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 two of Alabama’s top tight end targets.
Dominick Wood-Anderson headed to Texas
This was a total surprise. So much so, I didn’t feel like it was necessary to have a story ready to go on Dominick Wood-Anderson, the nation’s No. 1 junior college tight end from Arizona Western College (Yuma, Ariz.), choosing any school other than Alabama on Tuesday.
The Tide staff expected Wood-Anderson to announce his verbal commitment to Alabama, but that didn’t happen. Wood-Anderson actually told the coaching staff Tuesday morning that he was going to commit to the Tide.
He ended up choosing Texas, which was a shocker.
— 1 6 (@TheRealYungDom) August 1, 2017
If he didn’t choose Alabama, the likeliest backup option was Louisville. Texas coaches weren’t expecting him to select the Longhorns. They were focused on recruiting former Alabama tight end commit Malcolm Epps. So, something changed on Tuesday. What exactly? I don’t know and neither do those close to the Alabama program.
Wood-Anderson was all over the place with his recruitment. He gave multiple schools a silent commitment (Alabama, Louisville, Oregon and Texas). The junior college standout told SEC Country in April after his visit to Tuscaloosa that he had committed to the Tide. There was some belief that he would go public with his intentions while on that trip, but he said he wanted to take some official visits before doing so. He ended up taking official visits to Alabama, Louisville and Texas, which were his final three schools. The Alabama trip — two weeks ago — was when the reaffirmed silent commitment happened.
The 6-foot-5, 245-pound prospect was Alabama’s top tight end target, so this is certainly a blow to the Tide’s recruiting efforts. Wood-Anderson claims his recruiting process is 100 percent complete, but with how much he changed his mind before his commitment, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him continue to flirt with other programs.
Not all is bad news for Alabama because there still are a few targets out there.
Focus now shifts to Luke Ford
Luke Ford, a 4-star tight end from Carterville (Ill.) High School, visited Tuscaloosa for the first time in June. He left that visit with the Crimson Tide on top.
“My God, Alabama is definitely at the top because the visit was amazing and you can tell that they don’t do what they did for me for just anyone,” Ford told SEC Country back in June. “I got to chill with the coaches in their offices. I worked out for them and got to talk to Nick Saban for a while.”
Ford reiterated that Alabama was his leader last month at The Opening. He did say, though, that he was planning on following 5-star quarterback Justin Fields to whichever school he chooses. As of today, that won’t be Alabama. I, however, put zero stock in package deals, especially with a player who just met Fields not even a month ago.
Alabama feels very good with where it stands with Ford. Also, watch out for in-state standout Michael Parker from Westminster Christian Academy. He impressed the coaching staff at camp last month and could potentially receive an offer down the road.
Changing my prediction on WR target
Slade Bolden, a 3-star wide receiver from West Monroe (La.) High School, will announce his commitment between Alabama and TCU on Thursday at 6:30 p.m ET. Earlier this week, I predicted Bolden was going to choose TCU when he announced his decision. I’m changing my prediction to Alabama.
Bolden emerged as a priority for the Tide after his phenomenal performance at camp last month. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll envisions using Bolden like Julian Edelman of the Patriots. The slot receiver is very important in New England’s offense, and it should become a focal point in Alabama’s.
The confidence level on Bolden picking Alabama is high in Tuscaloosa. Unlike Wood-Anderson, the staff doesn’t think Bolden is going to have a drama-filled recruitment. I also believe Alabama will land 4-star wide receiver Jaylen Waddle when he makes his commitment. Waddle is the team’s top slot receiver target.
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