Check out the Bama Hammer Alabama football ‘Daily Recruiting Update’ for Dec. 16, as we count down to the Early Signing period on Dec. 19.
Alabama football fans were mightily disappointed on Saturday when the nation’s No. 2 overall recruit, Kayvon Thibobeaux chose Oregon over the Crimson Tide and FSU. Repeating what recruiting experts have said for weeks, our reports always pointed out Thibodeaux was unpredictable.
Given the recent loss of Clay Webb and the possible losses of Trey Sanders and Nakobe Dean, some Alabama football fans are questioning Nick Saban’s ability to close. Even if such concern is valid and to us, it is not, it is too soon to make such a statement. The Crimson Tide has the No. 1 class and pulled off two big flips in the past week with another one very likely.
What is real and is different from most of the Tide-Saban era is the recruiting competition. Georgia with Kirby, TAMU with Jimbo and Oregon with Mario Cristobal are Saban-tree, great recruiters. Jeremy Pruitt will be as well, once he gets Tennessee after a deep hole. It is and will be, harder for Alabama football to dominate recruiting but the 2019 class is strong, whatever happens going forward.
Through Dec. 18, we are providing a daily list of top targets for what we project to be eight open slots. Outside the primary list is a small group of contingency players.
Alabama Football Remaining Top 10 Recruits – minus two.
There are changes as our Top 10 list is now a Top 8.
- 5-Star, ILB Nakobe Dean – announcement Dec. 19. Tide, Georgia and LSU battle for Dean. Best guess today is Nakobe Dean to the Alabama Crimson Tide on Dec. 19, but the key word here is – guess.
- 5-Star, RB Trey Sanders – announcement on Dec. 19. Sanders is another hard to predict recruit. Suddenly it is looking like Georgia leads with the Crimson Tide and Texas close. Too soon and too close to predict, but several legitimate recruiting experts think Sanders will be a Bulldog.
- 5-Star, OL Evan Neal – announcement on Dec. 19. The Tide leads with UGA pushing hard. Best guess is Alabama football closes the deal.
- 5-Star, DT Ishmael Sopsher – no decision until February. The more we learn about his brother, Rodney’s situation we think LSU trying to package both is not a risk to the Crimson Tide. There is a long way to go yet.
- 4-Star, DB Jordan Battle – Looking more like Jordan will flip from Ohio State and sign early. All signs are the Tide is trending up.
- 5-Star, OL Darnell Wright – no decision until February. Tennessee probably leads.
- 4-Star, LB Henry To’oto’o – To’oto’o recruitment has been pretty quiet but Alabama football appears in a strong position to lure him away from the Pac 12. Tennessee is also in the hunt. Even potentially pulling in Nakobe Dean, the Alabama football staff wants to add To’oto’o. He is not an early enrollee and currently is not scheduled to sign in the Early Period.
- 4-Star, OLB Khris Bogle – announcement in January. Bogle was a priority before and could provide a future edge rusher, almost equal to Thibodeaux. Miami is the biggest threat to the Crimson Tide.
The next group includes contingencies and possibly new priorities
- 4-Star, Deondrick Glass and 3-Star D.J. Williams. If Sanders does not choose to become the next Alabama football running back, Glass is a good option. Glass will not commit until Sanders makes a decision. Williams is also highly rated despite having only three stars. The Tide could end up with both of them if current commit, Keilan Robinson looks elsewhere. To make it even more interesting 4-Star, RB and LSU commit, Tyrion Davis is visiting Tuscaloosa this weekend.
- After missing on Thibodeaux, it is important for Alabama football to close the deal with current commits; Justin Egoigbe, Byron Young, Braylen Ingraham and D.J. Dale. The Tide staff will continue efforts to flip Nathan Pickering and Jaren Handy.
- The Alabama football staff would like to add another tight end. 4-Star, Keon Zipperer is the preferred option.
- Assuming Jordan Battle flips from Ohio State and joins the Tide, 2019 defensive back recruiting may be finished. 4-Star, Nola Pola-Gates and 4-Star, CB Marcus Banks are backup options.
All the star ratings in this post come from the 247Sports Composite.
Stay tuned Alabama football fans. The sprint to the (early) finish is on and changes are likely to happen quickly.