linebacker in this year’s class. The position is not a priority for the Tide because of the talent they brought in last year, but they would like to add depth this year. At this point, Alabama has one commitment from Jonathan Allen, who is expected to play Jack linebacker when he gets to Tuscaloosa.

Reuben Foster
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comWith Reuben Foster committed to Auburn, the Tide are focusing on other highly talented linebackers.
Jonathan Allen - Ashburn, Va.

Allen, the lone commitment at linebacker, has gone a bit under the radar for an ESPN 150 recruit. He committed to Alabama in May, choosing the Tide over the Florida Gators, and since then, there hasn’t been much fanfare. Listed as a defensive end, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound prospect is at his best when he’s rushing the quarterback, and that’s why the UA coaching staff likes him at the Jack linebacker position. He may be somewhat undersized for now, but he has the frame to add mass and shouldn’t have any trouble doing so when he gets into Alabama’s weight program. Allen has the potential to blossom into a dynamic pass-rusher for the Tide.

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The O-zone: July 11 

July, 11, 2012
7/11/12
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TideNation recruiting writer Greg Ostendorf brings you another edition of The O-zone, a confidential look inside Alabama recruiting. Get the latest updates from the gridiron and the hardwood as it pertains to the Crimson Tide.

In this week’s update:

  • Foster, Matthews plan visits
  • McNeil delays decision

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The O-zone: April 25 

April, 25, 2012
4/25/12
10:15
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TideNation recruiting writer Greg Ostendorf brings you another edition of The O-zone, a confidential look inside Alabama recruiting. Get the latest updates from the gridiron and the hardwood as it pertains to the Crimson Tide.

In this week’s update:

  • ESPN 150 trio to visit Alabama
  • UA targets Auburn commit

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