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October 4, 2005

SEC Blitz: Tide high for talent

With a 31-3 victory against Florida at home last Saturday, Alabama made quite an impression on several recruits that were visiting Tuscaloosa.

Rivals100 members Andre Smith, Tim Tebow, and Tim Hawthorne, all arguably the Tide's top targets at their positions, came away from the game feeling good about the Crimson Tide.

One has to like Alabama's chances with Smith, the nation's top offensive lineman. The 6-foot-4, 325-pounder has attended multiple Crimson Tide home games this season and every time he gives a glowing report of his experience.

This is a prospect that raved about an uneventful 29-7 win against Middle Tennessee State in Alabama's opener. Though nothing is set in stone, the Crimson Tide appears to be in very good shape with the Birmingham star.

As for Tebow, the situation at Bama is better on paper than any other situation at any other school on top-rated dual-threat quarterback in America's final list, which includes the Tide, Michigan, Florida, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), LSU and Southern California. And though it's not a given that he can go in and beat out John Parker Wilson, the back-up to senior starter Brodie Croyle, the Tide's current depth chart at quarterback is more conducive to early playing time than others.

At Michigan, Chad Henne is just a sophomore and by all accounts would be tough to beat out. Behind him is junior Matt Gutierrez and talented freshman Ryan Forcier, whose younger brother Chris Forcier figures to be one of the top quarterbacks in the class of 2007.

Southern Cal has Mark Sanchez and John David Booty waiting in the wings.

LSU signed last year's top dual-threat quarterback in Ryan Perrilloux.

At Miami, the Hurricanes have a verbal commitment from four-star signal caller Pat Devlin already and have a solid Kirby Freeman behind current starter Kyle Wright, who is just a sophomore.

Florida State has a freshman starter in Drew Weatherford and a freshman back-up in Xavier Lee. Also, 2004 starter Wyatt Sexton should return after this year.

At Florida, which was long thought to be a lock for Tebow's school choice, the 6-foot-3, 217-pounder fits the offense. But this year's back-up, Josh Portis and Rivals100 selection Jevan Snead also do. That's an awfully crowded stable of quarterbacks, all of whom fit the system well.

The recruiting of Tebow could very well end up being one of the top storylines of the recruiting season and the Crimson Tide is right in the thick of things.

Hawthorne appears to be more open, but seeing a win like that, an obvious sign that the program is on its way back, can't hurt Alabama's chances here.

Ross set to announce

The state of Alabama's top center prospect, David Ross, also came away impressed with Saturday's game.

The Rivals250 selection will announce his choice between Alabama and Auburn on Tuesday.

Levy still a Rebel, Davis looking

Though Ole Miss currently is struggling, Rivals250 wide receiver Terry Levy still says he is firmly committed to the Rebels.

The 6-foot-2, 199-pounder pledged to Ole Miss in the spring and hasn't wavered. He added that he is going to try to make it to all of the Rebels' home football games this year.

But another Ole Miss commit, Tylertown (Miss.) offensive lineman Josh Davis, continues to look around. In his most recent interview, Davis expressed an interest in Maryland, Georgia, LSU and Texas.

Stacking the deck on The Plains

Auburn added its third big-time wide receiver prospect during the weekend when Wadley (Ala.) four-star prospect Terrell Zachery committed to the Tigers. Wadley joins fellow Rivals250 member Chris Slaughter of Fort Valley, Ga., and three-star speedster Alex Rose from Jacksonville, Fla.

These three, along with the commitments of Rivals250 member Mario Fannin and Rivals100 selection Benjamin Tate at running back will give emerging quarterback Brandon Cox and offensive coordinator Al Borges many weapons to dice up opposing defenses in the coming years.

Tigers in on emerging stars

LSU is in the thick of things for three prospects who have seen their stock soar in recent weeks and who also could help in the passing game in future seasons.

Ocean Springs (Miss.) tight end Richard Dickson is a prospect who keeps getting scholarship offers and is expected to climb into the Rivals250 later this week. He has offers from many of the SEC schools, but one has to think that the Tigers are in good shape here with tight ends coach Josh Henson on the trail.

Mobile (Ala.) Davidson wide receiver Jared White will make his debut in the Rivals100 today and is emerging as one of the top gamebreakers in the state of Alabama. White has maintained that LSU is his leader throughout the process it would not be surprising to see him commit at any point between now and Signing Day.

Milwaukee (Wisc.) Rufus King wide receiver Lance Kendricks says that the Bayou Bengals and Wisconsin are his top two. He is 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and impressed Rivals.com analysts at the Los Angeles NIKE camp in April. Kendricks will visit LSU for the Florida game on Oct. 15.

Smith close to being a Dawg

One gets the sense that Brookwood (Ga.) running back Cameron Smith will pledge to Georgia quite soon.

In fact, it's highly improbable for any of the other teams Smith currently is listing (UCLA, Tennessee, Virginia) to come into Gwinnett County, where Brookwood is located, and land a player that the Bulldogs want. The county produced such recent Georgia greats as David Greene, David Pollack along with current Bulldogs Des Williams and Mikey Henderson.

Smith had 35 carries for 347 yards in the third game of his high school season, a 44-23 win against East Coweta.

This, that and the other

South Carolina verbal commitment Rodney Paulk has 68 tackles through five games…There is talk from more than one source in Alabama that says Tennessee tight end commitment Michael Goggans may end up as a defensive end or tackle at the next level…Vanderbilt quarterback commit Jared Funk has led his Arlington Heights (Ill.) St. Viator team to an unbeaten start…Sebastian (Fla.) athlete Earl Everett is calling Kentucky his favorite.

More Recruiting Blitzes:
Big Ten: Irish keep rolling
Pac-10: One at a time for SC


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