Recruiting notebook: Tide's Kiffin goes to Oxford to visit Racean Thomas
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Jan 16, 2014 | 6409 views |  0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Oxford's Racean Thomas (6) is an Auburn commitment. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
Oxford's Racean Thomas (6) is an Auburn commitment. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
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Alabama’s coaching staff didn’t waste anytime hitting the recruiting trail with Thursday marking the end of the NCAA’s “dead period” when coaches can't visit prospects.

The big news from the Crimson Tide came from Oxford High as new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin arrived on campus to visit five-star Auburn commitment Racean Thomas.

Thomas’s high school coach, Ryan Herring, confirmed Kiffin was in Oxford and that he visited with Thomas for “about 30 minutes.”

The blue-chip running back prospect took some unofficial visits to Tuscaloosa last spring and fall, but has remained firm in his pledge to the Tigers.

“He’s 100 percent (committed to Auburn),” Herring said. “I haven’t seen any change. I don’t think you’re going to see a change.”

Thomas, who was named Mr. Football by the Alabama Sports Writers Association on Wednesday, has been committed to Auburn since August of 2013.

At 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, Thomas rushed for 2,211 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior.

With Auburn running back Tre Mason leaving early for the NFL draft, Thomas could play a big role as a true freshman for the Tigers.

Anniston Star reporter Brandon Miller contributed to this report.

Scarbrough on the move: Alabama commit Bo Scarbrough is transferring back to Tuscaloosa County High School, according to multiple reports.

After playing his first three years at Northridge High, Scarbrough briefly transferred to Tuscaloosa County in June of 2013.

In August of 2013, he left Tuscaloosa County for IMG Academy, a Bradenton, Florida-based private athletic training institute.

Scarbrough is listed as an athlete with scouts saying he could play running back, H-back or wide receiver in college. He is a five-star prospect and the No. 3 rated athlete in the nation, according to 247Sports Composite Rankings.

Scarbrough was the Tide’s first commitment of the 2014 class, pledging to the Tide in September of 2012. He is expected to transfer next week.

Brown still recruiting: Despite reports that he will step down, Alabama defensive backs coach Greg Brown is still recruiting, according to Bamaonline.com.

Brown reportedly hit the road with Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban to visit 2015 prospects.

Brown is expected to step down to allow Kevin Steele to transition back into an on-field coaching position, according to reports.

Steele is currently the Tide’s director of player personnel.

— Marq Burnett

Auburn

AUBURN
— Another award winner is in Auburn’s sights.

Rashaan Evans, a local linebacker who played at Auburn High, was selected as Class 6A’s Lineman of the Year after putting together a spectacular senior campaign. Evans collected 54 tackles (12 for loss), 17 sacks, 20 quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles as he helped the Tigers make the 6A state championship game, where they fell to Hoover 20-3.

Auburn is one of three schools still in the running for Evans, a consensus five-star prospect. He visited one of his finalists, UCLA, during the fall and take a visit to Alabama this weekend. Next weekend, he’ll stay at home and visit with the Tigers.

Evans is going to take things down to the end, though, as he told AL.com he doesn’t plan to announce where he’ll go until National Signing Day on Feb. 5.

Tigers trying to flip FSU commit: Auburn might not have been able to come out on top of the BCS title game on Jan. 6. That doesn’t mean the same thing will happen on the recruiting trail.

According to Scout.com, Auburn is one of three schools Florida State commit Treon Harris plans to visit before signing day arrives.

Harris led Booker T. Washington High School in Miami to consecutive state championships as a quarterback, but is primarily being recruited as a cornerback. His athleticism would also translate to receiver if his future team wanted to go in that direction.

Harris’ visit to Auburn on Jan. 24 is sandwiched between a trip to Florida this weekend and one to Miami the final weekend of the month.

Visits: Three players on hand for official visits on the Plains this weekend haven’t pledged to play for the Tigers — not yet, anyway. The trio is headlined by Braden Smith, one of the top offensive lineman in the country.

A Kansas native, the Tigers are recruiting him as an offensive tackle, according to Scout.com.

The other two are four-star defensive ends. One is Andrew Williams, who plays at Eagles Landing Christian Academy in McDonough. The other is LSU commit Davon Godchaux, a Louisiana native viewed as one of the state’s top 10 players regardless of position.

— Ryan Black
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