Defensive back is arguably Alabama’s biggest need in the 2018 class because the Tide are losing Ronnie Harrison, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Tony Brown, Hootie Jones, Anthony Averett and Levi Wallace heading into next season.
Nick Saban said at his press conference recapping the early signing period that Alabama would like to sign five defensive backs in the 2018 class. The Tide have three currently signed in 4-star prospects Jayln Armour-Davis, Josh Jobe and Saivion Smith.
One of the prospects Alabama would like to sign is 5-star cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart. Taylor-Stuart told SEC Country earlier this month that he would “for sure” visit Tuscaloosa before making his commitment on National Signing Day. That visit is now set.
The Army All-American will officially visit Alabama on Jan. 26 and stay through Jan. 28. Taylor-Stuart was originally planning on visiting Georgia that weekend. It’s not clear if he’ll visit Athens before Signing Day.
Georgia did have 5-star cornerback Tyson Campbell, a major Alabama target, on campus this past weekend. I know the Bulldogs feel confident with where they stand with him. Campbell is visiting Tuscaloosa this weekend.
In addition to Taylor-Stuart and Campbell, Alabama is still targeting 5-star cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. and Eddie Smith in the secondary.
It should be noted that with the staff addition of Jeff Banks, Alabama hired Taylor-Stuart’s primary recruiter at Texas A&M. There are some people who believed the Aggies were the favorites before Banks’ departure.
The Tide have turned up the heat on Taylor-Stuart lately, especially after losing Nadab Joseph, who flipped from Alabama to Georgia during the Dec. 20-22 early signing period after Alabama didn’t send him a letter of intent because of academic concerns. Outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi is Taylor-Stuart’s primary recruiter.
“I’m hearing a lot from Coach Lupoi,” Taylor-Stuart said. “We talk pretty much every day. We have been talking a lot and he’s been saying how he needs to get me down there. I’m working on that.
“He’s just been telling me, ‘Isaac, we need you. We have too many DBs leaving for the draft. We need you to come here and be an impact player.’”