Champions of The Round Table

 
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The state of Alabama has numerous prospects already receiving a lot of hype for the class of 2012. Early projections has the group of high school football players compared to the class of 2008, which featured prospects like Julio Jones, Mark Barron, Marcell Dareus, B.J. Scott, Tyler Love, Courtney Upshaw, Jerrell Harris, Michael Williams, John Michael Boswell, Ben Jones (Georgia), William Green (Florida), Antoine McClain (Clemson) and Dee Finley (Florida). Will the class of 2012 surpass this talented group in star rankings? Time will tell.

Scout.com has yet to release any rankings for 2012, but several state prospects are projected to make the Scout.com 300 and even the National 100 list. Two players who have a chance to rank at the top of their positions in the region and nationally are Hueytown High School quarterback Jameis Winston (6-foot-4, 185 pounds) and Oxford High School outside linebacker Kwon Alexander (6-2, 210).

Winston has received several verbal offers from schools including Alabama, Auburn, Miami, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Ohio State. He was one of the top performers in May at the Nike Camp and Elite 11 in Tuscaloosa. Winston is a basketball and baseball star, but plans to stick with football on the next level.

The University of Alabama is at the top of his list.

“First of all it's 45 minutes away from home,” Winston said. “Every time I go down there I get treated real good. I feel welcomed. Everyone knows me.”

Alexander made a splash as a sophomore, when he had 147 tackles, 51 tackles for loss, nine sacks and five forced fumbles. He has verbal offers from more than 10 schools, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Tennessee and UCLA. Alexander does not list any early favorites, but he traveled to Tuscaloosa several times including the Tide's first summer camp. “Out of all the camps I have been to, I would say Alabama's camp stood out the most,” Alexander said. “The wide receivers and linebackers they had at the camp stood out. I felt like I did really good out there.”

Reggie Ragland, athlete from Bob Jones High School in Madison, is 6-4, 245 pounds and plays both tight end and linebacker. He expects to stay on the defensive side of the ball at the next level. Ragland is a very athletic prospect and a standout basketball player. He grew up a big Alabama fan and has traveled to Tuscaloosa numerous times in the last year. Auburn is his only scholarship offer.

“I had a really good time working with them,” Ragland said of his experience at the Crimson Tide's first summer camp. “We did a lot of the same drills we did at the camp last year. It was easy to me. It just came second nature. Overall it was a lot of fun.”

Caleb Peterson (6-5, 295), offensive tackle from Auburn High School, received his first scholarship offer in the spring from Alabama. He has since added offers from Auburn and Southern Miss. Peterson was born in Albany, Ga., and did not move to Auburn until after his freshman year. He does not list any favorites.

Michael Flint (6-4, 300), offensive guard from Oxford High School, received an early offer from Alabama. Flint is part of the “Oxford trio,” which includes Alexander and cornerback Trae Elston (6-foot, 170). Flint's offer list includes Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State and UCLA. He does not list any favorites. Elston has the same list of scholarship offers, but he favors Clemson early in the process over Auburn and Florida State.

T.J. Yeldon (6-1, 200), running back from Daphne High School, should have plenty of schools to choose from next year. He has received a scholarship offer from Auburn at this point.

Alphonse Taylor (6-5, 330), a monster defensive lineman from Davidson High School in Mobile, is receiving interest from schools across the country.

Kelton Brackett (5-11, 170), cornerback from Blount High School in Prichard, has interest from schools in the Southeastern Conference and recently received his first scholarship offer from South Alabama.

Chris Casher (6-4, 215), defensive end from Faith Academy in Mobile, has named Alabama, Auburn and Florida as favorites. The 6-4, 212-pound prospect is waiting on his first scholarship offer.

“I have always been a big Alabama fan,” said Casher. “I feel like it's a home away from home. I know a lot of people there. I have a lot of friends who go there.”

Vigor High School teammates defensive end Darius Philon (6-2, 250) and tight end Paul Kyles (6-4, 240) are receiving interest from across the country. Philon has scholarship offers from Texas Tech and Texas A&M, while Kyles has received an offer from Auburn.

Tyler Nero (6-3, 255), defensive tackle from Escambia County in Atmore, is the son of former Arkansas Razorback Norman Nero, who played linebacker for the Hogs. He has been to Fayetteville, Ark., several times, including a visit to Arkansas' three-day camp this summer. Arkansas, Alabama, Auburn and Georgia are showing interest.

Justin Shanks (6-3, 272), defensive end from Prattville High School, has scholarship offers from Auburn and South Alabama. The Tide could offer in the near future.

K.D. Humphries (6-2, 195), quarterback from Lanier High School in Montgomery, has emerged as a top-tier prospect with his arm strength and size.

Parker Barrineau (6-1, 175), wide receiver from American Christian Academy in Tuscaloosa, has looked really good at camps and combines this spring and summer, running great routes and catching everything thrown his way.

Other prospects to watch: Russell Wallace (Valley), Caleb Gulledge (Prattville), Cameron Broadnax (Hueytown), Marcus Turner (Walker), Cassanova McKinzy (Woodlawn), Chris Humes (Spain Park), Beau Hankins (Jackson-Olin), Jay Owens (Prattville), Robert Pickens (Northridge), Luke Lawrence (Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa), Steven Foster (Demopolis), Steven Gray (Prattville), Jake Ganus (Chelsea), Quantavious Grimes (Charles Henderson) and Justin Thomas (Prattville).

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    By: Andrew Bone

    From: TideSports.com