December 3, 2007

Senior Yearbook: Class of '07

Justin Britt
Offensive Line, 6-5/284
Cullman High School
Cullman, Ala.

Career Highlights: Britt contributed early and often for the Tide playing in 11 of 12 games in his freshman season on the defensive line notching 2 tackles for loss and a sack against Mississippi State. As a sophomore, Britt earned his first starts early in the year before struggling down the stretch with a shoulder injury. Prior to his junior season, Britt was moved to the offensive line where he started at left guard for all 13 games, notching 55 knockdowns and playing over 700 snaps. Britt returned his senior year starting all but two games at left guard.

Tim's Take: Britt was a legacy at UA with his brother Wesley just finishing his career when he arrived. He was highly recruited despite the fact Alabama was considered the team to beat. He added about 45-pounds from high school to college and made the transition to the offensive line where some projected him.

Keith Brown
Wide Receiver, 6-3/194
Pensacola High School
Pensacola, Fla.

Career Summary: Brown's playmaking ability was put on display early as the freshman played in 10 of 12 games earning starts against South Carolina and Ole Miss and finishing with 17 catches for 295 yards and a touchdown. Brown's involvement increased in his sophomore year hauling in 34 catches for 642 yards as a 10-game starter. As the Tide's second-leading receiver in 2006, Brown recorded 44 catches for 590 yards and three touchdowns and moved into the top-10 all-time receivers at Alabama. Brown lost his regular starting job his senior year but played in 11 games and grabbed 21 catches for 321 yards and four touchdowns.

Tim's Take: Brown was a big get late. After transferring from Mississippi to Florida he has a big senior year at Pensacola HS and Alabama had to hold off a strong late effort by FSU who come on strong. Not a lot was known about him until around December so he was a bit of a surprise.

Matt Caddell
Wide Receiver, 6-0/187
McAdory High School
McCalla, Ala.

Career Summary: A starter in eight games as a freshman, Caddell got his career off to a strong start with 17 catches for 331 yards and one touchdown as the Tide's second leading receiver behind Tyrone Prothro. Caddell was a solid backup contributor his sophomore year starting in the Cotton Bowl for a suspended DJ Hall and finishing the season with 13 catches for 179 yards, a 13.8 yards-per-catch average. As a junior, Caddell continued to prove himself as a solid third receiver tallying 16 catches for 150 yards including three catches and a touchdown in the Tide's bowl game against Oklahoma State. Caddell made great strides leading up to his senior year during which he earned 5 starts and finished as the Tide's second-leading receiver with 36 catches for 399 yards and one touchdown. Caddell's lone senior touchdown was a spectacular game-winning touchdown reception in the final seconds against Arkansas that helped put the Tide back on the national map early in the season.

Tim's Take: Early on Caddell was considered an Auburn lock since he grew up a Tiger fan. But the distance from his home to Tuscaloosa started to sway him and former Tide assistant Stan Eggan did a great job of "flipping" him. It was a big in-state win from Alabama.

Chris Capps
Offensive Line, 6-6/298
Landmark Christian
Jonesboro, Ga.

Career Summary: After redshirting in 2003, Capps saw action in five games as a redshirt freshman, totaling 77 snaps at left tackle where he backed up future NFL star Wesley Britt. Capps took over for Britt in 2006 starting all 12 games and moved to the right tackle spot his junior year where he started all 13 games of that season. After suffering a knee injury in the Independence Bowl, Capps' action was limited through spring practice but he saw action in five games including two starts at right tackle late in the season.

Tim's Take: Chris was a pure sleeper prospect who wasn't very highly recruited. He committed to Oklahoma State before a late Alabama offer caused him to switch. He was athletic but lean and the big question on him was whether he could put on the weight.

Marcus Carter
Safety, 6-0/205
Fort Payne High School
Fort Payne, Ala.

Career Summary: Carter's athleticism earned him snaps in every game as a freshman on special teams finishing the season with 3 tackles, including two against Auburn. Carter continued as a regular special teams contributor in his sophomore season playing in 10 games and earning 20 snaps at safety against Utah State. Finally earning a starting spot as a junior, Carter tallied 30 tackles with 17 solo stops and one forced fumble as a hard-hitting safety for the Tide. Carter started every game of his senior season totaling 47 tackles 1.5 tackles for loss, a pass breakup, one pass breakup and a quarterback hurry as a key player in the Tide defense.

Tim's Take: This was a huge win for Alabama because Carter grew up an Auburn fan and committed to them early on. He took a few visits to Alabama and he started to reconsider his pledge. At the time it was a big win for Alabama and Carter had around a dozen offers and was considered a head hunter and Alabama needed those.

Simeon Castille
Cornerback, 6-1/193
Briarwood Christian
Birmingham, Ala.

Career Summary: Castille showed early on he was capable of being a key playmaker for the Tide recording an interception in his first collegiate game against Utah State. Castille played in 11 of 12 games his freshman season and finished with 14 tackles and a sack along with two interceptions and four pass breakups. Castille's sophomore season was even more impressive with the corner picking up 28 total tackles, four tackles for loss and two interceptions along with 9 pass breakups. As a junior, Castille led the team with 6 interceptions which he returned for 71 yards along with 71 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss. Castille's senior season saw teams throwing away from the dangerous playmaker with the senior recording 61 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and two interceptions.

Tim's Take: Simeon got a lot of press because of the family name but also because he was a four year starter who made a big name for himself. LSU was the other school involved but everyone knew he was headed to Alabama where his brother played. He had good size for his position but not enough speed to project at corner. But he had a habit of being in the right place at the right time and making plays.

