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 inside linebacker targets.
How Christian Harris‘ LSU offer changed his recruitment
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. — Christian Harris named Alabama his leader last Sunday after visiting Tuscaloosa for the first time. As recruiting goes, lots can change in a week.
Harris, a 4-star athlete from University Lab (Baton Rouge, La.), picked up two major offers last week from two of his dream schools: Florida State and LSU. The latter is the one Alabama should be wary about.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound prospect was offered by the hometown Tigers last Thursday after speaking with Ed Orgeron on the phone. The offer left Harris speechless.
“I’ve grown up an LSU fan all of my life,” Harris told SEC Country on Sunday at the Pylon 7v7 National Qualifier. “I’ve always wanted to play at LSU. It kind of opened things up for me. I’m sitting back and looking at all of my options now. I was just tuned in on Alabama. I almost committed, and now I have LSU and Florida State, which is another one of my dream schools.”
Harris, one of the Tide’s most important inside linebacker targets, did almost commit to Alabama last Sunday but held off because his father didn’t accompany him on his visit. The Tide staff want Harris to be one of the leaders of this class, but he said a decision will not likely come until the start of the summer now that he has offers from Florida State and LSU.
“I love Alabama, but, yeah, I’m just sitting back and looking at all of my options now,” Harris said. “Everyone is equal.”
While it’s clear that those two schools have Harris’ attention, he did say that once his father came back to town last Friday, one of the first things he did was tell him about why he likes Alabama so much.
Another plus for the Tide: Harris’ mother fell in love with Alabama on their visit last week, and Harris has her blessing if he were to pick the school. Alabama’s focus on developing players off the field is another important factor.
“They really care about the players there,” Harris said. “They have like over 100 tutors and individual tutors. Where they do tutoring is down the hall from the dorms, so it’s not like you have to make a far walk. They care about your life outside of football.”
Alabama, Florida State, Texas and Texas A&M are the schools Harris is considering for official visits this spring. LSU likely won’t get one because he lives in Baton Rouge, so there’s no need to use one of his five allotted visits to that school.
It will be an interesting decision for Harris if his choice comes down to the SEC West rivals. Alabama wants him at inside linebacker, while LSU is recruiting him at its F-back, which is essentially a hybrid of fullback, tight end and wide receiver.
Harris hasn’t decided if he wants to play on defense or offense yet, but it likely will swing his decision to either school when he does.
“Alabama puts a lot of linebackers into the league, and if I go there to play linebacker, there’s a chance I can go to the league,” Harris said. “I also like playing offense, too, so it’s going to be a tough decision that I have to make soon.”
Harris has been one of the hottest recruits in the country these past few weeks, so it begs the question as to why the school located 15 minutes from his home hadn’t offered him until this past week.
Orgeron brought it up to Harris and his mother when he was offered and said LSU takes a while when it comes to offering in-state recruits.
“Coach O said that when he offers in-state guys that he wants them to commit 100 percent,” Harris said. “They 100 percent want you when they offer and there’s no way they’re going to pull your offer.”
The LSU offer has quelled Alabama’s momentum with Harris, and what he said about the allure of playing for the Tigers is something the Tide can’t offer.
“All of my family and friends can easily go see me play,” Harris said. “That’s something I’ve always wanted. Alabama isn’t that far, but it’s like a 5-hour drive. It’s a lot on my parents. It would be easier on them if I went to LSU.”
Alabama’s other inside linebacker targets include 5-star prospect Nakobe Dean, junior college prospect Lakia Henry and 4-star in-state prospect Vonta Bentley.
Pierce Quick shuts down his recruitment
Pierce Quick had plans to take all five of his official visits to enjoy the recruiting process. That no longer will happen.
Quick, a 5-star tackle commit from Hewitt-Trussville High School (Trussville, Ala.), has shut down his recruiting process and will not visit any other school. Even if Quick had gone on those trips, he was always going to sign with Alabama. It has been his dream to play for the Crimson Tide, and nothing was getting in the way of that.
The nation’s No. 4 tackle will be the vocal leader of the Tide’s 2019 class. It was something that the 2018 class lacked, and it was a small, contributing factor for why Alabama slipped in the recruiting rankings. Xavier Williams and Jordan Davis played that role to some degree in the 2018 class, but it was not on the level Quick will be at. He’s already working on getting his teammate, 4-star quarterback Paul Tyson and one of his good friends, 5-star center Clay Webb, to commit.
Expect Quick to be in the ears of every one of Alabama’s top targets in the 2019 class.
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