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UPDATED: Alabama Early Signing Period Primer & Predictions

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Early National Signing Day is Wednesday, December 15.

ABC = Always Be Crootin’.
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As some of you know, I have been covering crootin for close to a decade for RBR. When some bozo came up with the idea of establishing an Early Signing Period, it seemed to come out of nowhere. There was no AD out there pounding on his desk demanding such a thing. And when it was announced, it took everyone by surprise and was roundly criticized. It looked something like this.

Everybody:

The NCAA: There is now an Early Signing Period for football.

Everybody:

More changes in this unpopular move may be on the horizon. There has been talk of moving the ESP to January. For the time being with Saban being Saban, it’s adapt, evolve, and move on.

COMMITTED

All of the below recruits are committed to Alabama and are expected to sign with the Crimson Tide tomorrow. Many of them intend to enroll in January. These Early Enrollees are signified with EE. The numbers (#) signify their 247sports composite rankings.

  1. DE Jeremiah Alexander 5-star #8 (Alabaster, AL) 6’2”/235 EE
  2. QB Ty Simpson 5-star #24 (Martin, TN) 6’2”/197 EE
  3. ATH Emmanuel Henderson 5-star #30 (Hartford, AL) 6’1”/185
  4. OL Tyler Booker 4-star #51 (New Haven, CT/IMG) 6’5”/335 EE
  5. OL Elijah Pritchett 4-star #54 (Columbus, GA) 6’7”/290
  6. LB Shawn Murphy 4-star #57 (Manassas, VA) 6’2”/222 EE
  7. DT Jaheim Oatis 4-star #60 (Columbia, MS) 6’6”/348 EE
  8. WR Isaiah Bond 4-star #86 (Buford, GA) 6’0”/175
  9. WR Aaron Anderson 4-star #96 (New Orleans, LA) 5’10”/180
  10. RB Jamarion Miller 4-star #97 (Tyler, TX) 5’10”/200 EE
  11. TE Jaleel Skinner 4-star #98 (Greer, SC/IMG) 6’5”/215 EE
  12. CB Trequon Fegans 4-star #104 (Alabaster, AL) 6’2”/180 EE
  13. WR Kobe Prentice 4-star #147 (Calera, AL) 5’11”/178
  14. CB Antonio Kite 4-star #154 (Anniston, AL) 6’1”/185
  15. WR Amari Niblack 4-star #173 (St. Petersburg, FL) 6’4”/228 EE
  16. TE Elijah Brown 4-star #299 (Huber Heights, OH 6’5”/230 EE
  17. DT Isaiah Hastings 4-star #308 (Clearwater, FL) 6’5”/291
  18. OL Dayne Shor 3-star #381 (Alpharetta, GA) 6’5”/325 EE
  19. S Jake Pope 3-star #390 (Buford, GA) 6’1”/190

LIKELY NOT SIGNING

LB Robert Woodyard 4-star #137 (Mobile, AL) 6’2”/215 - Woodyard has not visited the Capstone since he camped in June and in turn Alabama has not really recruited him since that time. He has been to Auburn three times since. For all intents and purposes, he is decommitted. He’s just not saying it out loud. Therefore when he signs with the Tigers on Wednesday, don’t let the Aubies tell you it was a flip.
Prediction: Auburn

DE Walter Bob 4-star #270 (Acadiana, LA) 6’4”/250 - It has long been believed that Bob is not expected to qualify and Bama will find him a juco with an eye towards a future signing.
Prediction: Juco

PROSPECTS

Alabama is expected to sign anywhere from 25-28 though that range is not firm. Below in no particular order is a quick rundown of who Alabama is believed to be targeting the most for the ESP listed in order of 247sports composite rankings, followed by my predictions:

CB Domani Jackson 5-star #8 (Santa Ana, CA) - It always felt like this guy was looking for an excuse to recommit to Southern Cal. UPDATE: Not announcing until Friday.
Prediction: Trojans

IOL Devon Campbell 5-star #10 (Arlington, TX) - It never felt like he seriously considered Bama.
Prediction: Texas

CB Denver Harris 5-star #17 (Houston, TX) - Alabama decided not to visit Harris last week. That’s a pretty sure sign. Lost him to Jimbo’s BS.
Prediction: TAMU

WkDE Marvin Jones Jr. 5-star #22 (Plantation, FL) - This one is a hard read. My gut tells me he does something stupid like follow daddy to FSU. Most of the crootin “experts” say he is torn between Alabama or Georgia. FWIW, he was teammates with Dallas Turner and Earl Little Jr. All that said, ↓↓↓
Prediction: Georgia but not confident with that pick.

