The Tide has turned as the addition of Demarcus Walker to the 2013 Alabama Crimson Tide Recruiting class has given them plenty of momentum on the recruiting trail one week away from the season.
Walker, a 6-foot-4, two hundred and eighty pound athlete, who despite his size, carries a very lean frame. Although he’d been listed as a defensive end or defensive tackle by nearly every recruiting service, Alabama coaches have projected Walker to play the Jack linebacker position.
The Jack is a hybrid between a defensive end and linebacker, allowing the individual playing the position to make game-changing plays in a variety of different ways. In fact when former NFL Pro Bowler Jason Taylor was named the NFL’s defensive player of the year, it was playing the Jack linebacker position under Nick Saban with the Miami Dolphins.
Alabama appeared to have things rolling heading into the summer months, slowly rounding out their 2013 class when the momentum had begun to turn away. Rueben Foster, one of the nation’s top players was committed to Alabama for over a year. Then, in a sudden change of events the standout linebacker flipped his commitment to the Auburn Tigers. Shortly after Foster’s flip, Andy Dodd, an offensive guard from Lindale,Georgia also decomited to flip to an SEC rival, this time the LSU Tigers.
Just when it seemed that the sky was falling on Alabama’s recruiting class, Saban eased concerns. First it was tight end Josh McNeil, followed by the commitment of linebacker Walker Jones just two days later. However Friday’s commitment of Walker was the home run hitter Alabama needed to swing momentum back in their favor. Commitments are one thing, but landing a top player tends to get the attention of other elite players across the country.
Alabama currently sits with 19 verbal commits in the 2012 and will be very selective with the remaining six slots. Among the favorites to fill some of those spots include offensive tackle and consensus 5 star Laremy Tunsil (Lake City,FL) running back Derek Henry (Yulee,FL) and wide receiver Robert Foster (Monaca,PA).
In the past Nick Saban has told his team to “start fast and finish strong.” Apparently he takes the same approach on the recruiting trail.