New ESPN 150 has Tide flavor

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama continued to stay active on the recruiting trail in May, reeling in three new 2013 commitments, including two in the new ESPN 150 rankings that were released Wednesday.

The most noteworthy commitment in May came from Salt Lake City quarterback Cooper Bateman. Bateman is ranked No. 62 in the ESPN 150, and he's the Crimson Tide's first high-profile quarterback commit since Phillip Sims in 2010.

Alabama also landed Ashburn, Va., defensive end Jonathan Allen, ranked No. 72. Allen, who chose UA over Florida, projects as a potential Jack linebacker in the Tide's defense.

Bateman and Allen make it six of the 14 Alabama commitments who are ranked in the new ESPN 150.

For now, the lone five-star in the class is Auburn, Ala., linebacker Reuben Foster, who stands pat at the No. 2 spot. Despite his high ranking, Foster still competed at the Atlanta NFTC in April and showed why he deserves the attention. He also earned an invitation to The Opening in Oregon next month.

In-state tight end commit O.J. Howard will be joining Foster at The Opening, and he remained among the top 50 at No. 42. Despite Auburn coming after him, Howard insists he's still solid with the Tide.

Alabama's other ESPN 150 commitments in the class are two running backs: Tyren Jones and Altee Tenpenny.

Jones, a 5-foot-8, 190-pound back, visited Tuscaloosa this week for the Tide's first summer camp, and all indications point to a strong performance. He comes in at No. 78 in the new rankings.

Tenpenny, a native of North Little Rock, Ark., dropped in the rankings because of questions with his health, but he proved he was fully healthy at the Memphis NFTC over the weekend. Look for his ranking to go back up with a strong senior season.

Offensive lineman Andy Dodd and athlete ArDarius Stewart dropped out of the latest ESPN 150, but both UA commits are still ranked among the top 170 players in the nation and could climb back into the final 150 when it's all said and done.

Obviously, Alabama's class is far from complete, and the Tide are in the mix for several top prospects in the ESPN 150, most notably Robert Nkemdiche, the nation's No. 1 player.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive end is on a visit to LSU, but he's expected to stop in Tuscaloosa on his way back for a couple of days. He plans to make a decision by the end of the summer.

Alabama hosted another five-star this week as offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil made the trip to UA for the Tide camp. Tunsil hasn't narrowed down a list yet, but a good visit could go a long way for Alabama.

If June turns out to be anything like May was for the Tide, Alabama might see a few more ESPN 150 recruits added to its class before the next batch of rankings come out.