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UPDATE: Alabama Football Recruiting Update: Halftime Report

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A look at 2019 Crimson Tide during the Dead Period

Pierce Quick is already an MVP.

The creation of the Early Signing Period has drastically changed the college football recruiting landscape. This December period has become the new de facto National Signing Day. It would not be a surprise that in the coming years the February NSD become less and less important.

With the Dead Period upon us (June 24 through July 24, 2019), it is a chance for coaching staffs to catch their breaths, reflect on their classes, and strategize on closing out.

For the Crimson Tide talent-wise, it has been a solid A+. To date, the defending National Champs have (update) 18 20 commitments. They are made up of one 5-star, 16 18 4-stars, and a 3-star kicker who just happens to be the No. 1 rated kicker in the nation.

The quality is there, but recruiting is not always about getting the “best player available”. There is also the necessity of filling positions of need. In theory, it is best for teams to get at least one signee for every non-special teams position. In some cases like linemen, it is advantageous to take multiple players.

Offense

Quarterback - Something strange happened on the most recent Signing Day when February 7 turned to February 8 and the Crimson Tide had not signed a quarterback. Layne Hatcher would come on board four months later but that was not the original plan. The quarterback issue is not a problem this time around as Bama has two solid commitments for a position that needs depth.

  • COMMITTED: Taulia Tagovailoa, Paul Tyson - both appear solid to the Tide.
  • POTENTIALS: Cornelious Brown of Calera, AL is reportedly a possible Plan B if one of the above two sign elsewhere in December. Vanderbilt looks like a more likely landing spot for him.

Running Back - Since 2009, Alabama has had eight running backs drafted into the NFL. T-town is an attractive place to play football for a running back these days. The Tide already has one committed. They may sign one more but only if it is home run type.

  • COMMITTED: Keilan Robinson.
  • POTENTIALS: 5-star Trey Sanders decommited from Alabama back in January. The staff is still recruiting him and he could recommit but this one is going to take awhile. 4-star Jerrion Ealy is an Ole Miss commit as well as a top MLB prospect. The Tide staff is still in contact with him but it would be a shame to sign him only to see him head off to play baseball a few months later. Eric Gray of Memphis was looking like a possibility but he committed to Michigan shortly after fellow all-purpose back Robinson made his pledge to Bama. If the Tide signs a second running back, it will most likely be a big bruising type. Deondrick Glass (Katy, TX) and Baton Rouge native/LSU commit Tyrion Davis could be targets, but it is looking like it could be Sanders or nobody.

Wide Receiver - For all the early excitement around this 2019 class, there has not been much activity around pass catchers. Although the Tide has a nice stable of young talented receivers, there is always room for more.

  • COMMITTED: none.
  • POTENTIALS: 4-star Devonta Lee of Amite, LA is high on the Alabama list. (DeVonta Smith came from Amite as well.) Another 4-star John Metchie of Hagerstown, MD had an official visit on June 15 and recently Tweeted that he would be committing “real soon”. [Update: Metchie committed to Bama on Friday] George Pickens’ pledge to Auburn may not be as firm as they may hope as the 4-star has been taking many visits to other schools.

Tight End - Although Alabama has a nice deep group of tight ends right now - losing only Hale Hentges after this season - expect the Tide to take at least one but if the numbers work out.

  • COMMITTED: none.
  • POTENTIALS: Jahleel Billingsley out of Chicago recently named Bama his favorite but he may have been asked to wait to commit. Just a hunch. [Update: Billingsley committed to Bama on Friday] The Tide would like to get Isaiah Foskey out of Concord, CA to visit. He is teammates with another target LB Henry To’oto’o. There has been some recent buzz around Keon Zipperer but I’m not buying it. My pick for him: Florida. I’d be shocked if Hudson Henry ends up anywhere other than Arkansas like big bruddah. Although, he was a teammate of Bama’s newest signal caller Layne Hatcher.

Offensive Line - Alabama already has a deep corps on the roster but it seems you can never have too many 5-star OL!

