The one piece of solid information that everyone seems to agree on as we reach the end of Bama’s 2012 recruiting cycle is that the coaching staff wants to take one more defensive lineman. Tops on the Tide’s list, and just about everyone else’s for that matter, is Eddie Goldman (CFBZ #9) out of Washington (DC). His size and athleticism give him the ability to hold the point of attack in a base 3-4 look, as well as to be a disruptive force getting after the quarterback in passing situations, not unlike a Marcell Dareus. His recruitment has mainly been a two-team race for a while now, between Bama and Florida State. Most felt the Tide was in good position to land him heading into the home stretch, but their hopes suffered a big blow when Goldman’s lead recruiter, Sal Sunseri, left to take the defensive coordinator job at Tennessee. Now the consensus seems to be that Bama is a longshot to nab the big guy.
(Sidenote: Watch out for Auburn in Goldman’s recruitment. It’s been their M.O. under Gene Chizik to orchestrate effective last-minute whirlwind romances with superstar recruits, and they’ve been making a strong play for Goldman heading into Signing Day.)
So if not him, what’s Plan B in the Tide’s hunt for one last big body on the DL?
Two guys seem to be in contention for that spot. First is Dalvin Tomlinson from McDonough (GA). Tomlinson has been high on Bama throughout the process but hasn’t received that fabled “committable” offer yet. Unless in-state schools Georgia or Georgia Tech make a late push for him, all indications are that he’ll jump at the opportunity when it comes. For what it’s worth, I really like Tomlinson’s film. He’s clearly no Goldman, but he has good short-burst athleticism for his size that could allow him to develop into a solid contributor at defensive end, a la Damion Square.
The next guy on the Tide’s radar is Korren Kirven out of Lynchburg (VA). There really wasn’t much buzz on Kirven and Bama up until the past few weeks, but a high degree of mutual interest seems to have developed between the two since Bama began looking for Goldman backup plans. At 6’4” and 272 pounds, Kirven looks to have plenty of room to grow. He does an excellent job of holding the point and getting push into the backfield, but athletically, he’s more of a Terrence Cody type who isn’t going to run down many plays that don’t come straight at him. He’s definitely what you would call a “project,” in my opinion.
Indications are that Bama is higher on Kirven right now than Tomlinson, but in-state power Virginia Tech has been on Kirven for a long time, and he has several former teammates playing for the Hokies, so VT has a big advantage. Bama’s late push (and the addition of Kirven’s former lead recruiter at Tennessee, Lance Thompson) may not be enough to overcome that home field advantage.
My money is on this spot ultimately falling to Tomlinson on Wednesday.