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Reading the recruiting tea leaves

Alabama's actual plans for the final weeks of recruiting are a closely kept secret, specific details of which are known only to the Tide coaches. But after months and months of literally scores of stories and updates conducted with prospects linked to The Capstone, a semi-informed guess can be made at where things stand.

As all dedicated recruiting fans know by now, Bama is allowed to bring in 19 new athletes on scholarship this fall. Yet the Tide coaches have so far taken commitments from 24 players. Some won't qualify, and will play next year at either a junior college or in prep school. And some have agreed (all but Drew Davis in confidence) to be so-called "grayshirts," if needed, delaying their entry into The...

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From beginning to end there has been confusion about just how many athletes Alabama would sign this…