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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Casher Key Commitment For Alabama

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxThe commitment from center Joshua Casher this week was good news for Alabama in more ways than one.

Casher is ranked the nation’s No. 2 center by Rivals. He also attends St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile, a key recruiting area in Alabama. The other win for Alabama: the Crimson Tide beat out rival Auburn for Casher, who once committed to the Tigers before reopening his recruitment.

Casher told there was some back and forth before he decided to pull the trigger on a commitment to Alabama.

“I really wanted to go ahead and make this decision,” said Casher. “I thought about it and it was so crazy. I was thinking Auburn, but then all of a sudden I thought Alabama was the best place for me.

“I really wanted to stay in-state. I wanted to play for my state. I called the Alabama coaches. They said they would love to have me. I told them for sure (on Tuesday).”

Casher’s pledge means Alabama has commitments from the nation’s top two centers (J.C. Hassenauer is No. 1), No. 1 offensive tackle (Cameron Robinson) and No. 4 offensive guard (Viane Talamaivao). The Crimson Tide also has commitments from offensive linemen Ross Pierschbacher and Montel McBride and junior college offensive tackle Dominick Jackson.

The offensive line is the strongest unit in the nation’s top-rated class. Alabama is ranked No. 1 in the Rivals Team Rankings, ahead of Tennessee, Ohio State, Georgia and Texas A&M.

Alabama’s list of offensive line commitments should help the Crimson Tide’s effort to recruit running back Leonard Fournette from St. Augustine High School in New Orleans. He’s most strongly considering Alabama and LSU and announced this week he plans to visit Alabama on Nov. 9 to watch the Crimson Tide play LSU.

Alabama is also in the running for several of the nation’s top defensive prospects. Defensive end Da’Shawn Hand, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect by Rivals, visited Alabama last weekend to watch the Tide’s 45-10 win over Alabama.

Fans made sure to help with the recruiting pitch.


Hand, who’s also considering Florida and Michigan, told ESPNU following his visit that he was impressed by Alabama’s engineering department and the football program’s “culture.”

“It’s a winning town,” said Hand, who plans to announce his decision on Nov. 14.

Other top defensive prospects on Alabama’s board include defensive end Lorenzo Carter from Norcross, Ga., cornerback Marlon Humphrey from Birmingham, Ala., linebacker Raekwon McMillan from Hinesville, Ga., and defensive tackle Charles Mosley from Brighton, Tenn.


Florida, Kentucky land hoops standouts

Florida received big news Wednesday when forward Devin Robinson from Christchurch (Va.) School committed to the Gators.

Robinson, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 20 overall prospect by Rivals, chose Florida over Indiana, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State. The commitment was a big one for Florida, according to Jeff Borzello of He wrote in part:

“Robinson is one of the best combo forwards in the class. Moreover, his ceiling is very high. At this point, Robinson is already a matchup nightmare for most opponents. He’s long and athletic, and knows how to get points in a variety of ways. Robinson has consistent range out to the perimeter, and is able to finish at the rim in transition. Defensively, he can guard multiple positions and is an effective help defender due to his length.”

Robinson is Florida’s third commitment for the 2014 class, joining point guard Chris Chiozza and shooting guard Brandone Francis.

Kentucky’s 2014 class received more good news on Thursday when shooting guard Devin Booker from Moss Point (Miss.) committed to the Wildcats. The son of former Missouri standout Melvin Booker told he and his family had several discussions before he decided on Kentucky.

“It wasn’t just one thing,” said Devin Booker, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 30 overall prospect by Rivals. “I really put everything involved into my decision.

“It was going to be a family decision. We all came to this conclusion. It wasn’t a one-night thing. We talked about this over some months.”

Booker joins a class that includes point guard Tyler Ulis and center Karl Towns.


LSU joins the mix for DB Adams

Safety Jamal Adams from Hebron High School in Lewisville, Texas, has increased his list of schools to a top six.

LSU has joined a list that includes Florida, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Ohio State and Texas.

“(LSU’s) always been a dream kind of school for me,” Adams told ESPN RecruitingNation. “A lot of great DBs have come through.”

Adams is ranked the nation’s No. 3 safety by ESPN. Another safety from the state of Texas, Edward Paris Jr., has helped LSU in its recruitment of Adams. Paris and Adams would be a terrific safety tandem if they both attended LSU, according to Adams.

“Lockdown, man,” he said.

Adams has taken official visits to Florida, Ole Miss and Texas A&M. He told ESPN he’s considering taking one of his final two official visits to LSU.

LSU is also awaiting word from safety Laurence “Hootie” Jones from Neville High School in Monroe, La. Jones, who’s also considering Alabama, is planning to announce his decision on Nov. 15. He said last week it’s a “50-50″ battle between Alabama and LSU.


Dead periods extended in football recruiting

The NCAA adopted five new rules this week regarding football and recruiting.

Two key changes involve longer dead periods during the recruiting calender.

*Establishing an extended dead period when no in-person recruiting can take place in December and January. For 2013-14, Dec. 16 through Jan. 15 is now a dead period.

*Establishing a 14-day dead period in late June and early July for FBS schools.

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze was in favor of the changes. He voted “yes” on dead period extensions during the winter and summer.

“I think recruiting is obviously the lifeblood and we go after it as hard as anyone,” Freeze said. “I do think that families suffer sometimes. I think that the families of the recruits get tired of it, of the way that we go about it because we’re all so persistent. There’s no one bad at it. Everyone’s going to do everything you can during those times we’re allowed to. I think to have periods where it is shutdown and no one can be on campus … that’s enough during those times and I think it will keep everybody a little fresher and maybe we can pay more attention to our own kids and maybe the families that we’re recruiting don’t get quite so tired of us during those times.”




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