Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. Today, we talk the latest with a major Alabama target who’s announcing his commitment on Friday.
Cameron Latu set to announce his commitment on Friday
Cameron Latu, a 247Sports 4-star Jack linebacker target from Olympus High School (Salt Lake City), will announce his commitment on Friday afternoon, choosing from five finalists: Alabama, Nebraska, Southern California, Utah and Washington.
If you ask his mother, Jill Argust, which school she would pick, that answer comes easily.
“There’s no wrong choice in this matter, but if I had the choice, and it’s not, then Alabama is what I would pick,” Argust told SEC Country. “I’ve loved it each time I’ve been there. I love the coaches, especially (outside linebackers coach) Tosh Lupoi. He’s amazing. His passion, drive, skills and his bio itself is just amazing. He’s the biggest reason why. The academics are great. It’s a great school.”
Latu, the nation’s No. 8 weakside defensive end in the Class of 2018, told SEC Country last month at The Opening Finals in Beaverton, Ore., that his mother wanted him to choose the Crimson Tide. He also cited her thoughts on Lupoi, who is arguably the best recruiter on the Alabama staff outside of Nick Saban himself.
“Cameron and I have a great relationship with him,” Argust said of Lupoi. “I can talk freely, and I am just very comfortable with him. The one time he went to Alabama without me, I called Tosh and asked if he was OK to go by himself. He said they would take good care of him, and I didn’t worry at all.”
The 6-foot-5, 236-pound prospect has visited Tuscaloosa three times, which is a significant amount for a player who lives almost 2,000 miles away from campus. One reason for the frequent amount of trips could be because Argust gets free plane tickets on Delta because she works for the airline. She’s already planning to be at every game if Cameron chooses Alabama. The last visit to Tuscaloosa came two weeks ago for the Champions Cookout.
While there, Argust and Latu spent significant time with Saban. She said they got to see a more relaxed side of the coach. She also learned about the tutoring programs they have for the players and even learned that the team notifies parents of their son’s progress.
“We sat down with Coach Saban, and he said, ‘We do send report cards to parents. So, if you say don’t tell my mom about something, we are going to tell your mom,”‘ Argust recalled with a laugh.
Cameron Latu very comfortable in Tuscaloosa
The comfort level in Tuscaloosa for Argust and Latu is very high. Latu has developed a good relationship with freshmen Tua Tagovailoa and Najee Harris, staying in their dorm room on his three visits there. Latu has especially clicked with Tagovailoa because both have Polynesian backgrounds. Latu is part Tongan while Tagovailoa is Samoan.
Argust met Tagovailoa’s mother, Diane, two weeks ago. The Tagovailoas relocated from Ewa Beach, Hawaii, to Alabaster, Ala., which is roughly 50 miles away from Tuscaloosa.
“She let me know that he always has family there if he decides to go there,” Argust said of Diane Tagovailoa. “That was really nice to hear.”
Each time Latu has left Alabama, he’s felt more strongly about the school. The main reason is that comfort with the players and coaches. It’s hard to see him choose any school other than Alabama.
“One thing he has said about Alabama is that it feels like home to him,” Argust said. “He’s really comfortable there. He has such a great rapport with Tosh.”
Cameron Latu, where will he go?
Latu is set to announce his decision at 2 p.m. ET. My prediction is Alabama, and I feel very confident in saying that.
If he does choose the Crimson Tide, Latu will be the second Jack linebacker on board in the 2018 class, joining Jordan Davis (though Davis will likely grow into a defensive lineman). Other Jack linebacker targets include: KJ Henry, Micah Parsons, Eyabi Anoma and Andres Fox.
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