Monday, December 2, 2013
Scouts' Take: Laurence Jones to Alabama
By Tom Luginbill
Laurence Jones, the nation's No. 22 player in the ESPN 300 and No. 2 safety, strengthened Alabama's No. 1-ranked recruiting class by committing to the Crimson Tide over LSU on Monday.
How does Jones fit with Nick Saban's squad, and what does it mean to its recruiting class? Let's break it down.
What he brings: Range, instincts and physicality that will allow for him to play off and in coverage, as well as close to the line of scrimmage in a hybrid safety/OLB role. He possesses college-ready size and would be expected to contribute as a freshman, especially on early run-down situations and in the kicking game.
Laurence Jones, the No. 2-ranked safety, is expected to contribute as a freshman for Alabama.
How he fits: A much-needed add for the Crimson Tide, as Vinnie Sunseri and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix could forgo their senior seasons and enter the NFL draft early. Don't be surprised if S Landon Collins departs early in another year as well. This position could become thin quickly, so addressing this area now is a smart move. It would be wise to get him involved early so that when thrust into duty as a full-time player sooner rather than later, his learning curve would be less steep.
Reminds us of: Former LSU safety Chad Jones. He has linebacker size with safety range to handle the coverage requirements that come along with playing near the line of scrimmage. Like Chad Jones, Laurence is at his best coming forward to play the ball and a bit straight-lined, which can hinder some one-on-one coverage situations depending on the matchup.
How class is shaping up: Despite some recent decommitments, some of which may have been calculated and supported by Alabama to make room for other spots, the Crimson Tide
are still rolling. Alabama had a staggering eight verbal commitments
that rank in the top two at their respective position, and Jones makes nine. CB Marlon Humphrey and RB Leonard Fournette are key priorities left on the board. Despite a loss in the Iron Bowl this past weekend, Alabama is still on top of the mountain when it comes to recruiting.