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RECRUITING UPDATE: Alabama Championship Celebration Attracts a Parade of Recruits

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Tuscaloosa is suddenly a popular place to be!

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia
Another trophy for Titletown.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday January 20, the Alabama football team will be honored for its College Football National Championship with a parade beginning at Denny Chimes followed by a program held on the north steps of Bryant-Denny Stadium at the Walk of Champions.

It is no coincidence that the events of the last few weeks have triggered high interest in the University. Thus, the list of recruits taking an Official Visit (OV) to Tuscaloosa this weekend has grown in number and quality. Three uncommitted 5-stars and others will be on campus starting on Friday.

The following prospects are planning on making the trip to the Capstone on Friday, Jan 19:

PACKAGE DEAL?

American Heritage School just west of Fort Lauderdale has groomed two outstanding cornerbacks. They have never even hinted at being a package deal, but if there was one on the table, that is the kind of package deal any program would relish. They are coached by Patrick Surtain Sr. who grew up in New Orleans (Edna Karr HS) and attended Southern Miss. He spent eleven seasons in the NFL with Miami and Kansas City, making three Pro Bowls as a cornerback. He had 37 interceptions over his pro career. His star prodigy is also his progeny.

Patrick Surtain Jr.
StudentSports.com

Patrick Surtain Jr. DB Plantation, FL 6-1.25/199 (247’s #5 overall player) *****

Tyson Campbell DB Plantation, FL 6-2.5/180 (247’s #27 overall player) *****

Surtain visited LSU last weekend while Campbell was at Georgia. Getting them to Tuscaloosa on the same weekend has to be an advantage that allows Nick Saban a chance to close. Joe Pannunzio paid them a visit this past week. Surtain was thought to be leaning towards LSU (he has family from BR and NOLA), but that could change real fast. Campbell also likes Miami and UGA with LSU trailing.

5-STAR OL

Nick Petit-Frère OT Tampa, FL 6’5’’ / 260 ***** - My gut tells me this Top 20 player is not coming to Alabama but the Crimson Tide is in the running for now. [FWIW, Bama signee Eyabi Anoma whooped him all night long at the Under Armour All-America Game to the tune of two sacks, two tackles for loss, and two quarterback hurries.]

BABY, COME BACK

J.J. Peterson OLB Norman Park, GA 6-1.5/210 **** - Bama was the leader but then he up and committed to Tennessee during the US Army All-American Bowl. The likely reason is the new head coach in Knoxville, Jeremy Pruitt. Also at work here is that Peterson’s high school coach was once Pruitt’s boss at Hoover, the infamous Rush Propst. Still, it’s not a done deal yet. Peterson had his OV to UT last weekend and comes to T-town this weekend. Advantage: Saban.

Quay Walker OLB Cordele, GA 6’4”/220 **** - It is unclear what is going on with this Bama commit. Some say it could be academics. Some say it’s Jeremy Pruitt (plus the departure of his Bama recruiter Derrick Ansley). Others say UGA is spreading the rat poison about the lastest version of a “Dream Team”. Whatever the reason he did not commit during the Early Signing Period (ESP), nothing is certain right now.

WR

Bama will definitely be taking another wide receiver, possibly two to go with Xavier Williams. The four-star Hollywood, FL native (6’0”/180) signed during the ESP. He looked very good in the Under Armour All-America Game (and practices), catching three passes for 55 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Justyn Ross WR Phenix City, AL 6’4’’ / 197 **** - Appears to be favoring Clemson with Alabama and Aubie trailing. Again, I am not feeling it but who knows...

(Four-star WR Jacob Copeland of Pensacola, FL will visit Jan 26.)

QB

There were some thoughts that the Crimson Tide would not take a quarterback at all in this class and aim for Taulia Tagovailoa (Tua’s brother) and/or Paul Tyson (Bear Bryant’s great grandson) in 2019. There were others who thought that Alabama was zeroed in on Lanier-Montgomery’s James Foster. That all changed on Tuesday when Saban extended a full offer to Gilbert, AZ signal caller Brock Purdy. Originally, Bama offered a preferred walk on offer to the 3-star (Bama Bump coming soon). Almost immediately after that, offers from Boise, Iowa State, Kansas, UCF and a few others rolled in. Alabama then countered with the full ride offer. This under-the-radar prospect threw 57 touchdowns as a senior and ran for 10. You can see his Senior Highlight reel here. Just remember to pick your jaw up off the floor after watching. The 6’1”/197 pro-style QB will OV Tuscaloosa Jan 26.

As for Foster, the 3½-star is scheduled to visit T-town this weekend and follow up with OVs to FSU and TAMU. The 6’3”/210 dual-threat was in LSU last weekend. If Bama gets a commit from Purdy, Foster likely heads to Cajun country.

NUMBERS CRUNCH

Vernon Jackson ATH Boling, TX 6’3”/240 *** - Committed in September but there may be a numbers issue. If he plans to sign with the Tide, he may asked to blueshirt or greyshirt. However, he will OV TCU and TAMU in the coming weeks which kinda tells me he’ll end up somewhere else.

247sports composite ranks him as #414, yet he holds offers from several Power P5 schools (P5 squared? I’m gonna make that a thing) including UGA, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, LSU, TCU and TAMU. He is a good athlete who likely projects as a Jack linebacker at Alabama.

Malik Langham DE Huntsville, AL 6’5”/269 *** - This defensive end is the #752 overall player by 247’s comp rankings, which does not sound encouraging. Nonetheless, Alabama made him an offer during an in-home visit in December. Notre Dame, Tennessee, Florida and Vandy want him too. He has or will visit all four of those campuses as well as his trip to T-town this weekend.

* LATE ADDITION

Julius Irvin S Anaheim, CA 6’2”/182 **** - Alabama was pleasantly surprised to add this Tosh Lupoi target to the party this weekend. Is he a sight-seer or does the Tide have a shot? Southern Cal leads.

tiny football

It appears that the Crimson Tide has eight more spots available for this year’s class after signing 15 players (including greyshirt Jarez Parks) during the ESP. National Signing Day is Feb. 7.

In addition to the above visitors, there will be several 2019 and 2020 prospects on campus on unofficial visits (paid for by the family rather than the University of Alabama). So if you see some 6’6” baby-faced kid with a badge around his neck on a lanyard, give him a big “Roll Tide!”

Saturday’s parade will begin at 2pm. If you plan to attend, you may want to stick around town for the Tide’s basketball game against Mississippi State that evening at 7:30 p.m. at Coleman Coliseum.