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THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2006
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KYLE VEAZEY

Alabama still aims for several stars, especially Smith

Perhaps more so this year than at this point recently, the majority of Alabama's recruiting class has already committed to the Crimson Tide. (Maybe that's why you saw Alabama head coach Mike Shula mingling at Senior Bowl practices earlier this week.)

But that doesn't mean there aren't gems to be picked up in the next six days and on Wednesday's national signing day.

Some of Alabama's remaining targets reportedly include:

  • Huffman offensive lineman Andre Smith. He's been a mainstay in this column for the past few weeks, but rightfully so — he is the consensus No. 1 recruit out of Alabama.

    He crossed Florida State off his list earlier this week, according to Rivals.com. If he takes a visit this weekend, the Web site said it will be to either Florida or Auburn.

    Either way, Alabama appears solid to Smith. The Tide just won't know its fate until that morning, when Smith will announce his choice at a press conference.

  • Homewood wide receiver Tim Hawthorne. Known for his long list of prospective schools, Hawthorne has it trimmed to Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and South Carolina, his most recent visit.

    Hawthorne told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this week that the competition for his services was even after an earlier slight lean to Auburn.

  • West End-Birmingham defensive end Deantwan Whitehead is reportedly heading to Tuscaloosa this weekend for an official visit, as he plans to wait until signing day to make his plans known.

    Louisville, Auburn and Tennessee, the site of his last visit, remain in the mix.

  • Richardson, Texas, defensive end Ugo Chinasa, whose choices also include Baylor and Oklahoma State.
  • Harrisburg, Pa., running back LeSean McCoy, who lists Alabama as well as five other nationally prominent schools.
  • Tallahassee, Fla., cornerback Marcus Udell, who prepped at the same high school, Godby High, as current Tide freshman Roy Upchurch.
  • Tallahassee, Fla., linebacker Craig Stevens. After losing in some recent battles, Alabama fans got some welcome, albeit surprising, news on recruiting earlier this week when cornerback Javier Arenas of Tampa, Fla., committed to the Tide.

    Arenas could be viewed as a possible solution for the Tide at punt returner. He committed soon after special teams coach Dave Ungerer offered a scholarship Monday.

    Alabama checks it at No. 10 in Rivals' national rankings as of Wednesday afternoon. The Tide is ranked No. 21 by Scout.com. Both rankings have Alabama in the upper half of the SEC.

    Alabama commitments

  • Earl Alexander, athlete, 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, Central-Phenix City
  • Javier Arenas, defensive back, 5-10, 182, Tampa, Fla.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Kyle Veazey Kyle Veazey
    DAILY Sports Writer

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