NCF On The Trail: Grant Hill

#AskLoogs: Robinson's impact

October, 22, 2013
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Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation senior analyst Tom Luginbill a question about your team? Tweet it to @TomLuginbill using the hashtag #AskLoogs.



Aside from the quarterback position, I would argue that playing left tackle as a true freshman is the most difficult adjustment any player can make entering into college, if thrust into duty right out of the gate. That being said, Cameron Robinson might be the most equipped player we have seen over the last eight seasons to do it if the opportunity presents itself, which it just might.

As it relates to Grant Hill, Hill can play anywhere along the line and he is a more physically talented version of Barrett Jones. I believe in the long term, Hill will be the anchor to this group from a leadership and versatility standpoint, but he does not possess Robinson’s rare physical talents, particularly as a tackle. Remember, as it relates to playing early, physical ability is rarely the area that prevents this from happening. As with all true freshmen, including Robinson, it will come down to how much he can handle mentally and competitively, and his aptitude to process will be tested. These are the areas that will dictate just how fast Robinson comes along.

Signing day primer: Alabama 

January, 23, 2013
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A little behind on the recruiting trail? Worry not -- TideNation has you covered. To catch you up on where the Alabama recruiting class of 2013 stands, we'll take you through the high points, including how the coaching staff has addressed certain needs and set the team up for seasons to come.

Team needs: With three of five starting offensive linemen and two of three defensive lineman starters off to the NFL draft, Alabama was forced to focus on finding help in the trenches. Nick Saban and the rest of the UA coaching staff had success filling those needs with the 2013 class, particularly along the offensive line. The Crimson Tide secured the commitments of four offensive linemen, one coming by way of a junior college in New York. Leon Brown, who was ranked in the top 20 of all junior college prospects by ESPN, could find himself competing for the starting right tackle job vacated by D.J. Fluker.

Derrick Henry
Derek Tyson/ESPN.comDerrick Henry is the only five-star commitment Alabama has and can fit at a variety of position.
Help is on the way: Outside of the lines, Alabama was once again in search of talented athletes to continue bringing potency to an offense that's been on a steady rise the past few years. Amari Cooper and T.J. Yeldon were difference makers in 2012 and there could be one or two who do the same this year. Derrick Henry, the No. 1 athlete in the country and Alabama's lone five-star commitment, could be the biggest wild card of the class. At 6-foot-3 and 243 pounds, he's an option at tailback, H-back and possibly linebacker. He'll begin at running back, where he set a national career rushing yards record at Yulee High in Florida.

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)

White Team offense

Quarterback: Kevin Olsen (Miami)

Running back: Keith Ford (Oklahoma)

Receiver: Laquon Treadwell, Ryan Green (Florida State), Jalin Marshall (Ohio State)

Tight end: Hunter Henry (Arkansas)

Offensive tackle: Derwin Gray (Maryland), Dorian Johnson (Pittsburgh)

Offensive guard: Patrick Kugler (Michigan), David Dawson (Michigan)

Center: Scott Quessenberry (UCLA)

White Team defense

Defensive end: Carl Lawson (Auburn), Joey Bosa (Ohio State)

Defensive tackle: Henry Poggi (Michigan), Kelsey Griffin (South Carolina)

Inside linebacker: Reuben Foster, Yannick Ngakoue

Outside linebacker: Trey Johnson

Safety: Max Redfield, Antonio Conner

Cornerback: Gareon Conley (Ohio State), Shaq Wiggins (Georgia)

White Team special teams

Long snapper: Brendan Turelli

Kicker: Ryan Santoso (Minnesota)

Punter: Shane Tripucka

Captains: Ryan Green, Hunter Henry, Patrick Kugler, Reuben Foster

#UAGame practice: Day 4 notebook 

January, 3, 2013
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video

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- With just a player walk-through Thursday, things were relatively easy in Day 4 of practice at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports. A four-star defensive tackle gave further explanation about his decision to decommit from an SEC school, several players talked about who impressed them the most, and an ESPN 150 safety changed his decision date.


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#UAGame practice: Day 3 notebook 

January, 2, 2013
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Things heated up at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports for Day 3 of practice. With the temperature rising to nearly 80 degrees Wednesday, friendly competition and the battle between prospects to prove themselves escalated. And the first commitments -- and decommitments -- of the Under Armour All-America Game were made. To see the impact of those moves, check out our updated class rankings.


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Weekend Rewind: Alabama 

December, 10, 2012
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- For the first time since early October, the University of Alabama had a weekend without a football game, and it gave the Crimson Tide coaching staff a chance to host a group of official visitors.

The most notable visitor was ESPN 150 athlete Kendell Beckwith (Jackson, La./East Feliciana), ranked No. 19 overall. The Louisiana native has narrowed down his list to Alabama and LSU and plans to make a decision in January at the Under Armour All-America Game. He enjoyed his official visit to UA over the weekend.

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O.J. Howard talks official visit to Bama 

December, 9, 2012
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- ESPN 150 tight end O.J. Howard (Prattville, Ala./Autauga Academy) isn’t far from the University of Alabama. Since he committed more than a year ago, he has made plenty of trips to Tuscaloosa. On the weekend, he took his first and only official visit to UA.

“It went well,” Howard said. “You only take one official, and it went well. I really enjoyed it. Overall, it was a very productive weekend.

“We went to eat at Coach’s house a couple times. Then we got to go ride four-wheelers and stuff like that. We got to go out with some of the players. We did an academic tour, toured the campus, the facilities, the football facilities, the locker room, the stadium. It was just stuff that makes you feel like you’re at home. It was fun.”

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2013 OL Hill commits to Bama 

February, 22, 2012
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HUNTSVILLE - The University of Alabama landed its second commitment in as many days when Huntsville High School offensive lineman Grant Hill gave a verbal pledge to Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban.

“That’s where I belong,” Hill said. “I can see myself going to Alabama. I feel like they will develop me better than any other school as both a person and a football player. I feel like the coaches are the best fit for me."

Hill visited Tuscaloosa on Saturday for Alabama’s junior day over the weekend where he spent the majority of the day with UA offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland.

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