Alabama Football Recruiting: Meet the Crimson Tide's 2014 Class

Marc Torrence@marctorrenceAlabama Lead WriterFebruary 5, 2014

Alabama Football Recruiting: Meet the Crimson Tide's 2014 Class

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    Dave Martin/Associated Press

    Nick Saban has once again brought in the nation’s No. 1 signing class, according to all four major recruiting sites.

    The 2014 class consists of 26 members plus a transfer and meets a lot of needs the Crimson Tide had at critical positions. It also puts them back on track to the top of the college football world.

    With that, let’s go right ahead and meet every member of the Tide’s 2014 class, in order of position, that has signed a letter on intent, either on signing day or earlier in January.

    Note: Elisha Shaw also technically committed to the Tide on national signing day; however he is likely to receive a medical scholarship, according to The Tuscaloosa News' Cecil Hurt.

     

    As always, all recruiting information comes courtesy of 247Sports and the 247Sports Composite Ranking.

David Cornwell

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    6’5”, 241 lbs

    4-star QB, No. 79 overall

    Norman North (Norman, Okla.)

    Stats from final full season: 191-of-338, 2,742 yards, 27 touchdowns, eight interceptions

    Other finalists: Arkansas, Auburn, Indiana

    Commit date: June 14, 2013

    Analysis: Cornwell missed the last half of his final year of high school with a knee injury but is on schedule to be ready to go by the start of spring practice. He will challenge incoming Jacob Coker and others for the starting quarterback job but could still contribute down the road if he doesn’t initially win it.

Jacob Coker

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    6’5”, 230 lbs

    3-star QB

    Florida State transfer (Mobile, Ala.)

    2013 stats: 18-of-36, 250 yards, no touchdowns, one interception

    Other finalists: None

    Commit date: January 26, 2014

    Analysis: While Coker won’t count against the 25 signee cap the SEC imposes on its schools, he’ll get to campus at the same time as everyone else in May (assuming he graduates on time). Coker will immediately challenge and is an early favorite for the starting quarterback job.

Bo Scarbrough

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    6’2”, 225 lbs

    5-star ATH, No. 16 overall

    Northridge (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)

    Other finalists: UCLA, Notre Dame, Ole Miss

    Commit date: September 7, 2012

    Analysis: Scarbrough can do a lot of things on both sides of the ball. He’ll most likely start out at running back or wide receiver and work his way from there. Wherever he lands, Alabama has landed an elite talent.

Cameron Sims

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    6’4”, 199 lbs

    4-star WR, No. 84 overall

    Ouachita Parish (Monroe, La.)

    Other finalists: Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia

    Commit date: August 24, 2013

    Analysis: Sims will face a steep road ahead of him at wide receiver, one of Alabama’s deepest positions. His most likely opportunity to contribute will come in 2015, when all of Alabama’s top five receivers from 2013 will most likely be gone.

Derek Kief

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    6’5”, 197 lbs

    4-star WR, No. 221 overall

    LaSalle (Cincinnati, Ohio)

    Senior-year stats: 46 catches, 586 yards, seven touchdowns

    Other finalists: Arkansas, Boston College, Bowling Green

    Commit date: June 16, 2013

    Analysis: Like Sims, Kief will have to really wow coaches to show that he can contribute from Day 1. Still, in Sims and Kief, Alabama now has two big targets for future Tide quarterbacks.

Ty Flournoy-Smith

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    6’3”, 230 lbs

    3-star TE, No. 42 overall JUCO prospect

    Georgia Military College (Moultrie, Ga.)

    Other finalists: Louisville

    Commit date: February 3, 2014

    Analysis: Flournoy-Smith gives Alabama another tight end who can make noise in the passing game, something Lane Kiffin would be wise to utilize next season. He was a late add to the class but a welcome one nonetheless.

Cameron Robinson

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    6’7”, 335 lbs

    5-star OL, No. 4 overall

    West Monroe (West Monroe, La.)

    Other finalists: Arkansas, Auburn, LSU

    Commit date: December 13, 2013

    Analysis: Robinson is the top signee in Alabama’s 2014 class, and he will have a chance to compete for the vacant left tackle spot right away. He enrolled in January and will be able to take part in spring practice to give him a head start.

Dominick Jackson

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    Photo Courtesy of 247Sports

    6’7”, 304 lbs

    4-star JUCO OL, No. 2 overall JUCO prospect

    College of San Mateo (San Mateo, Calif.)

