With the crossing of June 27 off the calendar comes the start of the illogical summer Dead Period, so coaches not named “Nick Saban” can catch their breaths.
Per the NCAA’s recruiting bylaws:
“It is not permissible for college recruiters to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on or off the member institution’s campus or to permit official or unofficial visits by prospective student-athletes to the institution’s campus.”
Although this span marks the end of recruit contact until July 24, the recruiting jobs do not come to an end. There is still much to do in this time of evaluating and scheming.
After last season’s poor performance by the offensive line, it was clear that rebuilding that unit for the future would become a priority for the Crimson Tide. In recent recruiting classes, Alabama has taken a few flyers on guys who they thought had potential, but many of them have not worked out. This year, the Bama staff is hoping for a BIG class of o-linemen - physically and talent-wise.
It is believed the Tide is interested in signing five OL, though six is not out of the question. Below is a list of those believed to be the top targets.
- OT Wilkin Formby, 4-star, #82 overall ranked prospect (Northridge HS, Tuscaloosa, AL) - This local player made his pledge to Bama on June 20.
- OT Francis Mauigoa, 5-star, #9 overall, 6-5 / 330 (IMG) - Originally from American Samoa, he has relocated to Florida to play at the IMG. He was a former teammate of Alabama OT signees JC Latham and Tyler Booker, and is a fan of Evan Neal. The nation’s top tackle is supposed to announce on July 4 among the Crimson Tide, Tennessee, Florida, Southern Cal, and Miami.
- OT Kadyn Proctor, 5-star, #10, 6-7 / 330 (Pleasant Hill, Iowa) - About a month ago, this looked like a slam dunk for the Hawkeyes. But get a guy onto the Tuscaloosa campus and things can change in a hurry. It sounds like a cliche but it’s apt to say that Proctor and his family were blown away by their eye-opening June 10th OV. Proctor plans to either major in kinesiology or culinary food science. Meetings with Sports Medicine Diretor Jeff Allen and Performance Nutrition Director Amy Bragg probably helped sway this recruitment. Proctor’s final decision will come down to these two schools and it’s probably about 50-50 right now.
- OT Samson Okunlola, 5-stars, #20 (Brockton, MA) 6-5 / 305 - This elite lineman took OVs to only Alabama, Michigan State, and Miami in the spring. Should he commit this summer, you have to like the Crimson Tide’s chances. If he were to opt to take his final two OVs in the fall, Bama may need to to get him back on campus for a game in order to lock him down.
- OT Olaus Alinen, 4-star, #122, 6-6 / 315 (Windsor, Connecticut) - You have probably heard the story: originally from Finland, playing high school ball in the USA after playing in a European semi-professional league at age 16, son of an NFL Europe League player. He has completed his allotted five OVs and could be ready to announce his decision very soon. Georgia, Miami, Oregon, and Ohio State are his other finalists.
- Miles McVay, 4-star, #183, 6-6 / 358 (East St. Louis, IL) - Historically, Alabama has struggled with signing players out of this area. That trend might change with McVay. He and his family spent two full days on the University of Alabama campus but it was an unofficial visit - meaning the family was picking up the tab on all expenses. That fact is a good indicator to how seriously Alabama is in consideration. His OVs were to Texas A&M , Michigan State, and Oregon. He plans to visit Florida in the fall but there is a danger of Bama moving on should McVay opt to prolong his decision.
OTHERS TO WATCH
- RyQueze McElderry 3-stars, #406, 6’3”/340 (Anniston, AL) - This northeast Alabama native made a surprise early commitment to Georgia last November but many observers do not think his pledge is 100% firm. Despite his commit, he took OVs to Auburn and Tennessee in June in addition to a trip to UGA. In between those visits, he took a side trip to Tuscaloosa to view the camp that was going on. McElderry may add a trip to T-town in the fall. He is a former teammate of safety Antonio Kite who signed in the Tide’s most recent class.
- Raymond Pulido 3-stars, #470, 6’6”/345 (Bellflower, CA) - Pulido is an example of the advantage of camps for both players and the schools. He came into Tuscaloosa and put on an impressive showing, enough to become a major Bama target. Expect to see his rankings rise in the coming weeks and months.
- Payton Kirkland 4-stars, #261, 6’6”/345 (Orlando, FL) - He OV’d Miami, Florida, Michigan State, and Oklahoma. It’s just a hunch, but since he has scheduled an announcement for such a distant July 23 and knowing Saban’s disinclination to play games, it makes me think he is heading elsewhere.
- Tyree Adams, 4-stars, #209, 6’5”/285 (New Orleans, LA) - He does not have an Alabama offer as of yet, but the Tide is keeping a close eye on him. He will OV the Capstone in the fall.