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Part 2. “Freshman Class Reviews” … Coach Ray Perkins 1983-1986 - page 4 / 11





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1984 Freshman Class


Coach Perkins followed up his first class with another average rated class. Due to a small number of highly rated in-state prospects, Coach Perkins and staff were forced to put a heavy emphasis on out of state prospects. The results were not what he needed in numbers of potential impact players. This class had an incoming rating of 3.9 *(Average). Of the 27 signees, I gave only six a “5” rating. 18 of 27 signees (66%) were rated a “4” or above. The second consecutive year of less than 80% for Coach Perkins and the fourth straight year overall going back to 1981. This means that the roster was carrying a large number of “3” rated signees. Many “3” rated signees go on to be impact players, but at this period of time BAMA needed big time talent in large numbers to get back into the championship hunt. Also in this class, only 6 linemen were signed. That makes only 11 linemen signees in Perkins first two years. IMO this hurt BAMA more than any other part of recruiting during this period. Most coaches have always stated that recruiting starts with quality linemen for both sides of the ball and most sign a plentiful number each year.

The most notable signee would have to be QB Vince Sutton from Georgia. He was rated one of the top 3 QBs in America and was selected a Parade and USA Today High School All-American. Another Parade All-American signed was DB Johnny Norwood from Texas. Both of these signees were “5”rated. The other out of state “5” rated signees were DB Rory Turner from Georgia and QB Gene Newberry from Arkansas. There was only two in-state signees rated a “5” and both were from the Mobile area. OL Bill Condon and LB Willie Sheppard came from a very small number of Div. #1 prospects available in Alabama.


This class had an outgoing rating of 2.4 *(Poor). This class would get a “Very Poor” rating if I had one. This is by far the lowest rated outgoing class since I started in 1980. Only 10 of 27 signees (37%) contributed a “3” plus career. (60% a good class contribution) For the second consecutive year a very high number did not complete a full career. After10 in 1983, eleven signees were rated a “1” in this class. The individual numbers are no better. Only 1 signee produced a “6” rating and I gave no one a “5” rating.

OL Bill Condon was a 2-time All-SEC selection and by far the lone star of this class. P Chris Mohr was the only other player to earn All-SEC. One time All-SEC players usually get a “5” rating, but I personally cannot give a punter that rating. Other solid contributors from this class was FB Doug Allen, WR Greg Payne, and LB Willie Sheppard. DB Rory Turner had a solid career and is remembered for his brutal hits. A famous quote from Rory was made after a vicious hit against Auburn to save a touchdown, “I REALLY WAXED THAT DUDE!” Also WR Clay Whitehurst was a steady and solid contributor during his scareer. Incoming Parade All-American DB Johnny Norwood never contributed at BAMA. The other Parade All- American signee, QB Vince Sutton, never developed into the impact player many felt sure he would. The other highly rated QB in the class, Gene Newberry, ended his career at TE.

This class was the upperclassmen on the 1987 7-5 team. Fifth year players were on the 1988 9-3 team, but few contributed significantly. Over all, this class made few major contributions at BAMA.

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