ESPN 150 released, Tide represented well

2013 LB Reuben Foster is ranked as the No. 2 player in the nation in the ESPN 150. Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.com

The University of Alabama pulled in the No. 1 class in 2012, largely in part due to the nation’s best 13 commitments ranked in the ESPN 150. The new ESPN 150 for 2013 was released Tuesday, and the Crimson Tide are well represented once again with six commits in the new rankings.

The top ranked player in UA’s class is linebacker Reuben Foster, who comes in at No. 2 nationally. Foster committed to Alabama last summer but made headlines recently when he transferred to Auburn High School in Alabama.

The 6-foot-2, 242-pound prospect is explosive and has a knack for always being around the football. He projects more as an inside linebacker but could play any of the linebacker spots in the Tide’s 3-4 defense.

Alabama has three other players ranked inside the top 100, led by in-state tight end O.J. Howard, who also committed to the Tide last summer around the same time Foster did.

Howard, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound specimen from Prattville, Ala., has a rare combination of size and athleticism that could change the way the way Alabama uses its tight ends. He earned an invite to The Opening last month.

The other two Alabama commitments in the top 100 are both running backs: Altee Tenpenny from North Little Rock, Ark., and Tyren Jones from Marietta, Ga.

As a sophomore, Tenpenny was considered one of the top backs in the class of 2013, but he broke his leg and dislocated ankle prior to his junior season which forced him to miss the entire year. UA still took his commitment and hopes he can bounce back for his senior year.

At Walton High School last year, Jones rushed for 2,375 yards and 38 touchdowns, proving to be not only one of the top backs in the Peach State but in the whole country.

The other two Tide commits in the this year’s ESPN 150 are offensive lineman Andy Dodd from Lindale, Ga., and athlete Ardarius Stewart from Fultondale, Ala.

However, the UA coaching staff isn’t done pulling top 150 recruits. In fact, the new rankings are littered with prospects who have the Crimson Tide on their radar.

Not including the commitments who were on campus, Alabama had five other ESPN 150 players visited this weekend for A-Day: wide receiver Robert Foster, defensive end Demarcus Walker, cornerback Maurice Smith, quarterback Riley Ferguson and tight end Hunter Henry.

The No. 1 target for the Tide still remains the No. 1 player in the country, defense end Robert Nkemdiche. The Georgia native has Alabama in his top group of schools along with Clemson, Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss.

It will be tough for Alabama to top what it did in 2012 with 13 of its 26 commitments ranked in the ESPN 150, but the Tide could bring in close to the same number this year when it’s all said and done.