Okay, I promise I'm not trying to turn this into a recruiting blog, but this just came across the wire.
Alabama made a surprising pull from the state of California with the verbal commitment of Isaac Luatua (La Mirada, CA). He plays on both sides of the ball for his high school team, guard on offense and tackle on defense, but he projects out as an offensive center in college. Rivals.com rates him as the #8 center prospect in this year's class, while Scout.com pegs him at #18. Luatua also had offers from Arkansas, Tennessee, Boston College, and UCLA, among others.
Its a surprising commitment because, A) California isn't exactly a pipeline state for Alabama recruiting, and B) Luatua just received his official offer from Bama less than a month ago. Tennessee (who does have an extensive history of recruiting California) was viewed as having a big lead for his commitment prior to this announcement.
I admittedly don't know much about this guy, but his measurables (6'2", 299) are comparable to current Bama center William Vlachos. And I also really like offensive lineman who have experience on the defensive side of the ball. You can count on those guys being very athletic for their size, and they usually come with a meanstreak. Which is a pretty crucial trait for executing Bama's now trademark "Make their asses quit!" style of offensive line play.
Obviously, there's still a long time till February, and I don't expect Tennessee to slink away. His commitment to a place like Bama will also have programs out West taking a harder look at him. But if he holds true to his commitment, I think he'll be a good fit for the Alabama system. He'll definitely be the first Alabama player of Polynesian descent in a long time.