Five-star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux will announce his college decision live on ESPN Saturday at halftime of the New Mexico Bowl.
The Alabama edge rusher target has been one of the most sought after recruits in the country, holding the No. 1 player ranking on the industry-generated 247Sports Composite for a large chunk of his recruitment.
Last summer, the Thousand Oaks (Calif.) Oaks Christian standout announced a top five. Heading into Saturday, Thibodeaux has four programs on his mind.
“My final four schools are Oregon, Alabama, Florida State and Florida,” Thibodeaux told USA Today in a newly-released video.
Thibodeaux detailed what he likes about each of his finalists, all four of which got him on campus this fall for an official visit.
“Roll Tide Roll,” Thibodeaux said of the Crimson Tide. “The Nick Saban era has been ridiculous. He’s been able to win so many games, put so many guys in the league and being a recruit that’s a great thing to see. The whole state of Alabama is fueled by Alabama football. That was a big thing I saw. There’s nothing else there that gets the people going. Yeah, Alabama is … Alabama.”
Nick Saban and staff have gotten the 5-star defender on campus three times in 2018, the first coming back in April and then again during the summer. Thibodeaux took his official visit to Tuscaloosa in September for the Texas A&M game.
Florida State hosted the No. 1 player in the state of California for its season-opener against Virginia Tech; Oregon had him on campus for the Ducks’ win over Washington; and Florida got the last crack this past weekend.
“Basically what the school has to offer, what they do as far as preparing the kids for the real world,” Thibodeaux’s mother, Shawnta Loice, told BamaOnLine of what Saban’s message was during their time in T-Town. “He talked about character and things like that. He also spoke about how education is important because football is not promised. He was speaking about getting guys prepared for life after football. He also spoke about just the way they do things as far as running the football program and academics and how everything goes hand in hand. Just getting young men ready for life in general.”
The 247Sports Crystal Ball currently favors Oregon, however, if you’ve tracked this recruitment over the last couple of weeks, you would know that Alabama is very much in the thick of the race and could land Thibodeaux’s commitment on Saturday.
At 6-foot-4.5, 239 pounds, Thibodeaux is rated the No. 2 weak-side defensive end and the No. 2 overall player in the nation, per the industry-generated 247Sports Composite Rankings.