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 discuss the latest with Ohio State quarterback commit Emory Jones.
Emory Jones still hearing from Alabama
SNELLVILLE, Ga. — Alabama is still searching for its Class of 2018 quarterback. Most of the top signal callers in the current recruiting cycle have already committed elsewhere, so many of the Crimson Tide’s top options will have to flip their commitment if they ended up choosing Alabama.
One of those quarterbacks is Emory Jones. Jones, a 5-star prospect from Heard County High School (Franklin, Ga.), committed to Ohio State last July and hasn’t wavered on his commitment, despite taking trips elsewhere. Jones is very active in recruiting other top players for the Buckeyes, including two major Alabama targets: 5-star offensive tackle Jackson Carman and 5-star running back Zamir White.
Jones told SEC Country that he believes Ohio State has a good chance at landing both elite players when they make their decisions.
“I think it’s really realistic,” Jones said. “They both have visited a couple of times and we were all up there at the same time. We hung out a lot, and I got to know them. We had a good bond.”
The nation’s No. 2 dual-threat quarterback has also established a bond with the other Ohio State commitments. Jones said all of them are in a group text conversation and they talk to each other every day. He called his relationship with the commits a “brotherhood.”
I use that as a preface to say that Alabama hasn’t given up on recruiting Jones. The Crimson Tide — like many other top teams across the country — don’t stop recruiting a player just because he’s verbally committed.
Jones said Alabama and Florida are the only two schools still coming after him, but he’s still “solid with Ohio State.”
The Elite 11 finalist said he spoke with Nick Saban just last week. The message to Jones is that Saban wants him to get back to Tuscaloosa for a visit.
“We had a good talk,” Jones said. “He just wanted to talk to my mom. He hadn’t talked to her before. He was just giving her information about Alabama. He just wants all of us to get back there.”
SEC Country had a brief conversation with Jones’ mother, Trina, just last month, and she reaffirmed her son’s commitment to Ohio State was 100 percent. Though Columbus, Ohio, and Franklin, Ga., aren’t short car rides away, that will not play any factor into possible second thoughts when it comes time to turn that verbal commitment into a binding one.
“She doesn’t want me to worry about anything like that,” Jones said. “She wants me to pick the school that’s right for me, no matter where it is.”
And that school is Ohio State right now. He once again said that the only way he could ever see himself de-committing from that program is if a major coaching change went down such as Urban Meyer leaving. That doesn’t seem likely.
He’s also not concerned about depth charts.
Like Alabama, Ohio State has young talent at the quarterback position. The Buckeyes signed Tate Martell in the Class of 2017 and Dwayne Haskins in the Class of 2016. The Crimson Tide have sophomore Jalen Hurts and freshmen Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones on their roster.
It doesn’t seem likely that Jones will end up an Alabama commit, but the good news is that he is still listening to the Tide’s pitch, and his mother was interested in what Saban had to say last week.
“I think every parent would want their son to be at Alabama,” Jones said with a laugh. “I think she’s sold on Ohio State, but she took away some good things from Coach Saban.”
Jones said he doesn’t have any visits set just yet.
Jacob Copeland gets high praise
Jacob Copeland is one of Alabama’s top targets in the Class of 2018.
Copeland, a 4-star wide receiver from Escambia High School (Pensacola, Fla.), is strongly considering Alabama and Florida, amongst other schools. It’s likely that he chooses one of those schools when he makes his commitment, which is scheduled to happen at the Under Armour All-America Game.
Escambia offensive coordinator Brett Bennett told SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi what makes Copeland so special.
“He’s just one of those guys where you want the ball in his hands,” Bennett said. “I’m always thinking about what ways I can use him. You watch the film and you’re like, ‘How did he make that play?’ He’s not human.
“He makes freak catches. He beats guys 1-on-1. He runs a 4.4. He can jump out the gym. He benches 365 pounds. The kid looks like a Greek God walking out onto the field. As soon as you see him, he automatically gets your attention.”
Alabama has made a big move for Copeland over the past few months. He wasn’t considering the Crimson Tide at all until a late February visit for junior day. He then followed up that trip with two more visits to Tuscaloosa. The second one was for A-Day.
The nation’s No. 9 wide receiver was treated like a star that day. Copeland sat in the front seat as Saban drove his car to the stadium for the scrimmage. Five-star wide receiver Justyn Ross also was in the car. Those two recruits were the only players in town that weekend to receive that treatment.
Alabama is in a good spot for Copeland, who will play receiver, running back, quarterback and defensive back this season for Escambia.