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Alabama Crimson Tide Football Recruiting Update: A Final Push

Crimson Tide coaches hit the road in a final drive to National Signing Day.

Jeremy Pruitt is on the loose!
Jeremy Pruitt is on the loose!
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

National Signing Day (NSD) is less than three weeks away. Thursday marks the end of the Dead Period and the beginning of Contact Period and Bama coaches have hit the ground running.

  • Dead Period: January 1-11.
  • Contact Period: January 12-28.
  • Quiet Period: January 29.
  • Dead Period: January 30-31.
  • Signing Day: February 1.
  • Dead Period: February 1-2.
  • Quiet Period: February 3-April 14.

More info on these terms can be found here.


There is no official information of the quantity of players Alabama can sign. However through attrition, it is believed that Nick Saban may be able to sign anywhere up to 27 or 28 with some blind dart-throwers claiming as many as 30. It is not out of the ordinary for SEC teams to go over the 25 signee limit. LSU took 26 just last year. Additionally, Tennessee and Georgia signed 29 and 28 respectively in 2015.

Currently, the Tide unofficially has 26 commitments. Some of these commits might end up elsewhere. Twelve of them will not.


Alabama currently has twelve student athletes enrolled in classes at the Capstone:

Najee Harris RB
Alex Leatherwood OL
Dylan Moses LB
Jerry Jeudy WR
Tua Tagovailoa QB
Elliot Baker OL
Isaiah Buggs DE
Tyrell Shavers WR
Chadarius Townsend ATH
Major Tennison TE
Kyriq McDonald DB
Thomas Fletcher LS

These twelve players are basically sealed and delivered. They are just waiting for the formality of signing on Feb. 1. It was originally believed that a few others may enroll early but have not. They are:

Xavier McKinney S - Committed Jan. 1, 2017.
Daniel Wright DB
Brian Robinson RB
Hunter Brannon
OL - possible greyshirt?

This could just be that the EE limit was reached and 5-stars are going to get the priority. Classes at University of Alabama began on Wednesday, Jan. 11 and the last day to add a course is Jan. 18.


The Crimson Tide will be hosting two recruits this weekend. One of them is 4-star OLB Chris Allen of Baton Rouge, LA who is already committed to the Tide. He attends Tim Williams' high school alma mater, Southern University Lab School.
* UPDATE: There are reports that Allen has rescheduled his OV to until next weekend, visitng BR this weekend. Hmmm...

The other visitor is 4-star CB Christopher Henderson of Miami, FL. He visits Florida next weekend. [My feeling is he stays home at the 'U' or more likely goes Gata.]

Eleven others are scheduled to visit next weekend, though plans do change. All of the below are 4-star recruits.


  • Javon Kinlaw (Jones County J.C.) SDE 6-6/305 - Former longtime South Carolina commit; originally from Goose Creek, SC; visits Columbia on Jan 28. Southern Cal may also be in the mix.
  • Devonta Smith (Amite, LA) WR 6-1/160 - Bama will take at least one more WR. They like Smith. He appears to be a Tide lean over LSU.
  • Henry Ruggs (Montgomery, AL) WR 6-0/175 - a favorite around RBR. Favors Alabama over Fla and FSU.
  • Phidarian Mathis (Monroe, LA) DT 6-4/287 - Attends Hootie Jones' high school, Neville. Likes Bama, LSU, and TCU.
  • Markail Benton (Phenix City, AL) OLB 6-1.5/237 - Committed to Bama but visiting UGA this weekend. Hmmm... UPDATE: Plans changed, he will not be visiting UGA this weekend.
  • Todd Harris (Plaquemine, LA) S 6-0/180 - LSU this weekend, Ole Miss in two weekends.
  • LaBryan Ray (Madison, AL) SDE 6-4/260 - Appears to be a Bama lean over Tennessee (Jan. 13 OV) and Florida (Jan. 27).
  • James Robinson (Lakeland, FL) WR 6-3/196 - Plan D? He probably will not sign with the Crimson Tide.


  • Nico Collins (Pinson, AL) WR 6-5/195 – Another possibility at WR. Alabama, UGA, Michigan.
  • Mac Jones (Jacksonville, FL) PRO 6-2/180 - Committed to Bama.
  • Akial Byers (Fayetteville, AR) DT 6-4 275 - Committed to Bama.

Interestingly, the Tide will host four receivers over the weekend: Smith, Ruggs, Collins, and Robinson. With the early departure of ArDarius Stewart, could Bama take two of these pass-catchers?

Juco DB and Bama commit Jhavonte Dean is OV-ing Miami this weekend. I get the feeling that is where he lands.


The UA staff wasted no time getting back on the recruiting trail.

  • 5-star DT Aubrey Solomon was visited in Leesburg, GA on Thursday by Jeremy Pruitt, Tosh Lupoi, and Karl Dunbar. You might say that he is now the priority of this class. Solomon is planning to OV Southern Cal on Friday. [IMHO, it is just a sightseeing tour.] He already OV'd Tuscaloosa for Iron Bowl.
  • Jeremy Pruitt also called on Phidarian Mathis and Bama commit Christopher Allen.
  • Billy Napier paid Devonta Smith a visit on Thursday.
  • Brent Key and Steve Sarkisian dropped in on Tide commits Jedrick Wills and Kendall Randolph.