Tide still aiming for Smith, Mustain
Alabama's 2006 recruiting class picked up another prospect this week as Mountain Brook defensive back Jake Jones, son of former Alabama receiver Joey Jones, gave a public commitment to the Tide.
Jones gives Alabama 18 commitments, certainly an impressive number given that national signing day isn't until Feb. 1.
So what next, now that the Tide's recruiting boat seems to be full? The Tide could look to close this class with just a handful of more recruits, the higher the profile the better.
All along, one of those big targets has been Huffman High offensive lineman Andre Smith.
Smith, the nation's No. 1 line prospect, told Rivals.com earlier this week that he's narrowed his list to six schools — Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU and Southern California.
He said he doesn't plan to take official visits to Alabama or Auburn, but don't read much into that. Given his previous visits there and immersion into both schools' tradition by having lived in Birmingham, that shouldn't be considered a bad sign.
Another big-time recruit on Alabama's radar is Springdale, Ark., quarterback Mitch Mustain. Reports on which schools made his final list have been plenty. Mustain told Rivals.com earlier this week that he's narrowed his list down to four schools, with another possible darkhorse. Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama and Notre Dame are among the finalists, as is — get this — Army.
"That's something that I've been interested in for a long time," Mustain told the Web site.
Mustain, of course, took back his earlier commitment to Arkansas after some coaching changes made by Houston Nutt weren't to his liking. He entered the Tide's recruiting fray after Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., quarterback Tim Tebow committed to Florida last month.
Mustain and Smith are among the nation's elite recruits that will play in Saturday's Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. WAFF-48 will televise the game with a noon kickoff.
Another Alabama target who will play Saturday is linebacker Brandon Spikes from Shelby, N.C. He has said that he'll choose between Florida, Virginia Tech and Alabama during the game.
Alabama commitments: Earl Alexander, athlete, 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, Central-Phenix City Tremayne Coger, defensive back, 5-11, 180, Columbia, Tenn. Andy Davis, defensive back, 6-0, 205, Briarwood Christian Preston Dial, tight end, 6-3, 237, UMS-Wright Mike Ford, running back, 6-2, 210, Chatham, Va. Charlie Higgenbotham, linebacker, 6-1, 223, Mountain Brook LaBronski Hutchins, linebacker, 6-3, 177, Benjamin Russell Marquis Johnson, defensive back, 6-1, 180, Sarasota, Fla. Jake Jones, defensive back, 6-1, 177, Mountain Brook Charlie Kirschman, linebacker, 6-3, 225, Ponte Vedra, Fla. Mike McCoy, wide receiver, 6-3, 200, Brandon, Miss. Brian Motley, offensive lineman, 6-1, 266, Autaugaville Taylor Pharr, offensive lineman, 6-6, 268, Shades Valley David Ross, offensive lineman, 6-4, 295, Homewood Alex Stadler, offensive lineman, 6-6, 300, Bealeton, Va. Nikita Stover, wide receiver, 6-1, 200, Hartselle Justin Woodall, defensive back, 6-3, 200, Oxford, Miss. Recardo Wright, linebacker, 6-2, 215, Orlando, Fla.