    Other finalists: Arizona State, Arkansas

    Commit date: June 26, 2013

    Analysis: In Alabama’s mammoth offensive line class, Jackson is the other candidate besides Robinson to see playing time right away, as he already has experience at the junior college level.

Ross Pierschbacher

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    6’4”, 290 lbs

    4-star OL, No. 76 overall

    Cedar Falls (Cedar Falls, Iowa)

    Other finalists: Boise State, Iowa

    Commit date: August 11, 2013

    Analysis: Saban has called offensive line the most difficult position to master on a football team, and for that reason linemen usually redshirt their first year on campus, unless they’re standout talents. Expect Pierschbacher to do the same, but he figures to be a big piece later on down the road.

JC Hassenauer

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    6’2.5”, 292 lbs

    4-star OL, No. 172 overall

    East Ridge (St. Paul, Minn.)

    Other finalists: Minnesota, Vanderbilt

    Commit date: June 17, 2013

    Analysis: Hassenauer is similar to Pierschbacher (no, not just because he has a long name) in that he’ll likely redshirt but play in a few years. Alabama’s offensive line is clearly in good hands going forward.

Joshua Casher

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    6’1”, 297 lbs

    4-star OL, No. 260 overall

    St. Paul’s Episcopal (Mobile, Ala.)

    Other finalists: Auburn, Florida, Florida State

    Commit date: October 29, 2013

    Analysis: In Casher, Alabama adds yet another stud offensive lineman and St. Paul’s prospect, where AJ McCarron and Jacob Coker both played high school ball. Expect Casher to also redshirt his first year on campus.

Montel McBride

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    6’4”, 329 lbs

    3-star OL, No. 422 overall

    Plant City (Plant City, Fla.)

    Other finalists: Auburn, FIU, Florida State

    Commit date: July 2, 2013

    Analysis: McBride rounds out a stellar offensive line class for Saban and Co. He is one of just four 3-stars in this class.

Da'Shawn Hand

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    6’4”, 265 lbs

    5-star DE, No. 5 overall

    Woodbridge (Woodbridge, Va.)

    Senior-year stats: 16 sacks

    Other finalists: Michigan, Florida

    Commit date: November 14, 2013

    Analysis: Hand joins Robinson and Tony Brown as the three top-10 prospects in this class, and chances are they’ll line up against each other in practice some days. He should be able to come in and contribute from Day 1 like Jonathan Allen and A’Shawn Robinson in 2013.

Josh Frazier

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    6’3”, 335 lbs

    4-star DT, No. 85 overall

    Har-Ber (Springdale, Ark.)

    Other finalists: Arkansas, Texas A&M

    Commit date: November 23, 2013

    Analysis: With Alabama missing out on 5-star defensive tackle Matt Elam, Frazier appears set to be the nose tackle of the future. He brings great size and ability to a defensive front that will be loaded in 2014.

Jarran Reed

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    6’4”, 310 lbs

    4-star JUCO DT, No. 13 overall JUCO prospect

    East Mississippi Community College (Chatham, Va.)

    2013 stats: 66 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks

    Other finalists: Mississippi State, Tennessee

    Commit date: December 4, 2013

    Analysis: Reed will have a shot at seeing some time at nose tackle this year, where Alabama was noticeably lacking a dominant option in the middle.

D.J. Pettway

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    Crystal Logiudice-USA TODAY Sports

    6’3”, 250 lbs

    4-star JUCO DE, No. 15 overall JUCO prospect

    East Mississippi Community College (Pensacola, Fla.)

    2013 stats: 45 tackles 18.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks

    Other finalists: Florida State, Tennessee

    Commit date: December 18, 2013

    Analysis: Now in his second stint at Alabama, Pettway will get a chance to play in a deep defensive front. He showed off impressive pass-rushing skills in limited action before he was dismissed from the team last February in connection with an on-campus robbery, per CBS Sports.

Johnny Dwight

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    6’2.5”, 303 lbs

    3-star DL, No. 429 overall

    Wilcox County (Rochelle, Ga.)

    Other finalists: LSU, North Carolina

    Commit date: June 4, 2013

    Analysis: Dwight is most likely headed for a redshirt with so much talent in front of him on the defensive line. Still, he is a promising prospect with a lot of upside who could develop into a solid contributor.

