With multiple players having transferred out of the program, Alabama head coach Anthony Grant and his coaching staff will have some holes to fill in both their 2014 and 2015 recruiting classes.
With three commitments in the 2014 class Alabama landed its first 2015 commitment on Sunday, as Montgomery (Ala.) Carver High School small forward Brandon Austin verbally committed to attend the SEC school. This continues the SEC West’s run on players from Carver, with 2014 prospect Demetrius Houston and 2015 prospect Joseph Struggs both having committed to attend Mississippi State.
In fact four players with connections to Carver will end up (or already are) in Starkville, with Carver alums Roquez Johnson and Craig Sword currently members of the Mississippi State program.
But Austin went a different route, deciding that the best move for him would be to join the Crimson Tide.
“It’s the best school for me,” Austin said. “I love their style of play and how they get up and down the floor. My mom was real big on the academics, too, and they have a good academic program.”
Austin, a 6-foot-5 forward known for his dreadlocked hair, has been Carver’s sixth man the last two seasons.
“I think he has a great upside and he’s going to be very successful at the Capstone,” Carver coach James “J.J.” Jackson said. “We look forward to seeing him in that crimson and white in a couple of years and him making his mark up there.”
Austin is the first player of Carver head coach James Jackson’s to commit to Alabama, which is interesting considering the fact that Jackson played at Alabama for Wimp Sanderson in the 1980s. As for the current Crimson Tide, this is a needed commitment considering the fact that Devonta Pollard (legal issues) is no longer a member of the program.
With Pollard, who would have been a senior in 2015-16, out of the picture Alabama was essentially down to 2014 commit Riley Norris at the small forward position come 2015. Adding Austin to the equation gives coach Grant some depth at the position, and the opportunity to focus on other areas of need.