February 4, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Today will be an exciting one for fans of the University of Alabama football program, not to mention its coaches and future players.
National Signing Day is an event of major proportions each year under ace recruiter Nick Saban, and the Tide coach is set for another prize haul today.
Alabama fans that are at work today may not get a lot done as they stay huddled around their computers waiting for the next announcement to come across the screen. The F5 (reload) key will be quite busy.
The first big announcement is set for 8:30 a.m. from prep school star offensive tackle Bobby Massie (6-foot-8, 335 pounds), who has the ability to man either offensive tackle slot.
Noxubee County''s Patrick Patterson, a 6-3, 215-pound wide receiver, will announce at 9 a.m., followed by 6-1, 175-pound Atlanta safety Darren Myles, Jr at 9:45 a.m.
Ole Miss may have a slight lead for Patterson, and Tennessee and the Tide are neck-and-neck for Myles.
Stevenson, Ala linebacker Tana Patrick (6-3, 225) will reveal his decision at 10 a.m., and he is down to Alabama, Auburn, and Tennessee.
Louisiana running back Eddie Lacy (5-11, 210), a likely sign-and-place, will decide between Alabama and Tennessee at 11 a.m. Also at that time, Montgomery, Ala lineman Brandon Moore will pick Alabama or Florida, with the Crimson Tide said to hold a slight edge. Moore is 6-5, 315 and can play on either side of the line.
At noon, one of the top players in the nation will make fans of LSU, Alabama or Oklahoma happy. Bastrop, La receiver Rueben Randle (6-3, 195) has been a mystery throughout the process.
Also announcing at noon is Marsalis Teague, a 5-10, 170-pounder, who can play receiver or in the secondary. Teague is deciding between Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee.
ESPNU will be in Gadsden, Ala at 1:53 p.m. for a dual announcement by Gadsden City High defensive back Dre'' Kirkpatrick and teammate Kendall Kelly, a 6-4, 210-pound receiver.
Alabama is thought to have the edge over Texas for Kirkpatrick, and is battling Clemson for Kelly''s services on a guess too close to call
Kelly''s theatrics begin at 1:53 p.m., with Kirkpatrick (6-2, 180), considered one of America''s top defenders, slated to begin his remarks at 2:05 p.m.
Although committed to Alabama since last summer, Pensacola running back Trent Richardson (5-11, 210) has continued to take visits. His announcement is set for 3 pm. Richardson is expected to reaffirm his commitment to Alabama despite very strong overtures from Florida and LSU.
Alabama had hoped to secure the services of Valdosta, Ga defensive back Greg Reid, but the 5-9, 175-pounder committed Tuesday to Florida State over Alabama and Georgia.
Recruiting experts from Rivals.com and Scout.com agree that, depending on how many decisions go the Tide''s way today, Alabama can expect to finish somewhere in the top five.
Alabama reeled in the nation''s top recruiting class last year, but this year it will be difficult for the Crimson Tide to move ahead of Ohio State and LSU, according to the gurus on each site. But if Alabama gets everyone it wants, it could take first in the Rivals.com rankings.
When the day is done, the Crimson Tide expects around 30 signees. Following the day''s haul, Saban will address the media at 4 p.m. today and assess his new class.
2. Harris, Heritage Academy will count on seniors to lead way HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Howland likes MSU's non-conference schedule COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Central Academy hopes to contend for state title HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Walters column: Prep football season coming closer LOCAL COLUMNS