O.J. Smith

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    6’2”, 320 lbs

    3-star DE, No. 398 overall

    Airline (Bossier City, La.)

    Other finalists: Mississippi State, Hawaii

    Commit date: May 24, 2013

    Analysis: After some consternation, Smith decided not to decommit and sign with the Tide, according to TideSports.com’s Andrew Bone. Smith caps off a defensive line class that’s almost as impressive as the offensive line.

Rashaan Evans

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    6’3”, 220 lbs

    5-star OLB, No. 15 overall

    Auburn (Auburn, Ala.)

    Senior-year stats: 77 tackles, 43 tackles for loss, 17.5 sacks

    Other finalists: Auburn

    Commit date: February 5, 2014

    Analysis: Evans was easily the biggest get of the day for Alabama, because he was the only get. Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart once again pulled the top player in the state from Auburn High School to Tuscaloosa, doing the same with Reuben Foster last year. It’s going to be hard to keep a talent like Evans off the field next year.

Christian Miller

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    6’4”, 222 lbs

    4-star OLB, No. 39 overall

    Spring Valley (Columbia, S.C.)

    Senior-year stats: 188 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 24 sacks

    Other finalists: Clemson, Florida, Florida State

    Commit date: July 25, 2013

    Analysis: Miller fits the mold of outside linebacker in Alabama’s 3-4 defense. With Evans in the mix, it will make it that much harder for Miller to get on the field in his freshman year, but he could make an impact in special teams.

Shaun Dion Hamilton

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    6’0”, 240 lbs

    4-star ILB, No. 203 overall

    Carver (Montgomery, Ala.)

    Other finalists: Auburn, Clemson

    Commit date: April 17, 2013

    Analysis: Hamilton will be part of a group of inside linebackers looking to fill the role of the departed C.J. Mosley. He is also a candidate to contribute on special teams.

Keith Holcombe

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    6’4”, 210 lbs

    4-star LB, No. 281 overall

    Hillcrest (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)

    Other finalists: Kentucky, Mississippi State

    Commit date: July 30, 2013

    Analysis: Holcombe is one of two Tuscaloosa prospects in this class and might just be the sleeper of the group. He isn’t the most highly rated by a long shot, but he has good speed and instincts that make a solid middle linebacker.

Tony Brown

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    6’0”, 188 lbs

    5-star CB, No. 9 overall

    Ozen (Beaumont, Texas)

    Other finalists: LSU, USC, Texas, Ohio State

    Commit date: January 2, 2014

    Analysis: With the cornerback position seemingly wide open heading into spring and summer, Brown, along with fellow cornerback signee Marlon Humphrey, will have the best chance to start of anyone on this list. Brown is already enrolled and will also be on the track team.

Marlon Humphrey

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    6’1”, 175 lbs

    5-star CB, No. 12 overall

    Hoover (Birmingham, Ala.)

    Other finalists: Florida State

    Commit date: January 29, 2014

    Analysis: With Humphrey and Brown, Alabama filled its most immediate need, which is a true shutdown corner. Humphrey has tremendous speed and will also run track with Brown.

Laurence "Hootie" Jones

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    6’2”, 220 lbs

    4-star S, No. 50 overall

    Neville (Monroe, La.)

    Other finalists: LSU, Arkansas

    Commit date: January 2, 2014

    Analysis: Alabama will have a vacant spot at safety this season that Jones could fill if he impresses in camp. He is an early enrollee, so he’ll have time to learn the defense and assimilate into the team.

Ronnie Clark

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    6’2.5”, 215 lbs

    4-star DB, No. 70 overall

    Calera (Calera, Ala.) 

    Other finalists: Auburn

    Commit date: October 4, 2013

    Analysis: Clark can play a number of positions—he played quarterback in high school in addition to defensive duties. He will most likely start off at safety, a position of need for the Tide.

JK Scott

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    6’4”, 185 lbs

    3-star K/P

    J.K. Mullen (Denver, Colo.)

    Other finalists: Notre Dame, Arizona, Colorado

    Commit date: February 5, 2014

    Analysis: Scott handled kicking and punting while in high school, and Alabama will have vacancies at both positions. He will most likely battle for the punting job, with rising sophomore Adam Griffith entrenched as kicker.

Recruiting Heat Map

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    Check out this recruiting heat map that shows the top 200 recruits across the country.