Samaje Perine Commits to Oklahoma: Where Do Alabama, TCU Turn Now?

Andrew Kulha@@AKonSportsSenior Analyst IIIMarch 14, 2013

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

The Oklahoma Sooners have picked up the commitment of four-star running back Samaje Perine

This is a big commitment for Bob Stoops and his program, as Perine is a recruit with tremendous potential. He's 5'11'', 233 pounds (Rivals), so he's very much so built in the mold of a "bruiser back,"but he also runs a 4.41 40 according to

With his combination of size and speed, Perine projects to be very good at the college level.

He should be extremely effective between the tackles, but he also has enough speed to bounce it outside and pick up chunks of yards at a time.

Max Olson of reports on Perine's commitment:

After making a visit to take in an Oklahoma practice Tuesday, Samaje Perine knew he didn’t need to wait any longer. 

The ESPN Watch List running back from Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson went home, talked it over with his parents and decided it was time to make it official: He’s going to be a Sooner. 

On Wednesday, the 5-foot-11, 213-pound power back became Oklahoma’s third 2014 verbal commit. 

“It feels great,” he said. “I had a good relationship with the coaches and I felt like home away from home.” 

By picking the Sooners, it's worth noting that Perine did turn down the Alabama Crimson Tide and TCU Horned Frogs.

Where do those two programs turn on the recruiting trail now?

For Alabama, there's really nothing to worry about. Forget the fact that Nick Saban is arguably the best recruiter in college football, and let's not even get into the national championship prestige or dynasty status of his program.

From a pure depth-chart-and-needs standpoint, Perine would have just been a luxury for Alabama. The Crimson Tide already have a stacked depth chart at running back highlighted by sophomore T.J. Yeldon, but it also features sophomore Kenyan Drake, sophomore Dee Hart and junior Jalston Fowler. That's not even to mention 2013 four-star running back recruit Derrick Henry or his classmates, four-star running backs Alvin Kamara, Altee Tenpenny and Tyren Jones.

The Crimson Tide also have a commitment from 2014 four-star running back/athlete Bo Scarbrough.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that running back shouldn't be an issue for Saban's squad.

Since that's the case, Alabama may want to turn their attention to a few other big names on the recruiting trail. I dare say five-star defensive end and No. 1 overall recruit Da'Shawn Hand will be a priority.

Alabama is in his top five, though Michigan and Virginia Tech are the top two according to 247Sports. Five-star cornerback Marlon Humphrey will also be a "must have" recruit for the Crimson Tide, and Alabama is considered the favorite on his 247Sports interest list. Closing on his commitment is going to be big for Alabama.

Of course, and almost needless to say, those are just two of many big-time recruits with interest in the Saban Tide.

For TCU, losing out on Perine's commitment does hurt a bit more, especially since he's from Texas.

That said, the Horned Frogs do already boast the commitment of four-star running back Justin Twine from Hemphill, Texas, and they do have good current depth at running back.

As far as targets are concerned, the two big names TCU should be focusing on now are four-star weak-side defensive end Myles Garret and four-star outside linebacker Edwin Freeman.

Garret is ranked as the No. 5 weak-side defensive end in the country (247Sports Composite) and he's a big state of Texas recruit. TCU is in the top three of his 247Sports interest list, but the Horned Frogs will have to out-recruit LSU and Texas A&M.

Freeman is another important state of Texas recruit and he's ranked as the No. 11 outside linebacker in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite. TCU is in his respective top three (247Sports), but so are Texas A&M and Oklahoma. 

TCU has a lot of work to do on the recruiting trail, as both of those players would be marquee pickups. Alabama, on the other hand, will be just fine per usual, though Saban and his staff do have some very notable recruiting races to partake in.

Perine committing to Oklahoma will go down as a big recruiting win for the Sooners. For Alabama and TCU, it's time to move on and get back on the recruiting trail.

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