Today births another chapter in the long illustrious career of the NCAA’s compulsion to put an oversized bandage on a paper cut. It is inauguration day for the Early Signing Period (Ima call this ‘ESP’. We’ll see if it catches on). This three-day term (Dec 20-22) was likely created for early January enrollees (EE), who are already practicing with the team and taking classes, to sign before NSD which comes the first Wednesday of February every year. But for some reason, the NCAA decided to open this period up to any student-athlete who wants to end the recruitment process. Basketball has long had a similar early signing period in November and I cannot recall there ever being any issues over recruits changing their minds or any other issue. Yet in bouncey-balls, we are talking anywhere from two to five signees per team. On the gridiron, it is around 25. The depth charts of the two sports are two completely different animals.
If you are wondering what kind of issues may arise, imagine if a school signs a 3-star quarterback in the ESP. He is locked in on Dec 20. Then come Feb 7, what if that school signs another QB that is rated much higher. Suddenly, it appears that the original 3-star QB isn’t gonna play until the Citadel game of his senior season. Conversely for that team, are they going to reject the 5-star QB in February just because they already signed a QB in December? Of course not, but now they are stuck with Mr. 3-star and they don’t have room for that extra safety they really needed. It’s not a great example, but you get the gist. Teams will need a new way to look at their roster management.
There is also the issue of assistant coaches changing jobs which often happens after bowl season. It won’t effect many recruits but if someone builds a relationship with a recruiter, expects to have him as his position coach, and then he is gone, it could give an 18-year old “buyer’s remorse”.
All that said, we dive into these uncharted waters and hope it all works out. The Crimson Tide have 17 committed recruits plus one greyshirt holdover. At least fifteen of those are expected to sign in the ESP.
COMMITS TO SIGN ESP
- Jarez Parks DE Sebastian, FL 6’2.75”/253 **** Part of the 2017 recruiting cycle, he agreed to a greyshirt and will count towards the 2018 class. Already practicing with the team. SIGNED
- Stephon Wynn DE Anderson, SC 6'5"/285 **** From IMG. SIGNED
- Jordan Davis DE Memphis, TN 6'5"/225 **** Committed back in Dec 2016. SIGNED
- Josh Jobe CB Miami, FL 6’1”/180 **** Flipped from Miami. SIGNED
- Emil Ekiyor OL Indianapolis, IN 6'4"/339 **** Flipped from Michigan. SIGNED
- Cameron Latu DE Salt Lake City, UT 6'5"/235 **** Projects as a Jack linebacker. 12:15pm CT. SIGNED
- Jalyn Armour-Davis DB Mobile, AL 6'0"/160 **** SIGNED
- Xavier Williams WR Hollywood, FL 6'0"/180 **** SIGNED
- Nadab Joseph CB 6’1.5”/180 Miami, FL **** Former LSU commit. UPDATE: Flipped to UGA.
- Tommy Brown OL Santa Ana, CA 6'7"/315 **** Rising in the ratings. SIGNED
- Christian Barmore DT Philadelphia, PA 6’5”/290 **** Committed early this morning. SIGNED
- Saivion Smith CB Tampa, FL 6'1"/175 **** Formerly of LSU and Mississippi Gulf Coast CC. Already practicing with the team. SIGNED
- Slade Bolden APB West Monroe, LA 5'11"/190 ***½ SIGNED
- Jerome Ford APB Seffner, FL 5’11”/190 *** SIGNED
- Skyler DeLong P Fort Mill, SC 6'3"/180 *** Heir apparent to JK Scott. SIGNED
POSSIBLE ESP SIGNEES
- Eyabi Anoma DE Baltimore, MD 6’5”/230 ***** - One of the Top 10 overall players in the nation. He had 98 tackles, 22 sacks, forced four fumbles and recovered three. SIGNED
- Dominick Wood-Anderson TE San Diego, CA (Arizona Western Coll.) 6'6/225 **** Top-rated Juco TE. UPDATE: Was supposed to commit this morning on a TV show but then cancelled. Committed to Tennessee early evening. [Unsubstantiated speculation says he may have not had a firm offer.]
- Bobby Brown DT Arlington, TX 6’4”/282 **** - TAMU commit.
- Penei Sewell OL St. George, UT 6'5"/340 **** - Also considering Oregon and Southern Cal. UPDATE: Will not sign on Wednesday. He could still sign during in the ESP, which goes until Friday, or he could wait until Signing Day on Feb. 7.
COMMITTED TO ALABAMA, NOT PLANNING ON SIGNING THIS WEEK
- Quay Walker OLB Cordele, GA 6’4”/220 **** - Highest rated Bama commit.
- Michael Parker TE Huntsville, AL 6’6”/230 *** - May be asked to blueshirt or greyshirt.
- Vernon Jackson ATH Boling, TX 6’3”/240 *** - Listed as an “Athlete”, he played quarterback and linebacker for Boling. The Tide staff is REAL excited about this guy but he is not rated very high. It is unclear whether he signs during the ESP. There may be a numbers issue (i.e. blueshirt/greyshirt). UPDATE: Will sign somewhere in February.
—Brent is also very high on Jackson. He has also played safety and defensive end. He reminds me a LOT of former Virginia Tech safety/linebacker Kam Chancellor, who’s been a stalwart in the pros for years now. Chancellor was also a high school quarterback at 6’3” 230-240 who played safety and linebacker.
OTHERS OF INTEREST
- 5-star DE Brenton Cox (Stockbridge, GA) is looking like he stays at home and drinks the UGA Kool-Aid. He will be announcing sometime in the 2pm CT hour on ESPNU.
- I keep hearing the name of 5-star CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart (La Mesa, CA) being attached to Alabama but in my inexpert opinion, it’s not going to happen.
- It’s looking unlikely that Alabama can flip EE Emory Jones from an Ohio State. [UPDATE: Flipped to Florida.] The Tide will have to look elsewhere for a quarterback for this class. Lanier-Montgomery’s James Foster (not an EE) is a strong possibility, but this position may not be addressed until NSD in February. There is also a possibility of (gasp) not taking a QB at all. Frosh Mac Jones is still on the team and Alabama has a strong chance at signing 4-star Taulia Tagovailoa (Alabaster, AL) and/or Paul Tyson (Trussville, AL) in 2019.
- Despite all the wunderkinds at wide receiver currently on the Crimson Tide roster, Nick Saban will likely add one more pass-catcher to this class to go with EE Xavier Williams. The possibilities include Jacob Copeland (Pensacola, FL), Jaylen Waddle (Bellaire, TX), and Clemson lean Justyn Ross (Phenix City, AL). However, none of these three croots are early signees.
Of course all of this is subject to change and you never know what is going to happen with Saban. The whole RBR gang will be here to add updates as they come in.
UPDATE: Nick Saban is scheduled to have a press conference at 4pm.
I am seeing a bit of a theme here in defensive linemen and secondary. Dontcha think?
What position is Priority #1?
This poll is closed