Crootin? We’re talkin’ crootin? It’s still November!
Yes, we are talking recruiting. In November. In years past, the process really never got going until the November LSU game. The introduction of the Early Signing Period (ESP) last December has changed the landscape drastically. It is a much tougher process for football staffs because they are in midseason. While Nick Saban & Co. are game-planning, they don’t have much time to meet recruits and their parents and spend time with them. Saban likes the old world of sitting down with families and having a talk. He can’t do that while preparing for a LSU or a Mississippi State. Thus, much of the work was done this summer.
With the help of Brent Taylor and Josh Chatham, we hope to catch you up on the Tide’s recruiting efforts with our predictions for the uncommitted.
Eleven months ago, Saban was caught a little flat-footed and missed out on some targets. Thankfully, he did not panic and simply took a smaller class (21). Because of this, it is believed Alabama could take as many as 28 in this circuit. 21 prospects are already committed to the Crimson Tide. 13 of those are expected to be Early Enrollees (EE).
- Pierce Quick OL Trussville, AL 6’5”/270 – EE (FWIW, ESPN has him #4 overall)
- Amari Kight OL Alabaster, AL 6’6”/300 – EE
- Antonio Alfano DT Colonia, NJ 6’4”/285 – EE
- Shane Lee LB Baltimore, MD 6’0”/235 – EE
- Justin Eboigbe DE Forest Park, GA 6’5”/261 – EE
- King Mwikuta LB LaGrange, GA 6’4”/220 – EE
- Taulia Tagovailoa QB Alabaster, AL 6’0”/190 – EE
- Paul Tyson QB Trussville, AL 6’4”/210 – EE
- Darrian Dalcourt OL Baltimore, MD 6’3”/290 – EE
- Kevin Harris DE Loganville, GA 6’4”/218 – EE
- DJ Dale DT Pinson, AL 6’3”/320 – EE
- Tanner Bowles OL Glasgow, KY 6’5”/270 – EE
- Will Reichard K Hoover, AL 6’1”/185 – EE
- Christian Williams DB Daphne, AL 6’1”/175
- DeMarcco Hellams ATH Hyattsville, MD 6’1”/204 ESP
- Byron Young DE Laurel, MS 6’5”/280 ESP
- Jahleel Billingsley TE Chicago , IL 6’5”/227 ESP
- John Metchie WR Hightstown, NJ 6’0”/188 ESP
- Brandon Turnage DB Oxford, MS 6’1”/185 ESP
- Braylen Ingraham DE Ft Lauderdale, FL 6’4”/260 ESP
- Keilan Robinson RB Washington, DC 5’9”/180
Q: Do you expect any Bama commits to decommit? Greyshirt? Blueshirt?
CB: If you are talking flipping to another team, I feel like everyone who is committed wants to be at Bama. If you mean guys who are “encouraged” to look elsewhere, maybe. I do think we will see a greyshirt and/or blueshirt or two. Candidates for this include Tanner Bowles and Keilan Robinson.
Brent: I could see OT Tanner Bowles taking a grayshirt, considering Alabama’s already considerable depth at tackle. And I think that defensive back Brandon Turnage is the most likely to flip his commitment.
Josh: There seems to be quite a bit of smoke around Christian Williams flipping to LSU, though that’s far from a sure thing. Alabama currently has 21 commits and I have them projected to land nine more, so something will have to give somewhere.
Predicted Landing Spot
Below are the top uncommitted prospects thought to be in the Crimson Tide’s crosshairs.
Kayvon Thibodeaux DE Westlake Village, CA – (247sports’ composite number one overall rated player fell to number two this week behind Nolan Smith. He dropped from Rivals number four to five.)
CB: Seems to me this guy is just playing games. Where ever he goes it’ll be on the west coast. My pick is Southern Cal.
Josh: Oregon. I think he ultimately stays out west.
Nolan Smith DE Savannah, GA*, UGA commit –
CB: Sticks with Georgia.
Josh: Alabama. This is wishful thinking to a degree, but he’s leaving the door open. A beatdown in Atlanta seals it.
Ishmael Sopsher DT Amite, LA –
CB: It’s not the popular pick but I think Bama gets him.
Josh: Alabama. Saban owns this part of that state and he had a front row seat to The Quinnen Show.
Trey Sanders RB Port St. Joe, FL* EE –
Josh: Alabama. Damien Harris is gone this year, if not Josh Jacobs, and Najee Harris next. He can see the opportunity.
Darnell Wright OT Huntington, WV –
CB: Ohio State
Brent: Ohio State
Josh: Ohio State. I think Alabama has focused more on Neal.
Nakobe Dean ILB Horn Lake, MS EE –
Josh: Alabama. This one is a little tougher to call, probably comes down to Alabama and UGA. Again, a solid win in Atlanta helps.
Clay Webb OL Oxford, AL ESP –
Josh: Alabama, but this kid isn’t telling anyone anything. Good news is that he isn’t critical with the current class plus Neal.
Evan Neal OT Okeechobee, FL* EE –
Josh: Alabama. This seems to be the worst kept secret out there. Doesn’t hurt that he’s teammates with Smith and Sanders.
Henry To’oto’o OLB Concord, CA –
CB: This is a tough one to figure out but in the end I think Bama gets him.
Josh: Alabama. Helluva consolation prize for Thibodeaux.
Nathan Pickering DL Seminary, MS, Mississippi State commit –
CB: Don’t believe the hype. He is sticking with MSU.
Brent: Miss State
George Pickens WR Hoover, AL, Auburn commit –
CB: Something tells me he flips to Alabama.
Josh: Auburn, though Alabama could flip him. They would most definitely make room for him somehow.
Akeem Dent CB West Palm Beach, FL, FSU commit –
CB: After seeing the dumpster fire that is FSU and the great success Patrick Surtain is having at Bama, I think he flips to the Tide.
Josh: Alabama. Once again, the Tide will have playing time available very soon and FSU is brutal.
Jeffery Carter CB Mansfield, TX, TAMU commit EE –
CB: He visits Bama for the Iron Bowl so they are not out of it. As of now, he sticks with TAMU.
Jordan Battle S Fort Lauderdale, FL, Ohio State commit –
CB: Ohio State
Brent: Ohio State
Noa Pola-Gates CB Gilbert, AZ –
CB: Alabama if there is room!
Josh: Alabama, if there is still room.
* Currently at IMG
Factory Academy. City signifies hometown.
This comes up every year so let me clarify: the Bryant Scholarship was created to benefit the sons and daughters of any former players, coaches, staff, managers, and trainers who ever played or worked for Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant during his 25-season run at Alabama that ended in December 1982. Eligible students do not have to play any sport to be eligible but if they do play football, it has to be as a non-recruited walk-on. Paul Tyson does not qualify since his parents did not work or play for Bryant.
This year’s ESP begins Dec. 19 and ends Dec. 21.