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Alabama Football Recruiting Update: Early Signing Period, Visits & Early Enrollees

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The Crimson Tide has another excellent recruiting class on the verge of signing next Wednesday.

Nick Saban dropped by Jackson-Olin High School on Friday to visit OLB commit Quandarrius Robinson and his coach Tim Vakakes.
@CoachArrington

There is no slow down and relax time when you are Nick Saban. He and his staff have continued to hit the road and court prospects.

OFFICIAL VISITS (OV)

As of post, the Crimson Tide will be hosting five recruits this weekend. Four of them are already solid commits to Alabama and are expected to sign during the ESP on Dec. 18 with two being Early Enrollees (EE).

COMMITTED OV

  • OLB Quandarrius Robinson (Birmingham, AL)
  • WR Thaiu Jones-Bell (Opa Locka, FL) EE
  • WR Traeshon Holden (Harbor City, CA) EE
  • S Brian Branch (Tyrone, GA)

* RB Kyle Edwards was planning to take his OV this weekend but his plans were thwarted when his Destrehan Wildcats won last weekend and advanceD to the Louisiana Class 5A Football State Championship on Saturday in the New Orleans Superdome.

UNCOMMITTED OV

  • CB Joshua Eaton (Houston, TX) - Bama has been hoping to add another cornerback. Juco Nadab Joseph was the top target but he is having scholastic difficulties. Fellow juco Ronald Williams (EE) had an OV to the Capstone in November and Saban is planning an in-home with him today. It is unclear what the situation is with 4-star Eaton. He has long thought to be deciding between Oklahoma and Texas with a lean towards the former. If things go well with Williams today, we may see a cancellation from Eaton who is not expected to sign anywhere during the ESP. Adding to the confusion, Scooby Carter’s return from the transfer portal may put a crunch on the numbers. Adding a fourth defensive back (fifth if you count Kristian Story as a safety) to this class does not seem prudent. Expect to see some defections in the coming days and weeks. UPDATE: Word is Saban’s in-home visit with Williams went extremely well. As predicted, Eaton did indeed cancel his OV to Tuscaloosa. I fully expect a commitment announcement from Williams soon.

