Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. Today, we discuss the latest with Georgia cornerback Chris Smith and Stanford quarterback commit Jack West.
Chris Smith says Alabama will definitely make the cut
Former Hapeville Charter defensive back (Atlanta) William Poole, who signed with Georgia in the Class of 2017, occupied one side of the Hornets secondary and Class of 2018 cornerback Chris Smith manned the other side of the secondary last season, making that duo one of the most talented pairs in the state of Georgia last year. It’s now Smith’s turn to have the recruiting spotlight turned on him.
While Smith does hold an offer from the Bulldogs and admits that it would be nice to link up with his former teammate in Athens, it won’t be a slam dunk for Georgia to get his commitment, which he says can happen from anytime this summer to National Signing Day.
“I’m making my decision for me,” Smith told SEC Country at the Atlanta Opening regional. “A lot of people around me tell me that this is the most selfish decision I have to make. I can’t think about anyone else when I make this decision. This is my life.”
That’s the good news for Alabama if it decides to strongly pursue Smith moving forward. Crimson Tide defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley communicates with Smith at least twice a week, he said. His relationship with Ansley goes back to 2015 when the coach was at Kentucky. Smith’s first college offer was from the Wildcats.
“I have a really good relationship with Coach Ansley,” Smith said. “He was one of the first people to believe in me when he was at Kentucky. That relationship has now carried over to Alabama. Things are going very well between me and Alabama.
“He’s very straight to the point. He has let me know that he likes me a lot. He’s always liked me; like I said, he wanted me at Kentucky. I believe him when he says he wants me. He has a really good résumé. I can see myself playing for him.”
Smith is planning on releasing a top 10 or 12 later this month or in May. Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon, South Carolina and Southern California will make the cut. What about Alabama?
“Alabama will definitely make the cut,” Smith said. “It’s Alabama. It’s a great program. They’re very straight to the point and know what they want. They’re not a very flashy program and that’s not a bad thing. They just produce great players every single year and send them to the NFL.”
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound prospect was in Tuscaloosa last Saturday for a visit. Expect him back in camp this summer where Alabama will be able to further evaluate the nation’ s No. 43 cornerback.
Jack West visiting Alabama once again
Jack West committed to Stanford over Alabama last July despite growing up dreaming about playing for the Crimson Tide.
West, the nation’s No. 6 pro-style quarterback from Saraland (Ala.) High School, chose Stanford over Alabama mainly for life-after-football reasons. West is interested in politics and has thought of being a senator, or even president, one day. Stanford is one of the best universities in the world and he thought it was a better academic fit for him.
“I’m definitely not going to be the smartest guy in the room,” said West, who has a 4.5 GPA, last month. “I’m going there to study and be a football player, but there’s going to be neurosurgeons, future politicians and people who may cure cancer. I’m just a ballplayer from Alabama.”
That ballplayer from Alabama will be in Tuscaloosa on Friday, he told SEC Country. When West committed to Stanford, it was somewhat of a surprise mainly because he did it out of nowhere. It wasn’t too surprising to learn why he did it. SEC Country profiled West and his desires to perhaps be a United States president one day.
This visit is definitely interesting. West told SEC Country last month that he was locked in with the Cardinal and nothing was going to change his mind about his commitment.
“One of the greatest things is that they understand that I am committed to Stanford,” West said. “That’s where I’m going to go to school. There hasn’t been too much communication with (Alabama). It’s just been us catching up. That’s why I respect Alabama so much. They care about the players and the kids.”
If there was one school that could change West’s mind, it’s the school he grew up supporting. Before that happens, though, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will need to evaluate him in person because he’s never seen West throw.
Other notable visitors on Friday
Several top recruits are expected in Tuscaloosa on Friday. Here are the most notable visitors:
- Alabama 4-star running back commit Dameon Pierce, who will make his first known visit to Tuscaloosa since committing last summer.
- 4-star wide receiver Jacob Copeland (Pensacola, Fla.) — named the Tide in his top 5 earlier this week.
- Tennessee 4-star athlete commit Alontae Taylor (Manchester, Tenn.) — on offer watch.
- In-state 3-star defensive lineman Malik Langham (Huntsville, Ala.) — doesn’t hold an offer from Alabama.
- 3-star offensive tackle Jerome Carvin (Cordova, Tenn.) — holds an offer from Alabama.
- 2019 4-star offensive lineman Clay Webb (Oxford, Ala.) — in-state battle between Alabama and Auburn.
- 2020 quarterback Drew Pyne (New Canaan, Conn.) — already holds an Alabama offer and will be one of the top quarterbacks in that class.