Recruiting update

I don’t like recruiting. I never have. Never will. Well, maybe this year it will be fun.

I found it creepy growing up listening to the radio when these “experts” would come on and tell us how great so-and-so was. This last week I found it creepy reading message boards with fans posting “open” letters to recruits.

In the past, recruiting analysis was a small business. Today, you’ve got major recruiting services, expert writers at most major newspapers, and a host of resources dedicated to covering high school athletics.

There is less guess work involved in recruiting analysis today because of the resources available. Plus, there are just more opportunities to see players in person and on television. This season alone, you could watch many high school teams games on cable television, enjoy the Super Six (either in person or on television) not to mention Hoover’s game against John Curtis on ESPNU.

There is enough exposure today for any of us to be experts on Alabama high school athletics.

Recruiting highlights
Alabama will meet today with a Miami QB commit. Churchill QB Nick Fanuzzi is considering Alabama thanks to the coaching change in Miami. Fanuzzi has been spurred to look elsewhere primarily because of Miami’s delay in hiring an offensive coordinator. “Without knowing who that is, and without knowing the system, it’s time to look around,” Fanuzzi’s father said. “We’ve been put in a situation where we have no alternative but to look at and seriously consider our other options,” the San Antonio Press-News quoted Churchill as saying. Fanuzzi will be visiting Tuscaloosa this weekend. Having an offensive staff in place at Alabama looks to be a major benefit here.

What impact this could have on Marve is unclear.

The remarkable thing about Saban’s staff is how they are leaving no stone unturned. They are talking with anyone and everyone in the state. Part of it is no doubt to establish relationships for the future, but a lot of it shows just how hard Saban pushes himself and everyone else to work. Andrew Bone said in the Tuscaloosa News, “Coach Nick Saban has been all over the state of Alabama this week visiting and searching for the remaining prospects to fill the class of 2007. It appears coach Saban is out to seal the borders and seek top prospects who committed to other powerhouse schools.”

There can be no doubt Saban considers recruiting his first priority. One word associated with Saban is accountability. He holds his assistant coaches accountable. That’s something the last administration didn’t do. And it is the Saban’s secret to success. Not only does he work hard, everyone else works just as hard in recruiting.

Recruiting analysis
In my opinion, look for Alabama’s final class to be a Top 15, perhaps a Top 12 class. That’ll be very impressive when you consider how few scholarships Alabama has to offer this season.

Alabama faces another road test tonight against Vanderbilt. The team used the break to work on fundamentals and take some time off, according to the Birmingham News. Home teams have gone 14-2 during the opening week of the SEC basketball season and Alabama hasn’t won a game in Nashville since 1998, so this figures to be a difficult challenge for Alabama writes Paul Gattis in the Huntsville Times. Could the odd gym setup of Memorial be a reason for the home court advantage, writes Josh Cooper in the Decatur Daily.

The basketball team must have Steele healthy to make a real run for the conference and NCAA tournament. In addition, like I said before, the team really must improve its mental toughness. The road is a difficult place to play and being focused prevents the letdowns like we saw at Arkansas.

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For constantly updated breaking news about Alabama football and other sports, visit our news page. You can find this great link to a story on how Saban’s arrival has helped weaken a Michigan commit (a great all-around player) and how the recruit is now considering Alabama.