Class of 2008 SEC team recruiting needs

Originally Published: August 27, 2007
By Steve Muench | Scouts Inc.
Wide receiver
Getting Mobile, Ala.'s Brandon Gibson, who also considered Auburn and South Carolina, is a step in the right direction for a rebuilding Tide program. However, more work needs to be done here because DJ Hall, Keith Brown and Matt Cadell are all seniors and Will Oakley and Nikita Stover are both juniors. It's also worth noting that while new offensive coordinator Major Applewhite isn't implementing the same spread offense he ran at Rice last year, he is expected to sprinkle in multiple-receiver sets.
Tight End
Travis McCall, Nick Walker and Charles Hoke are all capable in-line blockers, but they offer little as receivers and that needs to change for Applegate's offense to be truly balanced. Though true freshman Chris Underwood out of Birmingham, Ala., has the potential to develop into a productive receiver, he isn't big enough to play an every-down role. Getting an upper-tier tight end next year should be a priority consequently.
Outside Linebacker
The Tide admittedly mixed in three-man fronts with its base four-man front last year, so the transition to a base 3-4 front won't be as difficult as it would be for a lot of other teams. However, the linebacker corps is loaded with seniors. Alabama has done a good job of addressing the middle by signing two inside linebackers this year, but it has yet to address the outside. It's important to realize the outside linebackers frequently rush the passer, because the Tide could fill this need by signing a defensive end.

Steve Muench played four years of Division I-AA football before joining Scouts Inc. in 2002. He has evaluated both NFL and college players for Scouts Inc., but his current focus is on the NFL draft.