Wallace Gilberry
Defensive End, 6-3/267
Baldwin County High School
Bay Minette, Ala.

Career Summary: After redshirting in 2003, Gilberry exploded onto the scene as a redshirt freshman with 13 tackles for loss including 6.5 sacks. Gilberry also forced and recovered two fumbles in his debut campaign. Gilberry earned his first starts as a sophomore playing opposite future NFL star Mark Anderson at defensive end where he recorded 37 tackles including 10 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Gilberry's junior season saw the star defender starting in all 13 games and leading the team with 10.5 tackles for loss on the season along with 10 quarterback hurries. Gilberry's best season yet came as a senior when he recorded 9 sacks during the regular season and was second on the team in tackles with 72 including an astounding 22 tackles for loss and 15 quarterback hurries.

Tim's Take: Gilberry came from nowhere during the Alabama-Mississippi all-star game his senior year. Most thought he wasn't going to be eligible but the truth is he wasn't properly evaluated but several schools. Miami jumped in and made a push. Not a lot was known about him other than his performance in that game but he was impressive.

Eric Gray
Defensive Back, 6-0/195
Trinity High School
West Morgan, Ala.

Career Summary: Gray became a solid special teams contributor as a redshirt freshman in 2004 playing in nine games and recording four tackles. Gray continued his role as a speedy special teams player as a sophomore notching seven tackles in coverage including four tackles against Utah State. Gray's contributions increased as a junior when he played in all 13 games and totaling 17 tackles as both a special teams contributor and an occasional fifth or sixth defensive back. As a senior, Gray played in 10 games on special teams and recorded 2 tackles.

Tim's Take: His former teammate Chauncey Malone had committed to Alabama but never got eligible and Gray was considered a solid SEC prospect although he was never a household name. Most coaches liked his size and willingness to hit but he played at the small school level and that was a concern for some. Both in-state schools wanted him.

DJ Hall
Wide Receiver, 6-2/195
Choctawhatchee High School
Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.

Career Summary: Hall's talents were put to use right away by the Tide with the Florida native starting 10 games as a true freshman and hauling in 17 catches for 186 yards and one touchdown. As a sophomore, Hall continued to dazzle crowds on offense leading the Tide in receptions with 48and yards with 676 with five touchdowns. Hall's 11-reception game against Utah State marked the third-most by a receiver in Tide history. Hall's junior season earned him Second-Team All-SEC honors from the AP and SEC Coaches after setting a school record for receiving yards in a single-season with 1,056. He also recorded the second-most receptions in a season in school history with 62 and recorded seven 100-yard receiving games, which was also a school record. During his senior season, Hall surpassed nearly every career receiving record on the books at Alabama with 63 catches for 947 yards and 6 touchdowns in the regular season.

Tim's Take: Talent was never the issue with Hall. He put up huge numbers in high school and had several schools including FSU and LSU keeping close tabs on him. Alabama was fortunate because the other schools under consideration filled their spots at receiver but Alabama held strong and eventually landed him. He was thought to be one of the top prospects in Florida that year.

Keith Saunders
Linebacker, 6-4/251
Holy Cross High School
Willingboro, NJ

Career Summary: After taking a redshirt year in 2003, Saunders played in five games as a redshirt freshman for the Tide including the season opener against Utah State. As a sophomore, Saunders played in all 12 games and recorded 11 tackles, including three for loss, and one sack logging a total of 175 snaps on the year. Saunders became a regular defensive start his junior season earning 10 starts and finishing the season with 16 tackles and a sack at defensive end as well as two pass breakups and a quarterback hurry. Saunders took on the role of starting "Jack" linebacker in his senior season where he registered 31 tackles and three hurries.

Tim's Take: Saunders was another guy who was lightly recruited and attended Hargrave. He was originally from New Jersey and Alabama had a defensive need. He was projected as a defensive end/ linebacker but he needed to add weight and get stronger.

Marcel Stamps
Linebacker, 6-1/198
Brantley High School
Brantley, Ala.

Career Summary: The small school star played in every game in his freshman season finishing with 168 snaps and nine tackles with the highlight being a blocked punt returned for a touchdown against Western Carolina. Stamps continued to play a key role on special teams his sophomore season where he totaled five tackles. Stamps' junior season saw the speedy special teams contributor block another punt this time against Tennessee. As a senior, Stamps saw snaps on special teams in the first four games of the season.

Tim's Take: He was a guy who played for a small school and didn't get a lot of publicity but when his senior film went out he snagged a couple of SEC offers and had a lot of interest from other schools who wanted him to visit. He committed to Alabama pretty quickly after getting a firm offer. He was a small school two-way star.

DeMarcus Waldrop
Linebacker, 5-11/203
Pinson Valley High School
Pinson, Ala.

Career Summary: After redshirting for a year, Waldrop played in every game as a redshirt freshman earning a start at weakside linebacker against Kentucky and finishing with 22 tackles incoluding four for loss and one sack. As a sophomore, Waldrop continued to see plenty of action on defense racking up 16 tackles at both linebacker and special teams. As a junior, Waldrop continued to serve as a reliable backup linebacker notching 21 tackles on the season. In his senior season, Waldrop contributed mostly as a special teams player finishing with 13 tackles on the season and recovering the onside kick at the opening of the Tennessee game that helped set the tone for the Tide's big upset.

Tim's Take: DeMarcus drew interest because he could fly to the ball and loved to hit. The problem was he wasn't the biggest guy on the field from a size standpoint and UAB was his only other offer. Alabama followed him closely throughout his senior year before offering.

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