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 major targets who are visiting Tuscaloosa once again.
Jacob Copeland and Emil Ekiyor returning to Alabama
Jacob Copeland committed to Florida back in August, but the elite wide receiver will now skip out on visiting Gainesville for the second time this season in favor of visiting Tuscaloosa.
Copeland, a 4-star prospect from Escambia High School (Pensacola, Fla.), visited Alabama for the Crimson Tide’s game against Colorado State last weekend. He chose to visit Tuscaloosa for that game instead of visiting Gainesville for Florida’s rivalry game against Tennessee. He announced on Twitter that he’ll return to Alabama for the team’s game against Ole Miss next weekend instead of visiting Florida for its game against Vanderbilt.
That’s now consecutive visits for one of Alabama’s top slot targets if he follows through with his intentions to return to Tuscaloosa. He spoke with SEC Country earlier this week about his surprise trip to Alabama.
“Always gotta leave your options open,” Copeland said. “You never know what could happen at any given moment.”
What does that exactly mean? Well, he has some concerns with how Florida’s offense has looked so far in its first two games. He mentioned how the Gators have struggled to score and described the quarterback play as being “wishy-washy.”
“All I can do is wait out the season and go from there,” Copeland said. “I committed to UF because they were there first and stayed with me. But, at the same time, I got to do what’s best for me at the end of the day. I haven’t lost interest in ‘Bama. That’s why I made my way down [there].”
The Crimson Tide finished second for Copeland when he committed. If Florida continues to struggle on offense, this recruitment could be one to watch closely over the next several months. As of now, I still think he’ll stick with Florida.
Another important visitor set to return to Tuscaloosa is 4-star offensive guard Emil Ekiyor. Ekiyor, whose trip to Tuscaloosa next weekend will be an official visit, is one of Alabama’s top offensive line targets and remains in daily contact with the Crimson Tide staff.
I thought there was a good chance Ekiyor would flip from Michigan to Alabama over the summer, but that talk died down after two canceled trips. So, how close are the two schools now?
What’s interesting about Wiltfong’s report is it seems like Alabama is now recruiting Ekiyor at center. Over the summer, the Crimson Tide were focused on recruiting him as a guard.
“They have a void at center right now and need someone to come in next year and compete for the spot,” Ekiyor said. “Center is one of their biggest needs on their team and I can come in and compete for it.”
Alabama has two offensive line commits in Jarrett Bell and Tommy Brown. Bell is expected to compete at center or guard at Alabama. The Crimson Tide also signed 3-star prospect Hunter Brannon in the 2017 class as a center.
SEC Country will have a full look at all of the expected visitors for the Sept. 30 SEC matchup between Alabama and Ole Miss late next week.
Miss a previous edition? Find every post of SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings recruiting notebook right here.