In one of the wildest coaching carousels of recent memory, several high-profile coaches changed locations in the last few days. With the Early Signing Period just two weeks away (Dec.15), there is much to do and so little time to take care of it all.
For new coaches, the first job will be to convince the current players on the roster that he wants back to stay. Then he will have to re-recruit all the committed prospects. Next in the pecking order will be the uncommitted. Many of the decisions will be based on what each player brings to the table and whether they fit their schemes. What worked for one guy, may not work for the next.
Almost as soon as Brian Kelly took the Tigers job, many observers were wondering if he was a proper culture fit for LSU. Kelly is a 180 degree swing from the personality of Ed Orgeron. Furthermore as far as anyone can tell, Tuesday was probably the first time Kelly had ever been in Tiger Stadium.
Will recruits warm to the stoic business-like Kelly the way they did the glib boisterous Orgeron? Wide receivers Kendrick Law and Shazz Preston are both Louisiana products who are torn between Alabama and LSU. Baton Rouge natives CB Austin Ausberry and DL Quency Wiggins. are also outside possibilities for Alabama.
5-star CB Domani Jackson had been committed to the Trojans since January. In early November, he took an official visit to Alabama and decommitted from So Cal a week later. Some folks are wondering if Lincoln Riley’s move out west would bring Jackson back. He could be swayed due to the proximity to his Los Angeles area hometown, but a relationship between Riley and Jackson was never really strong with Oklahoma not being among his three finalists of Bama, Michigan, and Southern Cal.
When Dan Mullen was sent packing, 4-star WR Isaiah Bond decommitted from the Gators soon thereafter. Alabama immediately became the favorite for his signature. We all like Billy Napier here at RBR, but can he really sway Bond away from the allure of the Capstone?
Oklahoma is truly scrambling to find a replacement head coach. Riley’s departure was not the best timing for them. The only true battle between the Crimson Tide and Sooners is 5-star OL Devon Campbell. However, Texas is in the fight too for their home state man. Campbell may not decide by the Early Signing Period.
Even before a peep of Brian Kelly’s departure became public, the Tide has been eyeballing Irish commit DB Devin Moore. As of Tuesday afternoon, the 3-star safety is no longer committed to Notre Dame. Alabama has an excellent chance for his signature if they can get him to visit. Florida is also a player for the Sunshine State prospect.
Mark Stoops has stated that he is not leaving Lexington, but we’ve heard that tune from others before. He is still a candidate for Notre Dame and Oklahoma. Should he leave, the Tide could profit in UK Commit Kiyaunta Goodwin. The five-star offensive lineman is highly coveted by the Crimson Tide.
Three-star running back Anthony “Ajay” Allen is currently committed TCU but has an official visit to Tuscaloosa lined up for the weekend of Dec. 10. The Monroe, LA resident does not have an offer from Alabama at this time.
The loosened transfer rules enacted by the NCAA has changed college sports landscape forever. In April, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors ratified the adoption of a measure that will allow athletes in all sports to transfer once without sitting a season. Crimson Tide football is one of many programs who capitalized on the measure by picking up wide receiver Jameson Williams from Ohio State and linebacker Henry To’o To’o from Tennessee. As Alabama cashes in on those investments, the new question is not “will they take more next year?” It’s “who will they take next year?”
There are a few familiar faces currently in the transfer portal. The Tide could be looking at some of these potential candidates.
Georgia Tech all-purpose back Jahmyr Gibbs is an offensive coordinator’s dream. He can run the ball, catch passes, and return kickoffs. On the All-ACC team released on Tuesday, Gibbs was named first-team all-purpose back, second team specialist, and third team running back.
Alabama gave the former 4-star a long hard look two recruiting cycles ago, but could not seem to find room for him with Trey Sanders and Keilan Robinson from the previous class, and Roydell Williams, Jase McClellan and Kyle Edwards in the 2020 class. Who knew the misfortunes that would befall the Tide running back room in 2021?
It seems logical to believe that the Tide would be looking to bolster the running back corps and Gibbs would bring extra skills to the table that the Tide has been missing with the departure of Jaylen Waddle.
Despite some reports, it appears that Alabama is not too interested in adding LSU DB Eli Ricks. The same goes for TCU running back Zach Evans, Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler and UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel. More evaluation will probably come after National Signing Day in February.
Bama fans had much to be thankful for last week upon hearing the news of 4-star Jamarion Miller’s commitment to the Crimson Tide. According to Rivals, Miller is “a powerful back who can shed tacklers, run between the tackles or get outside, and he can also catch the ball out of the backfield.” Watching his highlight reel, he might remind Tide fans of Damien Harris.
The former Texas commit is a 5’10”/200 pounder from Tyler, TX. 247sports composite ranks him the #102 player in the nation and seventh best running back. He joins Emmanuel Henderson who is #28 and top-rated back of the Class of 2022.