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Sunday, August 11, 2013
Updated: August 14, 4:01 PM ET
Ross Pierschbacher chooses Bama

By Tom VanHaaren and Greg Ostendorf
ESPN.com

Ross Pierschbacher (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls), the No. 1 ranked guard in the country, has committed to Alabama.

The No. 48 overall prospect initially committed to Iowa in January but after recent trips to both Alabama and Stanford, he flipped his pledge to the Crimson Tide. The Iowa native first visited Tuscaloosa last fall for the Iron Bowl and announced via email that he was making the switch from his hometown team.

"I would like to thank Coach Ferentz, his coaching staff, and the University of Iowa for the offer to be part of Hawkeye football. They have great tradition, outstanding people and a top notch program," he said. "After considering many different options and things important to me, my family and my future career, I am excited to announce that I have decided to play my collegiate career for Coach Saban and The University of Alabama."

Pierschbacher's commitment now gives the Crimson Tide 12 ESPN 300 commitments, one more than Miami and two more than both Florida State and Tennessee. Coming into the 2014 recruiting cycle, offensive line was a priority for the Alabama staff, and they have now reeled in five commitments since May. There are a lot of question marks surrounding new offensive line coach Mario Cristobal this season, but he's certainly made his mark on the program with his ability to recruit.

Pierschbacher becomes the fourth interior line commitment, joining ESPN 300 lineman J.C. Hassenauer (Woodbury, Minn./East Ridge) and Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial) as well as three-star guard Montel McBride (Plant City, Fla./Plant City). At tackle, the Tide added junior college prospect Dominick Jackson (San Mateo, Calif./College of San Mateo) in June.

And although it's already considered one of the top offensive line classes nationally, Alabama isn't done yet. The staff would like to add at least one more offensive tackle, specifically five-star recruit Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe), who visited Tuscaloosa last month and has narrowed his list to Alabama and LSU.

The coaching staff also has its sights set on ESPN 300 guards Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./John Bosco), a friend of Talamaivao's, and Braden Smith (Olathe, Kan./Olathe).