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July 12, 2006The Mobile area should be beaming with pride with one glance at the Rivals.com Alabama Top 25 for the Class of 2007.
Mobile prospects count for three of the state's four that are in the Rivals100.
The state's No. 1 prospect, however, hails from the Birmingham suburb of Hoover and the state's top high school program, Hoover High. Defensive tackle Kerry Murphy, the highest-rated Alabama prospect in the Rivals100, is the top overall college prospect in the state in this year's class.
Murphy moves extremely well for a prospect his size and has the tools to develop into a dominant player in college and beyond. Alabama, Auburn and Miami (Fla.) all remain in the hunt for his services.
The top Mobile-area prospect also is a defensive lineman, McGill-Toolen's Sidell Corley. Corley is of high value to colleges because he can be used in a number of different ways. He can play defensive end, he can move inside and play defensive tackle and while he couldn't do it every down, there are some packages/scenarios could even stand up and play linebacker.
With his size, strength and athleticism, multiple college programs (he has more than 50 scholarship offers) were on him early and the Florida Gators earned his commitment. Though, it's been speculated that it's not exactly over and that multiple schools, namely Alabama, are still in the mix.
One of Corley's good friends, Mobile Davidson safety Michael McNeil is a prospect to keep an eye on. McNeil very well could move up the charts before all is said and done. He's got great size and closing speed, is athletic and a vicious hitter from the safety position. Given those attributes, a program could develop him as an outside linebacker if it so chose.
McNeil, a Rivals100 selection, likes Alabama, Auburn and Florida State, among others.
The fourth Mobile prospect in the Rivals100 is UMS-Wright wide receiver Brandon Gibson. Gibson has excellent body control and does a nice job going up and snatching the ball out of the air. He also has very good speed and good size. Gibson has scholarship offers from a bevy of programs in the Southeast, but is considered a lock to stay in-state.
Rounding out the top five is the most likely Alabama prospect to move into the Rivals100, linebacker Rolando McClain of Decatur. The top prospect in Northern Alabama, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound McClain has the size and athletic ability to play linebacker, perhaps put his hand down and play defensive end, or rotate and do both depending on the defensive call.
McClain appeared to be leaning to Auburn throughout most of the process before he committed to Alabama last month.
The rest of the top 10 is as follows Mobile McGill-Toolen cornerback Phelon Jones, Hoover center Ryan Pugh, Prattville defensive tackle Nick Gentry, Athens defensive tackle Alfred McCullough and Alexander City linebacker Eltoro Freeman.