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 4-star defensive back Christian Tutt and junior college tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson.
Tutt getting more comfortable at Alabama
Christian Tutt is a tough recruit to read. In one sentence, Tutt says his commitment on May 30 will come down to either Alabama or Florida State. Less than five seconds later, he says he “can’t lie” and indicates Georgia still is in the mix.
Tutt, a 4-star cornerback from Thomson (Ga.) High School, is coming off a Monday trip to Tuscaloosa — a visit in which he called the best one he’s taken to Alabama since his recruitment began his freshman year.
“That’s a dream school,” Tutt told SEC Country. “Everything about the visit just went so well. I’m just getting really close to committing. I love everything about Alabama.”
To be clear, his close-to-committing comment was just in reference to his upcoming commitment next month. Tutt will privately make a decision before May 30, but he won’t announce it publicly before then.
May 30 is very special to Tutt. That’s the day of his older brother’s birthday. He would have been 22. Chris Tutt died in a single-car accident on June 2, 2016. Chris and Christian were very close, so the latter felt like making the biggest decision of his life so far on his older brother’s birthday was a good way to pay homage to him.
Family is very important to Tutt. A college that feels like home is one of the most important factors in the school he ends up picking. He feels like Tuscaloosa is a good representative of his home located in a small suburb of Augusta, Ga.
“Tuscaloosa is not a big city. It’s kind of a country town,” Tutt said. “I like that. I don’t live in a big city. I live way out in the country. They got some good barbecue places just like home.”
Alabama has one of those guys who makes Tutt feel like he’s at home — defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who, like Tutt, is from the country. Tutt and Pruitt have been close to each other since the recruit was in the eighth grade. Pruitt was one of the first college coaches to see Tutt’s ability and potential. That matters to Tutt.
The main reason why the Alabama staff likes Tutt, he says, is because of his versatility. Pruitt believes he can play cornerback, safety, star or money in any of the Tide’s schemes. In his 1-on-1 conversation with Nick Saban on Monday, Tutt said the coach told him that he would have a great chance to step in and make an immediate impact because of the defensive backs who are going to leave after this season. Tony Brown and Anthony Averett are seniors and Minkah Fitzpatrick is a likely candidate to leave for the NFL draft after this season.
“I definitely think there’s a chance to play early, but I know nothing is going to be given to me,” Tutt said. “I’m going to have to come in and compete. I’ll have to earn everything I get. Everyone out there is hungry and they all want to get out on that field to get to the next level. I’m a dog. I’m going to get one of those spots.”
One of those spots he could get is Fitzpatrick’s, who he had a chance to talk to on Monday. Fitzpatrick got to play at Alabama as a freshman and he told Tutt to not pay attention to what outsiders may tell him about early playing time there.
“He told me that it’s a great place to be,” Tutt said of Fitzpatrick’s message to him. “He told me how it seems like everyone thinks if you go to Alabama, you won’t play and won’t get experience. You can’t say that, though, because you never know how things are going to pan out.”
The nation’s No. 18 cornerback will visit Florida State this week, he said, and will finish off the weekend with a trip to Athens to see Georgia. Tutt will return to Tuscaloosa in 18 days for A-Day.
Commit watch on for Tuesday visitor?
Dominick Wood-Anderson, the nation’s top junior college tight end in the Class of 2018 from Arizona Western (Yuma, Ariz.), will be in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday evening. Commitment watch will be on for Wood-Anderson.
Wood-Anderson has said in previous interviews that Alabama and Louisville were his top two schools, and the Cardinals didn’t make his since-deleted top 6. But he told SEC Country why Alabama is one of the schools he’s giving a closer look.
“It’s somewhere where I’m going to come in and make an immediate impact and somewhere that’s going to give me the best shot to be a top 5 tight end in the country my first year and be a top 20 draft pick after my second year,” Wood-Anderson said.
He said seeing O.J. Howard’s success in the NFL combine and the chatter of him possibly being a top 10 pick in the draft next month definitely help Alabama’s case of possibly landing his commitment.
The Tide signed two tight ends in the Class of 2017 in Major Tennison and Kedrick James, but they would like to add at least one more in the Class of 2018. Wood-Anderson is one of the top, if not the top, target at the position.
The 6-foot-5, 245-pound prospect has three years to play two when he transfers to an FBS school.
The first play in his highlight reel below is a good example why the Tide are so high on him: