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 an Ohio State quarterback commit who’s still strongly considering Alabama.
More Emory Jones talk
There’s going to be a lot of talk over the next several months on whether Emory Jones will flip from Ohio State or if he’ll stick with the Buckeyes.
The 4-star quarterback from Heard County High School (Franklin, Ga.), is saying the right things when it comes to his commitment to Ohio State, but Jones is going to continue to get questions on if he truly is 100 percent with the Buckeyes because he wants to take visits to other programs.
Quarterbacks, who are committed to a program, usually don’t take visits to other schools because they’re viewed as the leader of their school’s recruiting class. Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones, Alabama’s Class of 2017 quarterbacks, didn’t visit any other program once when they committed to the Crimson Tide. Jones wants to take all five of his official visits. Alabama will be one of the schools to get a visit, and it will be at least the third time he’s been to Tuscaloosa as a recruit.
Heard County coach Tim Barron doesn’t think his quarterback will flip his commitment from Ohio State, though.
“I know Emory is not the type of kid that is running around and shopping around,” Barron told SEC Country. “He’s not a kid that’s going to be flipping hats on [National Signing Day]. He’s just not that guy. Right now, from my impressions, he’s Ohio State’s. I also know that there are other people that want him, though.”
The nation’s No. 3 dual-threat quarterback told SEC Country that outside of Ohio State, Alabama is mainly the only school he’s communicating with on a regular basis. Auburn, Florida State and Georgia remain in touch with Jones, too, but those three schools are considered to be serious contenders for 5-star quarterback Justin Fields. Jones said those three programs don’t talk much with him. The reason is probably because they’re focused on Fields.
Alabama’s most-likely additions at the quarterback position in the 2018 class are Jones and 4-star prospect Tanner McKee. Outside of those two, there’s not an elite quarterback who’s considering the Crimson Tide at this time. It’s interesting to note that Jones, despite being committed to Ohio State, has kept a close watch on the Tide’s offense this season.
“I have seen some progress in their passing game,” Jones told SEC Country last week. “Jalen Hurts has definitely progressed as a passer. Last time I went there [this summer], I worked out with him and threw with him. I could tell that he progressed. He knows the offense and is more comfortable in the offense this year. That’s definitely good.”
The only problem with the possibility of Alabama flipping Jones is his mother seems to be 100 percent sold on her son attending Ohio State. There has been some chatter around Jones’ recruitment that some people in his family want him to choose a school closer to where he lives in Franklin, Ga., but Jones’ mother, Trina, is not one of those people.
What struck me is that she has actively reached out to parents of former and current Buckeyes players to get a sense of how their sons developed on and off the field. That shows me she is completely invested in getting every piece of info she can get before she sends him off to Columbus in January, as Jones is an early enrollee. She has not done that type of information-mining at Alabama.
That’s important because her opinion matters. Jones calls his mother his best friend.
“My mom is definitely my best friend,” Jones said. “I talk to her throughout the day. After my games, she’s always the one that picks me up. Sometimes, she’ll coach me on things that I need to work on. She always gives me tips. My relationship with her is very close. When I’m at home with her, we just sit down and talk about life and the future.
“I think about [providing for her] almost every night before I go to sleep. I see how hard she works every single day to provide for me. She leaves the house early in the morning and comes back at 8 o’clock to provide for me, so I can do the things I want to do. I feel like when I get the opportunity to bless her, she’s going to get everything she’s ever wanted.”
As of now, I don’t think Jones will flip to Alabama; however, I do think he is the Crimson Tide’s likeliest addition at quarterback in the 2018 class. I think there’s a long way to go, but Alabama will get a big chance to make a move when he makes his official visit in the coming weeks.
What kind of player would Alabama be getting if it flipped Jones?
“The ball comes out of his hand a little differently,” Tim Barron, Jones’ coach, said. “I’m not a quarterbacks coach, so I can’t tell you specifically why. I don’t mess with our quarterbacks coach. I’m smart enough to get out of his way. But when you watch him throw, it’s different. It’s spinning when it comes out of his hand. If he needed to be a pocket passer, he could be. If he needed to make something happen with his legs, he could do that as well.
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