Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. In this edition, we talk the latest with one of Alabama’s top Jack linebacker targets.
Kevin Harris is a top priority for Alabama
Kevin Harris, a 4-star weakside defensive end from Grayson High School (Loganville, Ga.), took his first visit to Tuscaloosa last Thursday — and like many other recruits who visit Alabama for the first time — he apparently fell in love with the school.
Harris, who has a top 3 of Alabama, LSU and Miami, told SEC Country that the Tigers had a little edge over the Crimson Tide and Hurricanes because LSU was the only school he had visited out of that group. He will make his first trip to Miami on April 21\, so as of now, he’s not going to be in Tuscaloosa for A-Day.
So, does LSU still have an edge over Alabama and Miami?
“It’s kind of even now,” Harris said. “I wasn’t really expecting what I saw at Alabama. But LSU did have an edge because it was the only school I visited. I feel like Alabama is a school that can give me the best opportunity to accomplish what I want to accomplish in football and life.”
The 6-foot-4, 217-pound prospect said LSU seemingly is a little more family oriented than Alabama, but he would like to visit both schools at least one more time before confirming that.
He also said he likely won’t use all five of his official visits, and his final three schools probably won’t change.
“I think I’m dead set right now,” Harris said.
Alabama has several top-rated Jack linebacker targets it is recruiting this year, with Harris being one of them. The nation’s No. 1 overall recruit in the 2019 class, Kayvon Thibodeaux, visited Tuscaloosa for his first time as well and left very impressed.
But make no mistake about it, Harris is a top target for the Tide. He was one of the most impressive players at Nike’s The Opening Atlanta regional camp in March, which was loaded with top prospects. At The Opening, he was named one of the top 5 defensive linemen in attendance. He also ran a 4.76-second 40-yard dash and had a 36.4-inch vertical. His 4.13-second short-shuttle time was the fastest among defensive linemen and the fourth-fastest overall.
His testing numbers and performance in 1-on-1s earned him an invite to arguably the most prestigious camp for high school football players — The Opening Finals, which will be held in Frisco, Texas, at the Dallas Cowboys’ practice facility this year.
“Tosh told me straight up that I am a priority to him,” Harris said of Alabama’s defensive coordinator, Tosh Lupoi. “He’s ready for me to commit. I know I am a top priority to them.”
Alabama will lose at least two outside/Jack linebackers after this season when Christian Miller and Jamey Mosley exhaust their eligibility. It’s also possible that junior linebacker Terrell Lewis will declare for the NFL draft. That would leave Alabama with Anfernee Jennings, Chris Allen and the 2018 crop (Eyabi Anoma, Jordan Davis, Cameron Latu, Jarez Parks) for the 2019 season.
There’s certainly an opportunity for a Class of 2019 outside linebacker to see the field early.
“Tosh thinks I could come in and actually start as a freshman because they are going to be losing some guys,” Harris said. “I am confident in myself that I can compete and earn a spot if I go there.”
When Harris does make his decision, it’s not going to be purely football based. Harris wants to major in aerospace engineering when he gets to college. He’s been fascinated with aviation since he was a little kid.
He didn’t get a chance to meet with the dean of engineering when he visited Alabama last Thursday. He also didn’t meet with the dean of engineering at LSU when he was there, but he did get a chance to explore the college in Baton Rouge.
Harris said the conversations he’s had with the staff members at Alabama, LSU and Miami make him comfortable with his decision to play at one of those schools.
“I’ve talked to lots of people at these schools, and I have a good feeling about all of them,” Harris said. “I feel like these schools give me the best opportunity for me to get what I want to get done.”
The nation’s No. 4 weakside defensive end has a couple of elite teammates at Grayson High School in 5-star linebacker Owen Pappoe and 4-star tackle Wanya Morris who are scheduled to make their college decisions on May 5. There’s a chance Harris makes his decision that day, too.
“I am thinking about doing it then, too,” Harris said. “I would say it’s more than likely I do it on that day. I feel like I’m ready to get things wrapped up.”
Top 2020 QB target visiting Alabama this weekend
Harrison Bailey, a 4-star quarterback from Marietta (Ga.) High School, has been a frequent visitor to Tuscaloosa since his recruitment began in eighth-grade. He is expected to be back on campus Saturday.
Bailey is one of Alabama’s top quarterback targets in the 2020 class. From all I’ve heard these past few months, it sounds as if the Tide are the early leaders.
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