McElroy gives Tide real boost at quarterback
The quest to sign quarterbacks took a while for Alabama, but it appears as if the Crimson Tide accomplished just that this week.
Greg McElroy, a high school quarterback from suburban Dallas, gave a verbal commitment to the Crimson Tide earlier this week. He backed off an earlier commitment to Texas Tech, choosing instead to be the Tide's lone true quarterback in the 2006 signing class.
Earl Alexander, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound athlete from Central-Phenix City, also figures to try his hand at quarterback, but has indicated that his speed and size may make him coveted at other spots on the field.
With McElroy, there's no doubt about his goal.
At 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, McElroy is a true drop-back passer. The Texas Class 5A player of the year passed 4,636 yards and 56 touchdowns, completing 308 of 458 attempts.
McElroy prepped at Southlake-Carroll, which has been among the nation's elite.
Clearly, McElroy was not the Tide's first choice at quarterback. Alabama started looking elsewhere once highly coveted Tim Tebow of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., chose to attend his home-state University of Florida. Tide coach Mike Shula and his staff invested heavily in Tebow.
Soon, Alabama was being mentioned in the same sentence as Springdale, Ark., quarterback Mitch Mustain, though it's unclear how much Mustain was interested in Alabama.
Mustain, considered on the same elite level as Tebow, reneged on his earlier commitment to Arkansas. But earlier this week, he reaffirmed his earlier commitment to the hometown Hogs.
That, of course, left McElroy as the only true quarterback target left on the Tide's radar.
McElroy will find it difficult to come in and win a starting job this fall, but not impossible. Sophomore-to-be John Parker Wilson appears set to inherit that role, but doesn't have the experience. Neither does Jimmy Barnes, the quarterback recruit from California that redshirted during the 2005 season.
Jimmy Johns appears set to compete for the tailback job, leaving Marc Guillon, a senior, as Alabama's only other quarterback.
Alabama's recruiting class is ranked ninth nationally by Rivals.com and 20th by Scout.com.
The Tide's class is a handful of commitments away from being finished, but fans will eagerly await some news this week. Colbert County defensive tackle Jermarcus Ricks is expected to announce his choice by the end of the week.
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, Mobile 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, Alexander City 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. Greg McElroy, quarterback, 6-2, 212, Southlake, Texas Brian Motley, offensive lineman, 6-1, 266, Autaugaville Taylor Pharr, offensive lineman, 6-6, 268, Shades Valley, Birmingham 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.