Check out the Bama Hammer Alabama football ‘Daily Recruiting Update’ for Dec. 17, as we count down to the Early Signing period on Dec. 19.
Alabama football fans are adjusting to a more realistic estimation of signing 5-Star prospects after the loss of Clay Webb to Georgia and Kayvon Thibodeaux to Oregon. Perhaps it is the new reality for recruiting that has been built by college football’s best recruiter ever, Nick Saban.
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.
What began as a 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. It could end up being Georgia.
- 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. For now, we label this a tossup between the Tide and the Bulldogs.
- 5-Star, OL Evan Neal – announcement on Dec. 19. The Tide leads with UGA pushing hard. Our prediction is Alabama football closes the deal.
- 5-Star, DT Ishmael Sopsher – no decision until February. There is a long way to go yet but Alabama football appears to be in a strong position.
- 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. Some sources believe Wright does not want to choose the same school as Evan Neal.
- 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. With Tide commit Keilan Robinson not signing early, there may be an opening for Glass and Williams who is getting lots of attention despite having only three stars.
After missing on Thibodeaux, it is important for Alabama football to close the deal with current commits; Justin Eboigbe, Byron Young, Braylen Ingraham and D.J. Dale. Every indication is the four are solid with the Crimson Tide, though Young is not signing early. The Tide staff will also 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. Both Florida and Miami are threats to sign Zipperer.
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.
Bama Hammer will provide one more recruiting update on the morning of the 18th. On the first day of the Early Signing Period (the 19th) we will post a detailed summary of each signee as they are announced by the University.