Alabama is off to a slow start in recruiting in the Class of 2018, but that shouldn’t be too much of a concern to Crimson Tide fans because of Nick Saban’s track record over the past seven years where his program has had the No. 1 class each season.
The Tide are the leaders for several top prospects in the Class of 2018 and 2019, and we take a look at some of those highly regarded players below.
Here’s a look at who could be the next to commit to Alabama:
Jalen Cunningham, 3-star defensive tackle, Odenville, Ala.
Cunningham, who is the first cousin of Vanderbilt great Zach Cunningham, has listed Alabama as his leader since he was offered in February. He grew up a Crimson Tide fan, and it appears as if it’s only a matter of when he’ll actually pull the trigger.
The good news for the Tide is that Cunningham, who plays for Saint Clair County High School, has already come close to committing to Alabama once.
“At junior day (back in February) when I went there and I put on that jersey, I was just like, ‘Dang, I need to go ahead and do this,’” Cunningham said. “I decided to wait to see what else was going to come along. It just felt amazing to put on that jersey because I never thought I would get that chance. I felt at home.”
The 6-foot-4, 362-pound prospect will be in Tuscaloosa next weekend for A-Day. Could he decide to commit then?
Josh Jobe, 4-star cornerback, Miami
Jobe is committed to Miami but was in Tuscaloosa last weekend. The visit couldn’t have gone any better, according to multiple sources close to Alabama.
The nation’s No. 9 cornerback nearly flipped his commitment from the Hurricanes to the Crimson Tide last summer, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him do it in the coming weeks. Jobe will play his senior season at Cheshire Academy in Connecticut, so he won’t be able to visit Miami as frequently.
Xavier Williams, a 4-star wide receiver who’s committed to Alabama in the Class of 2018, is very close to Jobe and is trying to get him to flip. Williams has told SEC Country that he likes the Tide’s chances to land him. Williams is expected to visit for A-Day next weekend and is trying to get Jobe to tag along.
Pierce Quick, 2019 4-star offensive tackle, Trussville, Ala.
Quick told SEC Country a few weeks ago that he could make a commitment this summer. If he does, it’s hard to imagine any school not named Alabama getting his commitment.
Like Cunningham, Quick grew up a fan of the Tide and has them leading the way for his commitment. He’s visited Tuscaloosa numerous times this spring, and it seems like there hasn’t been one week where he wasn’t in town for a spring practice.
When he got his offer in February, committing was on his mind.
“I’m not going to lie, it was tough to not commit,” Quick told SEC Country last month. “The staff was good about it. They understand that I am young. No school is pressuring me to commit anytime soon. They understand that I want to see what’s all out there.”
Quick has done just that. He’s visited Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, LSU and wants to visit Oregon because he has a good relationship with Mario Cristobal.
Christian Tutt, 4-star cornerback, Thomson, Ga.
Tutt is the only one on this list with a set commitment date. He’ll announce his decision May 30, a date 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 picks. 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.”
The nation’s No. 18 cornerback has told SEC Country that his top two schools are Alabama and Florida State, and during our last conversation with Tutt, he said the Crimson Tide had the edge.
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.
He’s also expected to visit next weekend for A-Day.
Dominick Wood-Anderson, 4-star tight end, Yuma, Ariz.
Wood-Anderson is rated as the nation’s No. 1 junior college tight end and is one of Alabama’s top targets at the position. He’s coming off a recent trip to Tuscaloosa where he spent 3 days at the team’s facilities. Because of that trip, the Tide are the favorites.
“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.
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.
The 6-foot-5, 245-pound prospect has three years to play two when he transfers to an FBS school.