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Uab Repurposing Some Elite Talent


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UAB repurposing some elite talent



This UAB revival is getting interesting. The Blazers won't return to the football field until the 2017 season but they're already building a roster under head coach Bill Clark that begins with the class of 2016.

To date, UAB has the No. 1 recruiting class in Conference USA. It's ranked No. 66 nationally. As has always been the plan with this first rebound recruiting class, UAB is chasing junior college prospects, guys with college experience that will be able to contribute effectively in the program's first year back. With the big names that UAB is landing, the roster is going to look very familiar to fans of some of the top programs in the country.

How are they doing it? Construction of some sparkling new facilities certainly helps. UAB also has some recruiting advantages that allows the program to accept partial qualifiers that would otherwise need to spend more time in a JuCo program before becoming academically eligible. UAB also offers the advantage of a full extra year of development that won't count against a prospect's eligibility clock as the program prepares for 2017. Of course there is also the allure of building a program from the ground up and being a part of a new era. It's all working.

Among UAB's recent roundup of junior college prospects:

LB, Clifton Garrett - A five-star prospect out of high school and the No. 2 outside linebacker in the country, Garrett signed with LSU out of the 2014 class but transferred after one season in Baton Rouge.

RB, Greg Bryant - Ranked as the No. 7 running back in the country out of the class of 2013 according to the 247Sports Composite, Bryant was considered a five-star by some recruiting sites. He signed with Notre Dame out of Delray Beach, Fla. but his production was limited at Notre Dame due to in part to injury and he had been suspended for the 2015 season for academic reasons.

OL, Brandon Hill - Always considered one of the better 'boom or bust' prospects in the country, Hill has freakish upside if he can keep his weight in check. An Alabama signee out of high school who went the prep school route only to land at Alabama again before transferring to JuCo, Hill's weight has fluctuated from the 340 range up to 390-plus. At 6-6, he has outstanding feet at that size and he has the ability to be an NFL guy if he can focus in. Hill was ranked as a the No. 10 player in the state of Tennessee coming out of high school.

DT, Maquedius Bain - Ranked as the No. 26 defensive tackle in the country according to 247Sports Composite, Bain was an Under Armour All-American who signed with LSU. After redshirting during his freshman season, Bain found the field in his second season and was expected to be a regular contributor to the 2015 LSU defensive front.

DB, Shaquille Jones - Out of high school, 247Sports ranked Shaquille Jones higher than the industry generated 247Sports Composite as the No. 54 cornerback in the country and a Top100 player in Florida. Jones signed with Georgia out of high school but was dismissed from the team during his freshman season.

DT, Noah Jones - Though not as highly touted as those above him on this list, Jones was a Michigan State signee out of the 2013 class and redshirted his first season in East Lansing with the potential to be another great Mark Dantonio find. He transferred to junior college in part because of academic issues.

When Bill Clark and UAB return to the field in 2017, talent won't be an issue. Oh, and by the way, Clark did pretty good developing a bunch of guys you'd never heard of too.

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