University of Alabama

Lawrence commits to Alabama

Alabama picked up a verbal commitment from a four-star football prospect for the second straight day on Friday.

Cornerback Alonzo Lawrence of George County High School in Lucedale, Miss., announced he would sign with the Crimson Tide on Wednesday in a news conference at his school Friday afternoon. The 6-foot, 190-pound Lawrence chose Alabama over fellow finalists Ole Miss and LSU, among other schools.

Lawrence is rated a four-star prospect by both Scout.com and Rivals.com, which has him rated the No. 2 prospect in Mississippi and the No. 35 overall player in the country. He saw his stock rise significantly based on his performance in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic in December, when he all but shut down five-star wide receiver prospect Julio Jones of Foley and also ran an interception back 94 yards for a touchdown.

“Alabama is my school,” Lawrence told TiderInsider.com. “They’ve been recruiting me for a long time. That really meant a lot to me. They’ve wanted me from the beginning, not just since the all-star game.”

Lawrence’s commitment comes on the heels of a verbal pledge from McGill-Toolen defensive end Glenn Harbin on Thursday. Lawrence and Harbin give the Crimson Tide 28 verbal commitments for 2008.

Alabama still awaits word from a number of top prospects, including Jones, Gadsden City linebacker Jerrell Harris, Birmingham Huffman defensive tackle Marcel Dareus and Flint (Mich.) running back Mark Ingram Jr. All four of those players are expected to announce their final college choices on Wednesday, which is national signing day.

ONE SPORT ONLY

Alabama safety Justin Woodall won’t play baseball for the Crimson Tide this season, baseball coach Jim Wells said on Friday.

Woodall indicated in December that he planned on going out for the baseball team as a pitcher/center fielder this spring. But Wells said Friday that Woodall has since changed his mind and decided to stick to the gridiron.

“We followed up on that closely, and Justin decided just to play football,” said Wells, whose team began spring practice on Friday. “He feels like he has an opportunity to start at safety. That’s all I know about that.”

Woodall has played sparingly in two football seasons at Alabama, totaling six tackles in 17 games played. He ended last season as the top back-up to starting free safety Rashad Johnson, who will be a senior in 2008.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Woodall was drafted by the New York Mets in the 19th round out of Lafayette County High School in Oxford, Miss., in 2006, but turned down a six-figure signing bonus to play football for the Crimson Tide. A left-hander, Woodall reportedly boasted a mid-90s fastball in high school.

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