OT Kiyaunta Goodwin 5-star #25 (Charlestown, IN) - Wants to stay close to mama’s homecooking and being tucked in every night.
Prediction: Kentucky.

EDGE Enai White 4-star #37 (Philadelphia, PA)
Prediction: TAMU - Yeah, Jimbo is killing it.

IOL Earnest Greene 4-star #40 (Bellflower, CA) – My Spidey-sense in tingling in crimson and white. He will not announce a decision this week because he wants to do so on January 8 at the All-American Bowl. The belief is that he may secretly sign on Wednesday with the school of his choice. Greene had an official visit to Tuscaloosa in November, returned two weeks ago for an unofficial visit and then followed the team to the SEC Championship in Atlanta.
Prediction: Alabama UPDATE: The talk is that Bama wants Greene as an interior lineman but he want to play tackle. Of course Kirby promises him he can play tackle, wildcat quarterback, and kick extra points if he wants. New pick is Georgia.

WR Shazz Preston 4-star #43 (Saint James, LA) - Preston had an Official Visit to T-town this past weekend. LSU tried to coax him into taking the short drive to Baton Rouge instead but to no avail. This was always a two-way fight between Bama and the Tigers. With the present uncertain state at the Bayou campus, it is pretty clear where Shazz lands.
Prediction: Alabama

DL Anthony Lucas 4-star #50 (Scottsdale, AZ) - Bama put up a good fight.
Prediction: TAMU

ILB Shemar James 4-star #64 (Mobile, AL) - I have long believed that for whatever reason this dude simply does not want to sign with Bama and has been going through the motions just to make someone(s) in his life happy. I seem to be alone in this feeling but my gut usually gets these feelings right.
Prediction: UGA.

DL Khurtiss Perry 4-star #74 (Pike Road, AL) - Slam dunk.
Prediction: Alabama

EDGE Jihaad Campbell 4-star #78 (Camden County, NJ/IMG) - This edge rusher decommited from Clemson on December 9 and quickly fell onto Alabama’s radar soon after. He took an unexpected visit to Tuscaloosa on Friday before heading to Texas A&M the following day. Based on his comments, it sounds like the Alabama visit was a smidge better.
Prediction: Alabama

WR Kendrick Law 4-star #(Shreveport, LA) - He visited the Tigers this past weekend and there is optimism in Baton Rouge. However, Bama is still the team to beat. He will wait until Friday to announce and sign.
Prediction: Alabama

CB Earl Little 4-star #101 (Plantation FL) – Just trying to be dramatic? He is a lock.
Prediction: Alabama

MYSTERY RECRUIT

Almost every year, Alabama has a surprise commit that nobody saw coming. More often, it occurs in February but you never know. Stay tuned...

TEAM RANKINGS & BRIEF ANALYSIS

Alabama is currently tops on 247sports team rankings, followed closely by UGA and TAMU. I know it is baffling to many how Jimbo Fisher and Kirby Smart can keep reeling these guys in when they have one conference title between them.

Some of it has to do with location. 14 of the 21 committed Aggies are from the Lone Star State. 12 of the Bulldogs’ 25 commits are Georgians. Alabama has some produced some great football player but Texas and Georgia have more. It isn’t easy competing with mama’s homecooking.

Sometimes, a prospect just doesn’t fit the system or perhaps coaches saw a red flag at some point. Texas A&M 5-star (#16 overall) commit Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy had offers from big boys like TAMU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Clemson, and Florida. But notice who is not on that list? Alabama and Georgia. Even though the Crimson Tide has a need at defensive line, they passed on the Lakeland, FL resident for whatever reason.

On the subject of defensive line, the Class of 2022 is not rich with blue-chippers. 2023 will be much deeper for that position. In fact, 2023 overall should be a bonanza of top prospects for the Crimson Tide. I am already predicting in-state 5-stars CB Tony Mitchell (Alabaster, AL), DL Peter Woods (Alabaster, AL), and CB Jahlil Hurley (Florence, AL) to roll with the Tide in 2023.

Q&A

Have any questions? Leave them in comments and I’ll try my best to address them. ESP Open Thread coming on Wednesday.

#RollTide #NSD22