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Part 2. “Freshman Class Reviews” … Coach Ray Perkins 1983-1986 - page 6 / 11





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1985 Freshman Class


This class was Coach Perkins third recruiting class. The need for a super class of talent was the objective Coach Perkins had to achieve. This class had a “good” incoming rating, but produced some significant players at a time they desperately were needed. The incoming rating for this class was a 4.0 * (Good), 18 of 27 signees (66%) were rated a “4” or above. Again short of the 80% I considered to be a good incoming percentage. A key accomplishment by Coach Perkins and staff in this class was the number of “5” rated prospects they were able to secure. Out of 27 signees, I gave eight a “5” rating. Two of those 8 were highly rated in-state RBS. Also, a good number (10) of linemen were finally signed. Desperately needing help at the skill positions, two JC WRS were signed.

The two highly rated in-state “5” rated RB signees were Bobby Humphrey from Birmingham and Gene Jelks from Gadsden. Both possessed the speed BAMA desperately needed at RB. The JC WR signees were Albert Bell from Los Angeles and Daryl Thomas from Texas. Bell was a Parade All-American out of high school but had to go the JC route due to grades. He arrived at BAMA needing to contribute quickly. Other “5” rated signees were DB John Easterling from MS, DB Kermit Kendrick from MS, and DL Anthony Smith from NC. The last two “5” rated signees were two in-state linemen, a position Coach Perkins had made a priority for this recruiting year. Larry Rose and big Joe King from Gadsden were both highly rated prospects. One other signee of note was a “3” rated LB prospect from Miami. Many considered this signee to be one of BAMA‘s biggest recruiting steals ever. Taken right out of National power U of Miami’s back yard was LB Derrick Thomas. Considered the 3rd best LB in the city of Miami, this 6-3 220 lb. athlete had been clocked at a sub 4.5 forty. The coaches were very excited with this “3” rated signee.


This class had an outgoing rating of 3.0 *(Average). The rating for this class really does not dictate how unique this class was. First the negative factors. Two signees died during their careers. RB George Scruggs from Decatur was killed in a car wreck. DL Willie Ryles from Phenix City died from health complications. A very unusual and sad occurrence. I did not rate these two kids incoming or outgoing and they are not included in the class rating. The other negative factor was for the 3rd consecutive year an amazing number of signees were rated a “1”. Of the 27 signees, 11 were rated a “1”. Again a “1” rating is for less than a full career. The combined 3 year total (1983,1984,1985) for this attrition was 31 of 82 signees left before completing a full 4-5 year career. This number destroys an outgoing class rating, but IMO a signee’s full commitment to BAMA is crucial to team stability. This high number of detractors has only happen one time and this was the period it occurred. Without this high number of “1” rated signees, this class would have achieved an “excellent” outgoing rating. Another unique situation occurred for the first time. DL Anthony Smith contributed 3 solid years before leaving prior to his senior year. I still rated him a “1” for early departure even though he contributed to the program.

The positives for this class are significant. Only 14 of 27 signees (52%) contributed “3” plus careers. But the key to this class is the number of impact players it produced when BAMA needed them most. I gave 5 players a “6” rating and 2 more a “5” rating. Four players were All-Americans and those four plus 3 additional players gave the class seven All-SEC selections. These are significant numbers for all-star type players from one class.

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