Transfers in Tuscaloosa
By BJ Bennett
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While future true freshmen have prompted excitement amongst the coaches and fan base, it will likely be three JUCO transfers who have the most immediate impact for Alabama.
While National Signing Day remains days away, Alabama already has three of their best and biggest prospects in Tuscaloosa ready for spring practice and an immediate impact on this team in 2011. Three junior college prospects have already been signed, sealed and delivered: defensive end Quinton Dial, offensive lineman Aaron Douglas and defensive tackle Jesse Williams will bring immediate strength to trenches for the Crimson Tide in a league where games are often won at the line of scrimmage.
Dial, out of East Mississippi Community College brings mammoth measurables to Alabama's 3-4 defensive front. At 6'6'', 315 pounds, Dial brings great physicality and towering size and intimidation to a unit in need of big bodies. Dial turned down numerous other offers and originally committed to Alabama in early February. He may be the heir-apparent to former All-SEC end Marcell Dareus.
Two teammates from Arizona Western Community College, one on each side of the line, have joined Dial in central Alabama. Williams is regarded the top interior lineman prospect in junior college football. At 6'4'', 330 pounds he has a large, for lack of a better phrase, resemblance to former All-American Terrence Cody. Williams has a stunning recorded bench press max of 520 pounds.
His teammate from Yuma, offensive tackle Aaron Douglas was the top-rated tackle in the JUCO ranks. At 6'6'', 280 pounds, he too is physically ready to play now. Douglas chose the Crimson Tide over the likes of Arkansas, USC and Oregon. He gives Alabama another credible contributor along an offensive line that should be one of the nation's best.
While future true freshmen like Hasean Clinton-Dix, Demetrius Hart and Xzavier Dickson have prompted great excitement amongst the coaches and fan base, it will likely be three junior college transfers who have the most immediate impact for the Alabama football team in 2011. Dial, Williams and Douglas will positively impact UA at the positions that have long most defined this football program and been the driving catalysts for their gridiron successes.
While Crimson Tiders dread any comparisons to Auburn, the nearby Tigers rode the coattails of two JUCO transfers to a BCS National Championship this season. It was 2010 transfer Cameron Newton and 2009 transfer Nick Fairley who were the leaders in the team's 14-0 season. Newton, of course, won the Heisman Trophy. Fairley was the Lombardi Award winner.
Alabama is set for a promising National Signing Day, but don't forget about the early enrollees from the junior college ranks who are poised and ready to help this team get back to a championship level.