As Alabama football made its glorious and triumphant return to the gridiron this past Saturday, the other elite recruiter on campus was hard at work trying to put together a roster that could compare to the Capstone’s trademark sports team. No, not Brad Bohannon - though coach Bo is doing the same on the diamond - the one and only Nate Oats (as an aside, Greg Byrne has absolutely nailed every major coaching hire, we are lucky to have him). In a year where so many people have had many set-backs and disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oats has refused to let that slow him down on the recruiting trail.
The news may have been easy to miss thanks to football stealing all of the headlines this past weekend, but Oats and company landed their first recruit for the 2021 class by solidifying the talents of four-star wing Jusaun Holt on Sunday morning. Holt is a 6’6 prospect from Roswell, Georgia, and he fits the mold of just about every player Oats is looking for: he’s long and he can shoot. He’s not an incredible athlete and will need to hit the weight room when he arrives in Tuscaloosa next year, but the kid is a smooth operator with the basketball and can really light it up. See for yourself:
Holt projects to be a multi-year starter for the Tide and will fit in quite well with the rest of Oats’ rather position-less group that he’s been building. It’s easy to take recruits like Holt for granted considering what Alabama fans are used to with the football program, but this is a big deal. Holt would typically be the star of any Tide Hoops class. For Oats though, he’s just a part of the bigger picture: building a championship roster.
Alabama basketball fans may not have to wait very long for the crown jewel of the 2021 recruiting cycle. J.D. Davison, the number one rated point guard in the entire country, will be making his decision this upcoming Saturday, October 3rd. A product of Letohatchee, AL, Davison has led Calhoun High School to consecutive Alabama State Championships at the 2A level and was named Mr. Basketball in the state for the 2020 season. He is the highest rated recruit to come out of the state since DeMarcus Cousins went to Lexington to join the Wildcats in 2009.
This guy is incredible. His athleticism is off of the charts. Just type his name into the Youtube search bar and you can spend hours watching highlights of him. He’s even got his own docuseries going right now. In short, this is the kind of guy that Nate Oats was hired to recruit. A legitimate five-star that will almost certainly be heading to the NBA after a single collegiate season. Every school in the country would want this guy if they had the opportunity.
But that, of course, presents the real issue. Alabama will have to beat out some serious heavyweights in order to land Davison’s commitment. His final list includes Alabama, Auburn, Kansas, LSU, Memphis, and Michigan. Despite his large online following, Davison’s kept his recruitment on the down-low; however, the few murmurs out there tend to agree that Davison will stay in-state. Which means this could be a bitter battle between the Tide and the Tigers. It’s important to note that Kansas was his dream school growing up, and LSU and Memphis have the ability to make strong ass offers, so it’s anyone’s guess as to where he’ll end up enrolling at this point. There are currently no crystal ball predictions on 247 Sports, and only three “expert” predictions on Rivals: one each for Alabama, Auburn, and LSU.
Davison did announce just this week that he would be moving up his commitment from his initial Halloween target date, and given the good news regarding Holt that just came out for the Tide a few days ago, people are really starting to speculate. Momentum is a real thing in recruiting.
Landing a top-ten prospect like Davison would obviously be a major coup for Alabama basketball, especially if it comes at the expense of Auburn and LSU. But, regardless of whether or not Oats can close on this particular case, it’s quite clear that he’s going to be bringing in talented players year after year as long as he’s here.
Now build that man a new arena.