March 31, 2011

Prattville group visits Tuscaloosa

Prattville High School has proved to be a fertile recruiting area for the University of Alabama over the years, and this year is no different.

Alabama already has commitments from Justin Thomas and Caleb Gulledge, has heavy interest in Justin Shanks, and may be close to offering De'Ante Lawrence. All four Prattville teammates were in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday with their head coach Jamey Dubose.

"We had the ability to go out and watch a college practice, and our guys get to watch how the tempo of practice works at the college level," Dubose said. "I try to get the guys up to different places where they have offers or where they've committed. It lets them see where they're going or if they want to go there."

All four players watched the Crimson Tide practice, and then got a chance to meet briefly with a few of the UA coaches afterwards.

Shanks, a 6-foot-3, 295-pound defensive tackle, has become of Alabama's top in-state priorities. He has offers from a number of SEC schools and likes both Alabama and Auburn.

"It went real well," Shanks said. "It's interesting to see how they do things up there, the tempo of the practice and how they're just constantly moving, no breaks or anything. "Coach (Chris) Rumph reminds me of one of my coaches at (Prattville). He really gets after them, which I like to see."

UA commitment Caleb Gulledge also watched the defensive line practice. Gulledge, who can play on both the offensive and defensive line, expects to play defensive end when he arrives in Tuscaloosa.

"I liked watching the defensive line because they play real fast-paced and they were real active with their hands and feet. That's one of my strengths," Gulledge said.

"I really love Coach Rumph. I look forward to playing under him. I liked his attitude and how uptempo he is. He loved to work with them. He criticizes you, but at the same time, he likes to work with you. He doesn't just tell you what you're doing wrong. He likes to show you and correct you on spot."

Both Gulledge and Shanks plan to come back to UA for the A-Day spring game on April 16.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at greg@tidesports.com

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