  • COMMITTED: OTs Pierce Quick, Amari Kight, Tanner Bowles.
  • POTENTIALS: Top rated OT Darnell Wright may a tough one to land. 5-star center Clay Webb is looking like a good chance to end up in crimson and white. 5-star Baton Rouge native Kardell Thomas committed to LSU almost two years ago. This one isn’t over yet. IMG’s Evan Neal is still in the running for the Tide.

[Another hunch here: Bowles could be asked to greyshirt or “encouraged” to explore other options if the Tide starts landing bigger fish. Again, just a hunch.]

Defense

Defensive Line - Interior linemen might be the biggest position of need for the Crimson Tide. Alabama is already thin at d-line and will lose Isaiah Buggs, Johnny Dwight, and most likely junior Raekwon Davis (early departure to NFL) after the 2018 campaign.

  • COMMITTED: DE Antonio Alfano, DE/Jack Kevin Harris, DE Justin Eboigbe, DT/DE Rashad Cheney, DT/NG DJ Dale, newest commit DE Byron Young.
  • POTENTIALS: The nation’s number one prospect Kayvon Thibodeaux has Alabama on his short list. Both he and 5-star Hawaiian Faatui Tuitele have made multiple unofficial (i.e. paid for out of their own pockets) trips to T-Town. These two probably will not announce for awhile. The Crimson Tide is also in the running for the nation’s No. 1 defensive tackle, Ishmael Sopsher. It might come down to Alabama and LSU for the Amite, LA native. Alabama is gaining momentum for big DT/NG Siaki Ika (6-3/347) out of Salt Lake City, Utah.

[There is some talk that Cheney may end up elsewhere. His absence from the Champions Cookout last month did nothing to quell those rumors. He was the only commit within reasonable driving distance to not attend.]

Linebacker

Another position of need is inside linebacker.

  • COMMITTED: ILB Shane Lee, Jack LB King Mwikuta.
  • POTENTIALS: 5-star ILB Nakobe Dean is a prime target. He is from Horn Lake, Mississippi, which is a Memphis suburb. He plans to enroll in January. Fellow 5-star OLB Henry To’oto’o out of California is one to watch as well. He camped in T-town in June and should return in fall for an official visit.

Defensive Back

  • COMMITTED: CB Christian Williams, S Brandon Turnage, S DeMarcco Hellams
  • POTENTIALS: Four-star safety Noa Pola-Gates looks ready to commit. Alabama is also targeting Hellams teammate 4-star safety Nick Cross. There has been a swarm of buzz around the nation’s top DB prospect Daxton Hill lately. He made an April unofficial visit and a June official visit, but I’d be surprise if he doesn’t stay home and play for the Sooners. Texas 4-star CB Jeffery Carter is one to keep an eye on. He will be an early enrollee. The Tide has not given up on five-star FSU commit Akeem Dent who gave his pledge to Jimbo Fisher last July before the ‘Noles disastrous 2017 season even began.

Special Teams

The Tide is pretty secure with young starters returning and a couple of young ones already in the fold.

Kicker - RS freshman Joseph Bulovas will have competition with 2019 commitment Will Reichard arriving next year.

  • COMMITTED: Top rated 2019 kicker Will Reichard.
  • POTENTIALS: No need to sign two kickers though there could be some walk-ons.

Punter - Bama probably doesn’t need to spend a 2019 scholarship on a punter with freshman Skyler DeLong starting this fall.

  • COMMITTED: none.
  • POTENTIALS: walk-ons.

Long Snapper - Alabama will not use a scholly on a long snapper for 2019. The Crimson Tide already have rising sophomores Thomas Fletcher (punting) and Scott Meyer (placekicking) sharing duties and they were flawless as freshmen.

  • COMMITTED: none.
  • POTENTIALS: walk-ons.

Kick Returner

Alabama struggled in this category last year. It is hoped that incoming freshman Jaylen Waddle can fill that void. However, Waddle doesn’t have it sewn up yet. Slippery Slade Bolden is another possibility.

  • COMMITTED: none.
  • POTENTIALS: ?

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