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October 11, 2005

Bama building an OL

With Bealeton (Va.) Liberty offensive lineman Alex Stadler committing to Alabama yesterday, the Tide continues to build an impressive offensive line class.

Stadler, Virginia's top offensive line prospect, joins Rivals250 offensive line selections Taylor Pharr and David Ross and three-star center prospect Brian Motley on the Alabama commit list.

The Crimson Tide also remains in great shape with Birmingham's Andre Smith, the nation's top offensive lineman. Landing Smith would make it harder for any other school to claim the nation's best incoming group of offensive lineman.

One also must consider that the potential incoming talent will blend with Alabama's current young talent on the offensive line. Freshmen guards Antoine Caldwell and B.J. Stabler, along with sophomore tackle Chris Capps are currently starting for the sixth-ranked Tide. Throw in the guys coming in and once the players develop, Alabama could have one of the nation's most dominant units in the coming years.

Snead takes in Red River Shootout

Rivals100 quarterback and Florida commit Jevan Snead of Stephenville, Texas, watched second-ranked Texas defeat Oklahoma 45-12 on Saturday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Despite watching the game, Snead confirmed that he is 100 percent committed to the Gators and just wanted to watch the game. He cited Urban Meyer's offensive system, which is similar to what he has run in high school, as a big reason that he wants to go to Florida.

Should Snead's commitment to the Gators waver, then it could be interesting with regards to Jacksonville, Fla., quarterback Tim Tebow, the nation's top dual-threat prospect. Tebow doesn't appear to be the lock for Florida that he once was, giving a hard look to Alabama and others, but one could understand how that could change if he is the only signal caller that the Gators take in this class.

Lockett not a linebacker

Hahnville (La.) defensive end Kentrell Lockett told Rivals.com recruiting analyst Jeremy Patterson that in-state power LSU has begun to recruit him again. The 6-foot-4, 212-pound prospect said that the Tigers coaching staff told him that he would have to redshirt a year and put on weight in Baton Rouge and even suggested that he may give linebacker a try.

"I told them I am not interested in playing linebacker," he said.

Lockett, the No. 12 weakside defensive end prospect in the country, is an emerging sleeper prospect and likes Alabama, Florida, Ole Miss, West Virginia and UCLA.

Williams wants to be a Gator

Rivals100 wide receiver Justin Williams told Mark Wheeler of GatorBait.net that he was set to give a verbal commitment to Florida sometime in the next two weeks.

Williams, a four-star prospect from Folkston, Ga., is one of the top playmakers in the south for this class. He will give Florida its second verbal commitment from the Peach State, joining offensive guard Maurice Hurt from Milledgeville. He also will be the fifth out-of-state commitment, compared to six Floridians.

This continues a striking balance in the Gators' class between out-of-state prospects and prospects from within the talent-rich Sunshine State.

Stadler shows Sparky's success

Stadler's verbal was a big pick-up for Alabama running backs coach Sparky Woods. An underrated recruiter, Woods also is the lead recruiter for four-star Alexandria, La., running back Chris Brown, who has the Tide in his top two, along with Oklahoma.

Woods' recruiting territory also includes the state of Mississippi, where Alabama has targeted several top prospects, including defensive back Justin Woodall and linebacker Derrick Odom.

Should he land a few more top prospects, the former South Carolina head coach and Mississippi State assistant could be on his way to having his reputation as a stellar recruiter known by more than just college football insiders.

Rebels to get visit from big in-state back

One of the newest members of the Rivals100, Meridian (Miss.) standout Cordera Eason has set an official visit to Ole Miss for the first weekend in December.

Last Friday night, during Meridian's 41-0 victory against Hattiesburg, the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Eason was clearly the best player on the field. He rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns, bringing his total to 871 yards and nine touchdowns for the season.

It looks good for the Rebels in this situation and Eason, while not going on the record with a favorite, has consistently mentioned Mississippi throughout the process. Getting the No. 76 prospect in the nation to potentially drive the running game for the next three-to-four seasons could give Ole Miss fans hope during what has been a disappointing debut for new head coach Ed Orgeron.

Warren still solid with FSU, for now

Alcoa (Tenn.) five-star defensive end Brandon Warren remains committed to Florida State despite taking an unofficial visit to nearby Tennessee for the Vols 27-14 loss to Georgia on Saturday.

Warren said that his trip was simply to make sure he was making the right decision in heading to Tallahassee and that he remains committed to the Seminoles.

Given the pressure that Warren likely will face to ultimately sign with UT (Alcoa is 15 miles from Knoxville), it wouldn't be a huge shock if the Vols get back into the thick of things with the 6-foot-2, 230-pound talent.

Warren was one of two new five-star prospects, along with Notre Dame running back commit James Aldridge in the most recent reshuffling of the Rivals100.

MSU lands a sleeper

New Mississippi State commit Andre Wicker of Booker T. Washington High in Atlanta gets overshadowed at times by teammate Reshad Jones, the nation's top safety prospect. But the 6-foot, 221-pounder is a very big pick-up in his own right.

Wicker shows great tenacity and a nose for the football on film and also could project at either linebacker or defensive end in Starkville.

It was an impressive grab for Bulldogs wide receivers coach Guy Holliday. Arkansas was one of his second choices and Razorbacks assistant Tracey Rocker, who recruits the Atlanta area for the Hogs, has made a living pulling prospects from the metro area to Fayetteville. Wicker is Holliday's second verbal commitment of the recruiting season, joining three-star running back Kenny Ashley from Venice, Calif.

This, that and the other

Sumrall (Miss.) offensive guard Tyler Graves has been getting calls from Vanderbilt and say he will visit Nashville officially. Commodores running backs coach Kenny Carter is his recruiter...Four-star Georgia wide receiver commit Ronnie Tyler, from Wagener, S.C., took an unofficial visit to South Carolina for the Gamecocks' 44-16 victory against Kentucky this past Saturday. He remains committed to the Bulldogs, but says he likely will take all five official visits…Kentucky picked up its first verbal commitment from a Georgia prospect Monday when Dunwoody tight end Chris Goode pledged to the Wildcats. Kentucky signed seven prospects from the Peach State a year ago…North Little Rock (Ark.) linebacker Van Stumon, the state's highest-rated uncommitted prospect, has 32 tackles for loss this season. Barring anything unforeseen, expect the Rivals250 selection to sign with the in-state Hogs….Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson defensive end Jermaine Cunningham says that Georgia, Florida and Auburn are his top three schools. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder plays for one of the Peach State's top high school programs.

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