TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama's 2014 recruiting class gained another major boost as the nation's No. 1 prospect Cameron Robinson committed to the Crimson Tide during a ceremony at his high school.
Robinson is a five-star prospect from West Monroe, La. He chose the Tide over the home-state LSU Tigers in a televised event on ESPN.
"My key factors (for choosing a school) were most importantly where I feel most comfortable and what school I felt like set me up to be the most successful for the next four years," Robinson said on ESPN before the announcement.
"Those were the main two factors."
Robinson is rated as the No. 1 recruit in the nation regardless of position for the class of 2014 by the 247Composite rankings, an average of the four major recruiting service rankings.
"Alabama's a great program," he said. "Every time I was able to get down to Tuscaloosa, I was able to sit down and talk with coach (Nick) Saban, coach (Billy) Napier and coach (Mario) Cristobal. I just developed a really strong relationship with them."
Robinson said the recent commitment of fellow Monroe recruit and childhood friend wide receiver Cameron Sims to Alabama influenced his decision to choose the Tide as well.
"I have extremely high expectations for myself," he said.
"I plan on coming in, working hard and hopefully competing for a job as a freshman."
Robinson is Alabama's 20th commitment for its class of 2014 and the sixth offensive line prospect. The Tide had the No. 1 rated class in the nation according to 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals heading into Robinson's announcement.
Robinson will graduate high school in December and play in the 2014 Under Armour All-American Game in January before enrolling at Alabama for the spring semester.
After missing the trip to Atlanta for Alabama's season opener, cornerback Geno Smith and running back Kenyan Drake are back in good standing with the team, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said during Wednesday's SEC teleconference.
Saban noted that both will have to work back up the depth chart if they hope to play against Texas A&M in College Station on Sept. 14.
"It's up to them to sort of prove that they're better than those players and do a better job," Saban said. "If they do that, they'll get back in the lineup."
Smith was suspended for the season opener after being arrested last month for driving under the influence. The sophomore was expected to start at the Tide's "star" defensive back position.
As for Drake, Saban was asked about his status last week and said he didn't see the sophomore having a role against Virginia Tech. .
Tide begins preparations
During his Tuesday news conference, Tide coach Nick Saban wasn't ready to talk about the team's preparation for Texas A&M. Saban feels too much preparation for an opponent can be a bad thing for the players. So, the Tide will began preparation for the Aggies during Thursday's practice.
"Well, I can't speak for the players -- I think you should ask them that -- but you know, we have a plan, we have things that we need to do to improve as a team, which we're working on right now," Saban said. "But we probably won't start any kind of Texas A&M stuff until Thursday,, which is usually the most we do on a team, which is two extra days.
"Cut down a little bit before we go. But we have a lot of work to do as a team to be able to play the way we're going to need to play to have any chance of being successful when we play out there against Texas A&M."
Wide receiver Kenny Bell rejoined the team at practice following a brief retirement on Tuesday. Bell was back with the receiver group catching passes.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Bell posted to his Twitter account, "I'm back with the team!! Just needed time to myself for a day but I couldn't leave my boy@TheKennyBell7 is back with me this season! Wouldn't be the same w/o him.