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June 30, 2008

The numbers game

Alabama's incoming freshman class has officially added one more as running back Ivan Matchett, of Mobile St. Paul's, said he will enroll at the Capstone next week for the second summer school term. Matchett had expected to qualify in time to enroll for the first summer term with the majority of the signing class, but had to re-take a history course.

"I knew what I had as soon as the class was over a couple of weeks ago, but I guess it still had to go through the [NCAA] Clearinghouse and everything," Matchett said. "I had expected to come up in June, so it was sort of depressing. But I just had to get done what I had to get done, and now everything is clear."

Matchett, a Rivals.com three-star prospect, rushed for more than 2,000 yards as a senior in a state championship season for St. Paul's, and said he plans to move his possessions to the Capstone on July 7. One of Matchett's high school teammates and closest friends, signee Mark Barron, is already enrolled at UA.

UA coach Nick Saban said earlier this summer that 23 of the Crimson Tide's signees enrolled for the first summer term.

Matchett is the first among the others known to be enrolling for the second term. Others who have yet to enroll include Hargrave Military Academy lineman Kerry Murphy, Norcross (Ga.) athlete Devonta Bolton, and wide receiver Destin Hood, a teammate of Matchett's at St. Paul's. After being chosen in the second round of the Major League First-Year Players Draft (55th overall) on June 5, Hood is likely to pass on a college football career in favor of a pro baseball contract, which could be worth $1 million or more based on where he was chosen and his leverage as a major college football prospect. Two other UA signees, Melvin Ray and Brandon Lewis, will not enroll at UA due to a pro baseball contract and academic concerns, respectively.

Bolton has told BOL in previous interviews he expects his academic issues to be resolved, but could not be reached Monday. Norcross coach Keith Maloof said Monday that he is unaware of Bolton's status, and declined further comment. The second summer term is the second of several opportunities for incoming signees to enroll, with the final one coming when fall classes begin in August.

UA signed 32 players in February, two of whom (WR Chris Jackson and K Corey Smith) enrolled in January for the spring term.

Under NCAA rules, Alabama can bring in only 25 signees on scholarship in the fall. Matchett's enrollment makes 24 summer-school enrollees, but those enrolled in summer school do not necessarily count against the incoming limit of 25 on scholarship. That means both Murphy and Bolton could conceivably join UA this fall if both qualify.




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