Mario Cristobal has been an important member of the Alabama coaching staff for the past four seasons as the team’s offensive line coach and one of the best recruiters the Crimson Tide have; however, he will be Oregon’s next offensive coordinator and offensive line coach on Ducks coach Willie Taggart’s staff.
SEC Country got in touch with the three Alabama offensive line commits who are not signed (junior college tackle Elliot Baker) and not currently on campus already (5-star tackle Alex Leatherwood) to see if Cristobal leaving for Oregon would affect their commitment to Alabama.
Jedrick Wills, a 4-star offensive tackle from Lafayette High School (Lexington, Ky.), said if Cristobal left it wouldn’t have any affect on his commitment to Alabama. He’s locked in, despite Kentucky trying everything it can to change his mind.
“I’m done,” Wills said. “Everybody has stopped recruiting me. It’s mainly just been Alabama and Kentucky that have been recruiting me. I know Alabama is the place for me.”
Kendall Randolph, a 4-star offensive guard from Bob Jones High School (Madison, Ala.), echoed Wills’ comments. He, too, is set on going to Alabama. Randolph was supposed to visit Florida later this month, but he doesn’t know if that’s going to happen now.
Hutner Brannon, a 3-star center from Cullman (Ala.) High School, also remains strongly committed to Alabama. Brannon was trying to be an early enrollee, but he remains a possible greyshirt candidate because numbers in the Tide’s Class of 2017 remain tight.
“I hope the best for Cristobal if he leaves,” Brannon said. “He is a great coach and recruiter. He was my main recruiter before Lane Kiffin took over. He was the first real college coach relationship I had.
“Whenever they call my name, I’ll be ready. I’m training hard every day and trying to put my best foot forward when I get down there.”
Of note, Alex Leatherwood, the nation’s No. 2 offensive tackle, before early enrolling at Alabama, told SEC Country numerous times that if Cristobal did ever leave the school, he would have likely explored his options and re-opened his recruitment. He can’t do that now because he’s already at Alabama and has practiced with the team.
Leatherwood was very close to de-committing from Alabama earlier this month. He actually called the staff to let him know of his intentions to do so.
He went to the Outback Bowl where Florida played Iowa. The plan was for him to leave Tampa, where the game was being played, and drive to Gainesville and enroll at Florida. The Alabama staff found out he was at the game and blew up his phone to make sure that didn’t happen. It didn’t and now he’s at Alabama.
Also, Cristobal’s top targets, such as: 5-star WR Jerry Jeudy, 4-star safety Daniel Wright and 4-star tight end Major Tennison have already enrolled at Alabama. Wright told SEC Country earlier this month how Cristobal was one of the main reasons why he decided on Alabama.
“Honestly, it’ll be hard, but I understand because this is all business — nothing less and nothing more,” Wright said. “He knows that he’ll be missed from every Alabama staff member and player.”
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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