Looking for a college home

From a recruiting publicity point of view, sometimes it is possible to have <i>too many</i> talented athletes on a given high school team. <br><br>Tuscaloosa's Hillcrest High School was frankly loaded this year, and linebacker Kris Guyton has been somewhat overlooked.

Tailback Markus Manson, offensive tackle Cody Davis and cornerback Travis Robinson were teammates of Guyton's at Hillcrest, and all three are considered big-time Division 1A recruits. But many Hillcrest fans will tell you that Guyton was the heart and soul of this year's Patriot defense.

Guyton finished his senior season with an impressive 164 tackles, one fumble recovery and seven tackles for a loss. Yet so far he's had to wait on major scholarship offers.

"I'm going to Jacksonville State this weekend," Guyton told Scott Kennedy of TheInsiders.com in an interview Monday. "They've offered me a scholarship."

Guyton would love to get a chance to sign with Alabama.

Guyton would love to join Cody Davis and Travis Robinson in this year's Alabama signing class, but that may not be in the cards. NCAA sanctions limit Bama's options this year, but the Tide coaches have stayed in close touch with Guyton for months.

After his visit to Jacksonville State, Guyton says he's scheduled to take official visits to UAB (1-16), Southern Miss (1-23) and Alabama (1-30).

"My top two teams right now are Southern Miss and UAB," Guyton said in the same interview. "I think I might get an offer from them when I take my official visits."

A tall athlete not afraid of contact, Guyton runs well. He has the frame to easily fill out to 225-240 pounds in college. Despite being relatively slender for the task, he manned the middle linebacker position this year for Hillcrest and proved to be a physical presence.

"Everyone is recruiting me at outside linebacker right now," Guyton said.

Bama's coaches think highly of Guyton, but may run out of scholarships. However, several current Tide commitments have serious academic questions, which could conceivably work in his favor. It's probably no accident that Bama's coaches have scheduled him for the last official visit weekend before National Signing Day.

Alabama is expected to over-sign by several athletes this year, as a hedge against qualifying concerns. One or two players may be asked to "grayshirt," that is delay entry into The University until January of 2005, taking part in spring practice but counting on the Tide's '05 numbers.

RECRUITING NOTES: Alabama already has 19 public commitments (20 if you count Titus Ryan), with Antoine Caldwell very likely to make a decision this week.

Guyton could play outside linebacker, or bulk up to man the middle linebacker position or even play defensive end.

Alabama is allowed to bring in 19 new scholarshipped players this fall. The Tide is expected to sign from 22-24 players in February, anticipating that several will not become qualified.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Scott Kennedy of TheInsiders.com contributed to this report.

Read all of the recent recruiting stories on Alabama recruits from TheInsiders.com.

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