December 16, 2011

Alabama seeks another DB for 2012 class

When Justin Thomas realized Alabama wanted him as a defensive back, the Prattville quarterback switched his commitment to Georgia Tech, where he could play his natural position under center.

The UA coaching staff may have seen the writing on the wall, as it has been on the road, actively seeking another defensive back - specifically a cornerback - to round out its 2012 recruiting class.

As TideSports.com reported Thursday, defensive back Deion Belue finished his classes at junior college and says he's prepared to enroll for the spring semester. The Crimson Tide may also land another cornerback from the JUCO ranks, depending on what Travell Dixon decides to do.

It looks, however, as if Alabama would like to add one more player from the high school level, and the UA staff has recently looked to the state of Florida to fill that void.

Head coach Nick Saban, joined by assistant Jeff Stoutland, made an in-home visit in Miami with Deon Bush on Tuesday to meet with the Rivals100 defensive back. Bush has the Crimson Tide among his favorites, along with Auburn and Miami.

Stoutland also stopped nearby in Miramar, Fla., to visit with five-star cornerback Tracy Howard. Howard plans to take an official visit to UA next month.

Alabama also made a stop in Georgia to see Lovejoy cornerback Rico McWilliams, a South Carolina commitment. Tide assistant Chris Rumph, who played at South Carolina, visited the Rivals.com three-star on a recommendation from defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.

"(Rumph) was talking about how coach Smart liked me and everything," McWilliams said. "Coach Smart told him to stop by and see how everything was going with Rico because he really liked me and they need some more defensive backs. They want one more cornerback, and I'm the guy that he wanted."

McWilliams committed to the Gamecocks in June, but he didn't have a scholarship offer from Alabama at the time. He still doesn't have a Crimson Tide offer, but thinks he's on the verge of picking one up.

"I don't think they offered me yet, but they're on the verge, about to offer me," McWilliams said. "They want some more film first. If the offer comes down, it might have me thinking, but right now, I'm still committed to the Gamecocks."

UA wants him to take a visit to Tuscaloosa, but McWilliams hasn't been able to set it up yet. He's planning to make his official to South Carolina on Jan. 13.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at greg@tidesports.com.

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