TN Mailbag: Filling out the 2013 class

Alabama recruiting writer Greg Ostendorf and beat writer Alex Scarborough bring you another edition of The TideNation mailbag, answering your questions about recruiting, football and basketball.

@HighTide_14 asks: How will Bama finish up their class? Who do you think they get?

Ostendorf: With 18 commitments already on board, Alabama is running out of room in its 2013 class. I’ll focus on the ESPN 150 prospects who are still considering the Crimson Tide. I think they are in great shape to land defensive end/linebacker Demarcus Walker and running back Derrick Henry. Both could announce their intentions in the next month. The biggest name still out there is offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. Originally, most thought he wouldn’t leave the state of Florida, but Alabama made up a lot of ground on his last visit and now has a legitimate shot to land the five-star. The Tide could also pull a top linebacker, Kendell Beckwith or Matthew Thomas, or Pa. wide receiver Robert Foster in this class.

@ChrisWatkins7 asks: Who steps up as the go-to wide receiver for Bama?

Scarborough: There will be a few receivers vying for top-dog status. Among the veterans, Kenny Bell, DeAndrew White and Kevin Norwood are the most promising. Bell led all returning wideouts last season with 17 receptions for 255 yards and two touchdowns, but Norwood and White were not far behind when you consider the departures of Marquis Maze and Brandon Gibson. Bell is the most consistent, but White could become a big weapon with his overwhelming speed. That said, don't be surprised if freshman Amari Cooper develops into McCarron's favorite target by season's end. He's been easily the most talked about first-year player so far.

@devonmuhammad asks: Who’s the next big time commit for the Crimson Tide?

Ostendorf: Right now, Walker plans to announce before Henry, who may wait until after his senior season, so depending on how his visit to Florida goes for Friday Night Lights this week, Walker may be Alabama’s next big commitment. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see in-state cornerback Marquez White, a Florida State commitment, flip to the Tide even before that. The UA staff has made White a priority at the position, and the 6-foot-1 cornerback grew up an Alabama fan. He recently visited Tuscaloosa during the Tide’s camp, and all indications are that he enjoyed himself. He’s kept quiet about the recruiting process, but sources say he’s likely to flip.

@CFBUpdates asks: Will the NCAA waive the scholarship limits at schools vying for Penn State transfers?

Scarborough: We learned Tuesday that the NCAA is loosening, or better yet losing, many of the typical restrictions in the case of Penn State. Permission-to-contact rules have been suspended so long as the staff is informed by athlete of their intent to discuss transferring with other schools. As far as the scholarship limitations, those rules have been adjusted so schools accepting a transfer student can exceed the maximum of 85 scholarship athletes, so long as the numer is balanced the following year. For instance, if a school accepts a transfer student in 2012-13 and ends up with 26 athletes in that class and 86 counters overall, the school is limited to 24 athletes in the following year's class and 84 counters overall in 2013-14.

@cowens25 asks: How’s the point guard position looking?

Ostendorf: Alabama basketball has two early commitments in the 2013 class, but the staff is still looking for that point guard of the future to one day replace Trevor Releford. The Tide received an early commitment from Jaren Sina, but the N.J. point guard reopened his recruitment before he committed to Northwestern last month. Anthony Barber remains Alabama’s top target, but they will have to fight off Kansas and Louisville for the ESPN 100 star. Keep an eye on Rashawn Powell, a scoring point guard from Florida. The Tide offered him earlier this month after he blew up on the AAU circuit. I’m under the impression that UA would be willing to take both Barber and Powell if they had the opportunity.

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