Not much has changed since last week. Alabama had a few visitors of note this past week, but for the most part the Tide staff has moved on to recruiting for future classes.
Alabama hosted two Class of 2020 visitors this past weekend. Both seem very high on the Crimson Tide. In physical stature, they could not be more different. Also visiting was a grad transfer from UNC.
- Ennis Rakestraw (Duncanville, TX) 6’0”/170 - This 3-star cornerback had an outstanding visit to Tuscaloosa with his mom and dad. The feeling is that Alabama currently has the lead for his signature. There may be some concern about Rakestraw weight. As you can see from his mother, she is naturally very thin. It may be a tough task to get some weight on the son if the fight is against DNA. Still, the Tide staff is high on his length and cover skills. Originally, Rakestraw was supposed to officially visit (OV) Georgia this weekend, but now he will go see Texas.
- Damieon George (Houston, TX) - At the other end of the spectrum is this massive offensive lineman (6’6.5”/348). This young man might be a bit of a project but you cannot deny that size. He is all in with the Crimson Tide.
Sam Howell with his third TD of the game that finds Carl Tucker with a one-handed grab wide open in the end zone. Longest drive of the season for #UNC — 98 yards.— Heel Zone (@HeelZone_) September 21, 2019
App St 27, UNC 24 pic.twitter.com/NUzzkpw86B
- Carl Tucker (Cornelius, NC) 6’2”/248 - The third visitor was a grad-transfer tight end from North Carolina. He arrived in T-town with his parents on Friday and did not leave until Sunday - a pretty good indication that he likes Alabama. The Tide is looking like the leader for his transfer. Although, Bama would probably like an answer soon, Tucker does not actually need to decide by NSD. He does not count against the 25 signing limit, only the 85 scholarship limit. Tucker traveled to FSU the previous weekend and has not announced any other planned visits. Should he choose Alabama, he will enroll in the summer and have one season of eligibility.
For the first time maybe ever, Alabama has no OVs planned for the last weekend before NSD. This situation is not a bad thing. It is just the evolution of the with the implement of the Early Signing Period. The new mantra seems to be “sign in December or get left behind”.
Instead of 2020 prospects, Alabama will host an invitation-only Junior Day on February 1 for rising high school seniors and juniors. There could be a commit or two coming but probably not. They usually start to roll in during the late spring and into summer when Alabama holds their camps.
A few last unsigned prospects are still out there.
- McKinnley Jackson DT (Lucedale, MS) 6’2”/327 - Alabama wants this 4-star and a spot will be held for him if he wants it. He was at LSU this past weekend despite a vacancy at defensive coordinator for the Tigers. I can’t imagine that bodes too well for them. Jackson has one last OV and it will be to Texas A&M. Nick Saban is scheduled to have an in-home visit with him on Thursday. Jackson is playing his cards very close to his chest and there is no way of knowing which way he is leaning. Seeing how he spent an unofficial visit to the Capstone two weeks ago, my gut tells me he is a Bama lean.
Javon Baker WR (Powder Springs, GA) - The Bama commit took an OV to Arkansas this past weekend. Don’t listen to the BS that the click-baiters are putting out there about him “wavering” on his pledge to the Tide. It has long been known that he needed to get in academics in order. Additionally, there is the challenge of qualifying. Believe it or not,
partlymostly due to the success of the football program, Alabama has become a highly desirable destination for non-athlete students. This means enrollment is on the rise and so to the qualifications to acceptance. Arky is not exactly in that position. Baker landing with the Hogs just sounds like a Plan B.
I feel obligated to report on a few others because Saban is still recruiting them and other crootin’ outlets keep reporting on them. Personally, I am skeptical that either signs with the Crimson Tide.
- Sedrick Van Pran OC (New Orleans, LA) committed to UGA but did not sign during the ESP. Saban is expected to have an in-home visit with the 4-star interior lineman on Thursday, so maybe it is not over just yet. My gut says he sticks with Georgia. If he does, it is no big deal. Alabama is not going after any other OL. Van Pran is an elite player who would just be gravy for the Tide roster. He is not filling a need.
- Saban had an in-home visit with 4-star Alfred Collins last week. New Bama DL coach Freddie Roach will visit him this week. The Bastrop, TX defensive end appears to be a Texas lean.
Alabama currently has 22 signed players and 3 commits (not counting excommunicated Jayson Jones). All three of the those commits (Baker, George, Jamil Burroughs) are expected to sign if academics are in order.
The ol’ gut tells me McKinnley, Rakestraw, and grad-transfer Tucker come on board as well.
That leaves Alabama with a class of 27 which is the number we have been hearing since fall. Of course that puts the Crimson Tide about nine over the 85-scholly limit, but that is a post for another day...