July 6, 2006

Recruiting Flashback: The Class of 2004

At first glance, it appeared as if there wouldn't be enough scholarships available for the 27 players who made up Mike Shula's first full recruiting class at Alabama. But after factoring in non-qualifiers and grayshirts -- a concept Shula has developed a strong affinity for -- a once overflowing class wedged its way into the 19 slots that were available.

The 2004 class produced eight players who currently project as starters for the 2006 season. However, the haul wasn't immune to attrition. Four of the signees who reported to UA in August 2004 are no longer with the team, and two of the six non-qualifiers would not be re-signed.

The defensive line class was especially hard hit, as four of the seven signees failed to meet freshman eligibility standards. Fortunately, two of the non-qualifiers -- defensive tackles Lorenzo Washington and Brandon Fanney -- re-signed with the Tide the following February after one-year layovers at Hargrave Military Academy. Both spent the 2005 season redshirting.

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