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Who do you feel is the most under-appreciated signee in this 2013 class and why do you feel that way? I know the staff gave their thoughts in the "Superlatives" article so I figured I'd share mine and hope that others enjoy it and provide their own.
To me the answer is a tie between:
The player: Walker Jones
Why he was under-appreciated: As a legacy (his father Rex is a former UA basketball player and brothers Barrett & Harrison play(ed) for the Tide - the former perhaps one of the top OLinemen to ever play at the capstone) I feel a portion of our fan base either took it for granted that Walker would be UA bound. I also feel there are some out there that assumed he was given the scholarship offer out of respect for what his family has meant to UA. This was never more evident than in the final days before signing day he was often brought up as a potential grey-shirt candidate.
Why he will surprise: As I reviewed his film (in addition to seeing him live once in person as a junior) I see Walker as a versatile athlete that is capable of contributing early on special teams. I project him to make more of an impact as a Brad Smelley type contributor from the H-Back position than I do linebacker but also wouldn't be surprised to see him get a look their initially. I think he has the ability to surprise people much like Vinnie Sunseri did (who was also under-appreciated as a signee for similar reasons as Jones). He is a guy that is rarely out of position and keeps to his assignments well. While not possessing elite athleticism (people won't confuse him for Derrick Henry), Walker has above average athleticism. He his a hard nosed player that makes sure tackles on defense and displays solid hands on O and rarely goes down on first contact. He isn't going to make people miss but he will absorb the impact and pick up an additional yard or two. He has solid size and how he transforms in the weight-room may ultimately dictate where his future on the gridiron takes him.
The player: Tim Williams
Why he was under-appreciated: I think there was a lot that contributed to Williams's pledge eliciting less of a reaction that it should have for a variety of reasons. I think the main reason being perhaps why he was one of my favorite recruits in this class. He didn't do the media circus of a Rueben Foster. He didn't visit a ton of schools and proclaim a new leader after each visit like others have made it fashionable to do. He didn't pledge to one school only to have a signing day "flip". He visited our University, was blown away and committed shortly there after and never wavered.
I think he was also under-appreciated due to Bama perceivably being tight on numbers at the time of his commitment and most of our fan base didn't know much about him at the time as he wasn't "on the radar" as much as other players were at the time. I also feel that his size (or lack thereof) caught some off guard as he doesn't possess the size of most DE recruits in the CNS era.
Why he will surprise: In one word - Hands. In watching his film Williams uses his hands as well as any DE in the 2013 cycle. He shows a decent swim technique, scrapes very well and uses his length to maintain separation from larger linemen. In HS most DE's that have amazing stats rely on one of two things to be effective - speed or strength. Rarely do you hear the word "technique" being touted in describing an 18 year old on the d-line but that is something that separates Williams from most. He has above average speed for the position but I wouldn't say elite. His strength needs improvement but he uses his technique (hands and feet) well enough to stay in position to fend off blocks to make extended plays if the QB hangs on to the ball past his drop. I project Williams as a guy that will have the chance to see the field this year. Though he will benefit from time in the weight room with Coach Cochran I believe Williams's lack of "size" is more a testament to CNS wanting a variety of options at DE and LB to combat that Johnny Footballs of the world more so than it is a change in overall philosophy. As such Williams can find a situational role earlier than most expect.
This post was edited by ChaseUA 17 months ago
Cole Mazza. Very easy answer for me...poor execution in kicking game, blocked kicks get teams beat every week.
"You don't always get what you want, but you always get what you deserve"
Cole Mazza is a 5* LS ....yet we rarely speak of him
I watched Walker Jones' highlight film and I might agree with you on him. First, he's gotten no hype at all which, by definition, positions you well to the the most underappreciated signee. But his film is pretty good. He might really be a better HBack than LB, and with a couple of years in the wieghtroom, he could be a better solution that Smelley was, and Smelley wasn't bad.
My other addition would be Grant Hill. The logic is that, while he is highly rated, no one really jumped up an ddown over him, there was no gnashing of teeth as to whetehr he would sign, he was just steady and reliable. I would say that if one adds last year and this year's classes together, the weakest position group might well be the OL. I think Hill will be a two to three year starter and could be an All SEC type player. There aren't a lot of other prospects in this class that I think will play more snaps than him and he is, iin my mind, in a position group that is always critical to success and in a position group that I think we've underrecruited vs some others.
Cooper Bateman... I haven't read much about what this kid will bring to the table... I believe he has the tools and competive fire to be a good one.
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I'll go with d.paige. nothing makes the 3-4 go like I good nt! And every yr bama is in the hunt bcuz of defense! Out all start here
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