TIDBITS

  • After wisely cancelling an OV to Auburn, high 4-star outside linebacker Phillip Webb (Buford, GA) has narrowed his final three to Alabama, LSU, and Florida. However, the Gators are looking like a distant third. The Crimson Tide will be sending their All-Star closer Sal Sunseri to visit him sometime this week.
  • Auburn OL commit Javion Cohen teased of a possible flip on Twitter last week but nothing has materialized as of yet. He had said his recruitment is “50-50” between the Crimson Tide and Tigers after his recent trip to Tuscaloosa. Since one of his Auburn recruiters, OC Kenny Dillingham, just took the OC job at Florida State that might just tip the scales in the direction west. He will not enroll early but plans to announce his choice and sign on ESP, next Wednesday.
  • One OL who will not be signing early is Tide 3-star commit Damieon George. There has been some talk that he may have academic issues. Despite his low 247sports comp rankings (No. 36 OT and 445 overall) and accusations that Bama was hoping for a package deal with teammate 5-star RB Zach Evans (who Alabama has backed off on), the staff likes his 6’7’’/345 lbs frame and his potential. If he signs, he will definitely be a project.
  • Some followers have been wringing their hands over high 4-star LB Demouy Kennedy since he took an OV to LSU two weekends ago. However unless there have been some serious shenanigans, he should stick with Bama. He is an in-state guy who goes to the same high school former Tide LB CJ Mosley attended. He has a chance for early playing time in T-town. And Alabama is still Alabama. Saban had an in-home with Kennedy last week. He will sign Wednesday and enroll in January.
  • Speaking of wringing hands, DT commit Tim Smith is making Bama fans worried but the insiders believe him to be solid to Alabama. His OV last weekend to Tuscaloosa went really well. He has extolled the Tide’s track record of putting players in the NFL Draft over being closer to his hometown of Sebastian, FL. He is still expected to take an OV to Florida this weekend. That said, we had a similar situation go down with Khris Bogle last year (signed with Fla) and Bobby Brown two years ago (signed with TAMU). Saban is expected pay him an in-home visit in the coming days.
  • Alabama is making a push for 5-star DE Jordan Burch (Columbia, SC). Saban had an in-home with him and his mom on Monday and word is it went really well. Burch is really close with his mother. If history is proof, most recruits’ moms LOVE Saban. Nobody in-homes like the Crimson Tide coach. Clemson, who had looked like the favorite, may be losing their grasp. It is believed he will announce on Friday December 20, the last day of the ESP.
  • High 4-star RB Jase McClellan is still in the crosshairs of the Crimson Tide. The Texas running back committed to Oklahoma way back in July of 2017 and OV’d Norman eight months ago. Yet, seeing guys like Mark Ingram, Derrick Henry, and Josh Jacobs on SportsCenter every week surely makes an impression on a guy. He toured the Alabama campus in November - his only fall OV - and a visit from Saban is expected in the next several days. McClellan is an EE.
  • Alabama is not looking at any other running backs. Both current commits, Roydell Williams and Kyle Edwards, are expected to sign with Bama on Wednesday regardless of what happens with McClellan.
  • Bama has been hoping to add one more wide receiver and Arian Smith is looking like a top candidate to sign on ESP. The Lakeland, FL speedster is interested in running track in college as well and the Tide’s track staff has been totally on board in recruiting him as well. Saban visited him last week and ST/TE coach Jeff Banks followed up yesterday, Tuesday. The bad news is that the 4-star is visiting UGA this weekend and @I am sure Kirby Smart will be on the up and up with him.@ It will come down to these two schools for Smith.
  • There is not much new news on WR Rakim Jarrett, TE Darnell Washington or DT McKinnley Jackson other than they are not expected to sign until February. If Smith signs next Wednesday, Alabama is likely done at the wide receiver position - especially if Henry Ruggs and/or DeVonta Smith return for their senior seasons. Jackson told reporters at the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star practice that his four finalists are Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M. Expect new Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin to make a strong run at the in-state lineman.
  • Saban was in to see 5-star LB commit Drew Sanders on Tuesday.
  • Georgia recruiting took a big hit when Arkansas hired their OL coach and top recruiter Sam Pittman to be their head coach. Pittman is widely credited with building what many believe to be the best OL in the country in 2019. Could UGA 4-star commits Sedrick Van Pran (New Orleans, LA) and Tate Rateledge (Rome, GA) be vulnerable to a flip? Word is that Alabama has reached out to both of them. Neither plan to sign during the ESP. Stay tuned...
  • Likewise, LSU will also be hurting should DC Dave Aranda depart for another job. The UNLV flirtation seems to have been just that, but he might have that itch to move on.

EARLY ENROLLEES

  • QB Bryce Young
  • DE/LB Chris Braswell
  • LB Drew Sanders
  • ILB Demouy Kennedy
  • DE/OLB William Anderson
  • RB Roydell Williams
  • WR Thaiu Jones Bell
  • LB Jackson Bratton
  • DB Malachi Moore
  • WR Traeshon Holden
  • DB Jahquez Robinson
  • OL Seth McLaughlin

THE RUNDOWN

Nothing has changed numbers-wise from last week. Alabama has 23 commits and could possibly take as many as 27 players for the Class of 2020, which may include some blueshirts. There has been no talk of greyshirts. Speculation has it that three of the 23 committed may not be a part of this class. They are DT Jayson Jones (Calera, AL), WR Javon Baker (Powder Springs, GA), and DT Jamil Burroughs. None of this trio has plans to sign during the ESP. Qualifying issues may be the culprit.

Poll

Outside of who is committed, what do you see as the Tide’s top priority?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Offensive line
    (122 votes)
  • 5%
    One more DB
    (90 votes)
  • 3%
    One more WR
    (57 votes)
  • 14%
    Tight end
    (231 votes)
  • 40%
    Edge rushers
    (643 votes)
  • 23%
    Interior defensive line
    (383 votes)
  • 4%
    Other (see my thoughts in comments)
    (77 votes)
1603 votes total Vote Now