The Iron Bowl: it ain’t just for late November and in-state recruiting anymore.
Used to fighting it out for high school players in the state specifically and the SEC’s footprint in general, Alabama and Auburn have taken their recruiting rivalry much further to the west this spring. The Tide and Tigers, along with SEC rivals LSU and Florida as well as Washington, are the finalists for the services of Salt Lake City quarterback and Class of 2013 prospect Cooper Bateman.
Bateman has already visited UA and AU, and has another trip to Tuscaloosa scheduled for early June. Shortly after that visit, Bateman hopes to have a decision, although he did tell 247Sports.com that there is no front-runner in his mind right now.
“I want to decide pretty soon if possible,” Bateman said. “There is no clear school on top for me right now, but I’m looking at those five programs. I’m weighing the pros and cons of each school and evaluating the football aspect and comfort level of each program. …
“Coach (Scot) Loeffler at Auburn is great, Nuss (Doug Nussmeier, Alabama’s offensive coordinator) is someone I like a lot too.”
Neither of the Alabama schools has received a verbal commitment from a player at that position in the 2013 class — neither have the other three finalists, incidentally — so landing the non-binding verbal from Bateman would be considered a significant get for either school.
Bateman is rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and the No. 6 pro-style QB in the country by the same service. 247Sports has Bateman as the No. 4 pro-style QB in the country, while Scout.com has him as the No. 4 QB of any kind.
(Tip O’ the Cap: al.com)