Why Eddie Lacy and A.J. McCarron Could Be the Next Alabama Greats

Heath McGuffCorrespondent IJuly 4, 2009

Nick Saban has always had the ability to recruit some of the best high school athletes in the game of college football. This trend carried over into the 2009 recruiting class.

The Tide ranks first among all teams in landing four five-star players and 14 four-star players. They have accumulated 2,786 points, while SEC opponent LSU is in second with 2,581.

Saban is no doubt a coach most all high school players would love to play for. With that being said, I have two great players who are not the highest-rated commits but who can make a great impact for Alabama in the years to come.

With all the hype going to future star Trent Richardson, a guy by the name of Eddie Lacy may not ring a bell for you. But hey, let me give you a few reasons why this guy may just be a force to reckon with once he straps on that crimson red helmet with that solid white line.

Lacy was the guy all the players on the Dutchtown High School football team wanted to be like. As I watched some of this guy's highlights, I could see some of the bench warmers just look on in awe as the stocky Lacy would make eye-opening runs for long touchdowns.

He would often avoid several tackles or make two or sometimes even three guys miss a tackle. Eddie was often making great runs with at least one of the opposing team's players either hanging onto his jersey or carrying them like he owned them down the field for touchdowns.

He is not the flashy back Reggie Bush was, but he is said to be a very good downhill runner who will find a way to reach the sticks.

Lacy has that strong, thick body that will allow him to carry the rock many times at the next level. He is a very strong back with great lower body strength but is said to have a little more room for some more bulk on him.

Lacy is often referred to as a power back, but he is able to burst through a seam and very quickly reach his top speed.

In no way am I saying this guy is as great as Richardson might be, because I have seen neither of them play college ball, but I'm saying this: Eddie Lacy is going to be a great back for Alabama. Mark my words.

The second of the two players is A.J. McCarron. The reason I think this guy will develop into a great QB for the Tide is simple: He is a great pocket passer who has not yet grown into his very lanky body.

Over time, I see this guy becoming a great QB for the system that Saban likes to run.

If any fans remember Tyler Watts, then this guy is someone you can compare him to. He is great in the pocket and can make some great passes, but if made to scramble, then you almost have to wish for the best.

There are a few concerns with his weight and ability to force plays. He is only 189 pounds with a 6'4" frame and has a ton of room to add muscle and bulk up a little.

He showed the ability to throw the deep ball with accuracy and precision in high school. He also put enough zip on the passes to the numbers and in the short passing game.

If able to sit in the pocket, he is tall enough to scan the whole field and able to make a very good decision with where he wants the ball to go. He is best when his feet are set but showed very little ability to throw the ball with much accuracy while on the run.

McCarron also had a problem last season with forcing some early passes when he thought there was pressure.

These are some things McCarron has room to improve, but overall he is projected to be a great QB at the next level and is rated an 83 overall player by ESPNU.

McCarron was also being recruited by Miami, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, and Auburn before signing with Alabama.

In '07 McCarron completed 145 of 232 passes for 2,532 yards, 26 touchdowns, and only three interceptions. McCarron committed during his junior year in '07.

I often find myself looking at Alabama football on BamaOnline.com, and this is where these two young men stood out to me. I watched both of their highlight reels and thought to myself: I must expose these two great players to the Tide Nation.

I hope you enjoyed.


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