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Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Top five '14 LSU-Bama recruiting battles

By Derek Tyson

The LSU-Alabama game has become the premier contest in college football over the past few seasons. The battle between these two schools, however, extends beyond the football field. The two powers annually go head to head on the recruiting trail for many top prospects, but this year's recruiting battles might be even more intense. Here’s a closer look at the top five 2014 recruiting battles between the two schools.

Leonard Fournette
No. 1 recruit Leonard Fournette is one of several elite prospects Alabama and LSU are battling each other for in the 2014 class.
RB Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine): The No. 1-ranked player in the country will have a big decision to make. LSU and Alabama both feature a downhill running attack that perfectly fits Fournette’s running style. Alabama is bringing in arguably the top offensive line class in the country. LSU, meanwhile, is the home-state team and could be losing two running backs to the NFL. The five-star running back is expected to unofficially visit Alabama this weekend. Hot Board prediction: LSU

DB Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover): The second of three expected five-star Alabama visitors this weekend, Humphrey has already been to Florida State, LSU and South Carolina. LSU is unlikely to land the nation's No. 9 overall recruit at this point, but Alabama is certainly right near the top of his list along with FSU. Could a win on the road help the Tigers get back in the picture? Only time will tell, but an incredible game atmosphere in Tuscaloosa should only help the Crimson Tide’s chances. Hot Board prediction: Alabama

DB Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen): Brown, the third five-star prospect, said on Tuesday that he is planning to officially visit Alabama this weekend. The No. 11-ranked player in the ESPN 300 has family ties to LSU, and the Tigers were thought by many to be the clear-cut leader. However, with a strong impression Alabama could find its way to near the top of Brown’s list after this weekend. LSU is likely still the team to beat, but anything is possible when a prospect goes on an official visit -- especially to a school that has won back-to-back national championships. Hot Board prediction: LSU

S Laurence “Hootie” Jones (Monroe, La./Neville): This four-star safety will be on an official visit to Alabama this weekend. Like Fournette, the battle for Jones will likely come down to LSU and Alabama. For LSU, keeping Jones in state is a top priority, but Alabama has been making a big push for the No. 22-ranked prospect in the ESPN 300. LSU appeared to be the team to beat, but things appear to be trending in Alabama’s direction as of late. A positive visit to Tuscaloosa over the weekend could shake things up for this talented safety. Hot Board prediction: Alabama

DT Gerald Willis III (New Orleans/Edna Karr): The No. 29-ranked player in the ESPN 300 is scheduled to visit Florida with his five-star teammate Speedy Noil this weekend, but rumors have surfaced that Willis might reconsider and take an unofficial to Alabama instead. Willis' older brother, Landon Collins, is a starting safety for Alabama. LSU is still the team to beat for Willis, but a strong showing could possibly get the Tide back in contention for this four-star defensive tackle. Hot Board prediction: LSU