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Recruiting Updates: Football and Basketball

The Crimson Tide amps up recruiting on the hardwoods as well as the gridiron.

Top 2020 running back Zach Evans
SB Nation Recruiting flickr

When the weather starts to get cooler in the South, three things are for certain. First, college football is in full swing and heading down the backstretch. Second, is college basketball is getting ready to tipoff. Thirdly, both sports at Alabama are shifting their recruiting efforts into high gear.


  • The biggest news of this past weekend was 5-star No. 9 overall Zach Evans (Houston, TX) appearance in Tuscaloosa for an unofficial visit this past weekend. This visit is HUGE because he has not been able to travel anywhere much during his recruitment. Not a bad game for Najee Harris to bust out for a 105 yard game. The 2020 running back is believed to be returning to the Capstone for an official visit for the LSU game, but nothing has been announced for sure.
  • Two LSU wide receiver commits, 5-star and No. 19 overall Rakim Jarrett from St. John’s College HS in Washington DC and 4-star/No. 47 Kayshon Boutte (New Iberia, LA), are expected to have official visits in T-town this weekend - and they are not just “sight-seers”. Alabama is believed to have a shot at flipping one or both. It is unclear whether either will sign during the early signing period or wait until February.

  • Also on an unofficial visit was under-the-radar Georgia Tech commit RB Jahmyr Gibbs (above video). Nick Saban himself extended an offer to the running back on Saturday prior to the start of the Tennessee game. Gibbs picked up a fourth star this past week.
  • 2021 four-star quarterback commit Drake Maye (Charlotte, NC) returned to Tuscaloosa on Saturday for TSIO on an unofficial visit. From his comments, he still sounds firm on his pledge to the Tide despite the imminent arrival of 5-star 2020 signal caller Bryce Young.


Four croots are scheduled for official visits for Nov. 9 weekend, but the unofficial visit list is going to be CRAAAZY.

  • Mega-Athlete Darnell Washington out of Las Vegas, NV (6-7.5/261) is the No. 11 overall ranked player for 2020. He projects as a tight end but can also play Jack or DE. He has already made OVs to Florida and UGA and definitely appears focused on playing in the SEC.
  • 4-star SDE Zykeivous Walker is from Ellaville, GA (6-4/260). He has already visited Florida and has a trip planned to Aubie next weekend.
  • Omari Thomas (6-5/299) is a 4-star DT from Memphis, TN. He took an OV to College Station while Alabama was in town and also plans to go to Auburn for the Iron Bowl. Coincidence? Thomas is ranked No. 101 overall.
  • Arizona State’s clutch on inside linebacker Jordan Banks might be slipping. The 4-star out of the Los Angeles area gave his pledge to the Sun Devils earlier this month but is still looking at Alabama. He was previously in T-town with his dad for this past summer’s annual Champions Cookout.
High School Football: The Opening
5-star Tight end Arik Gilbert to announce Wednesday evening.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports


  • 5-star tight end Arik Gilbert is supposed to announce his decision Wednesday sometime between 5-6 p.m. CST at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. The Marietta, GA native is rated the No. 1 tight end in the country. He will announce his college commitment between Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, and Texas A&M. He has taken OVs to all of the aforementioned schools except Clemson but has made several unofficial trips there. The crootin’ experts have him trending towards Alabama but it is no sure thing. Stay tuned.
    UPDATE: Gilbert confounded the experts by picking LSU, despite the fact that the Tigers future at quarterback after this season is questionable at best. Furthermore, LSU does not exactly have a reputation for developing tight ends. Don’t expect Alabama and Georgia to halt recruiting efforts. I have a feeling this one is not over by a longshot.


This weekend is a big one for bouncey-ballz. Nate Oats and company will be hosting two big-time power forward recruits in 5-star Isaiah Jackson (6-9/190) from Waterford, MI and 4-star Keon Ambrose-Hylton (6-8/200) originally from Toronto, Canada but playing out of Willoughby, OH. Jackson has the Tide in his final three with UK and Syracuse. Ambrose does not have a final list yet but Bama has a good shot at both of them. If you see some really tall baby-faced kids this weekend, be sure to give them a big “Roll Tide!”

Alabama is still looking good for 5-star combo-guard Nimari Burnett who had his OV to T-town on Sep 27. Oats paid him a visit in California earlier October. Burnett is originally from Chicago but is playing out of an academy in Napa, CA. Coach Oats’s roots in the midwest have opened up a whole new world of recruiting for the Crimson Tide.

Burnett is also considering Michigan, Oregon, and Texas Tech.