Thursday, February 7, 2013
Alabama: 2014 prospects to watch
By Greg Ostendorf
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- With signing day 2013 wrapped up, it’s time to turn our attention to the 2014 recruits. Here are five players Alabama will be targeting for next year’s class:
TE Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte, N.C./Christian) Although Alabama signed ESPN 150 tight end O.J. Howard on Wednesday, the Tide missed on a number of other tight end prospects -- Hunter Henry, Josh McNeil and Greg Taboada. The coaching staff will likely target the position again in 2014, and the top player available is Blazevich, a Watch List tight end. He has offers from all over but recently said he is considering only Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Ole Miss. He was in Miami to watch the Tide take home their second national championship in as many years.
DE Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) Hand is an elite defensive end who is considered by most to be the No. 1 recruit in the country. Sound familiar? Names like Jadeveon Clowney and Robert Nkemdiche should come to mind. Alabama recruited both prospects but didn’t land either. The Tide are hoping to change that trend in 2014. Hand released a new top five earlier this week, and Alabama made the cut. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound star visited Tuscaloosa over the summer and was blown away. He has high praise for the Tide’s program, but so did Nkemdiche at this time last year.
CB Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover) The No. 1 cornerback in the state -- maybe the Southeast -- whose father played for Alabama, no-brainer, right? Tide fans hope so. Based on his position and overall talent, Humphrey has to be toward the top of Alabama’s board. He’s a lockdown cornerback who is athletic and physical, which is what makes him so coveted by the UA coaching staff. There’s no doubt that he’ll have offers from every top program in the country if he doesn’t already, but the Tide are hoping to keep him close to home and let Nick Saban develop him.
OT Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe) Alabama put together a solid offensive line class for 2013, but the coaches missed on Laremy Tunsil, the only true left tackle target. Expect the Tide to again make the line a priority in 2014, and Robinson has the look of that prototypical left tackle. He is 6-6, 325 pounds. He has the strength to be a good run-blocker and the quickness to be a good pass-blocker. There are a lot of talented junior offensive line prospects who already have Alabama high on their list, but Robinson might be at the top of the Tide’s wish list.
RB Bo Scarbrough (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Northridge) Scarbrough is the lone commitment for Alabama in 2014, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy to hang on to him. The local native has already expressed interest in taking all of his visits, and expect him to enjoy the recruiting process. Also, the Tide signed four ESPN 150 running backs in 2013, meaning the position isn’t a priority for 2014, but athletes like Scarbrough don’t come around every day, especially in your backyard. Regardless of what position the 6-2, 215-pound prospect plays at the next level, he’ll make an impact.