Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. Today, we discuss the latest with Florida wide receivers Jacob Copeland and Joshua Moore, plus the latest from junior college tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson.
Daboll’s message pays off for Alabama
NEW ORLEANS — Jacob Copeland admits that Alabama wasn’t one of his top schools before visiting Tuscaloosa in late February for the team’s junior day event. The reason why he wasn’t high on the Crimson Tide is because he believes Alabama usually has one focal wide receiver and that’s it.
Copeland, the nation’s No. 9 wide receiver in the Class of 2018 from Escambia High School (Pensacola, Fla.), mentioned how Calvin Ridley, Julio Jones and Amari Cooper were the go-to receivers for the Tide and the team didn’t spread the ball around as much as he likes to see out of schools he’s considering.
After sitting down with new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll last month, though, he’s under the impression that Alabama will spread the ball around more than it did under Lane Kiffin.
“It seems like they’re going to change the game up a little bit,” Copeland told SEC Country. “We chopped it up for a while when I was there and he said they want to pass the ball more this year. Usually, Alabama only focuses on one wide receiver, so I didn’t really have much interest in them. After talking to him, Alabama is getting back up there. I want to see what they look like throwing the ball this season.
“That was why I wasn’t really considering Alabama all that much. It didn’t make sense for me because there would always be a receiver who’s there that would be in front of me that they would focus on.”
The 6-foot-1, 188-pound prospect has been given the choice to either play wide receiver or cornerback at Alabama, but he’s sticking with offense if he chooses the Tide because wide receiver is where he’s most comfortable.
Copeland said he spoke to Daboll for approximately an hour when he visited Tuscaloosa last month and his first impression of the new coach was different than other coaches he’s met throughout the recruiting process.
Copeland said that the one thing that was different about Daboll is all of the NFL experience he has. He knows exactly what it takes to be a successful NFL player, and that has Copeland’s interest in Alabama growing by the day.
“He knows what it takes to make it in the NFL. He said he knows I have the skill set to possibly make it there one day. He said he believes he can help me get there and be a first-rounder. This is a guy who’s won Super Bowls. That’s the top of the top in the NFL. That’s something I am keeping notes on.”
Florida, Clemson, North Carolina, Auburn and Miami are the other schools Copeland is strongly considering at this point. The Gators are prioritizing the in-state recruit, and Jim McElwain himself has made Copeland a top priority ever since he took the Florida job.
He said relationships are going to be key to land his commitment, which he is planning on announcing at the Under Armour All-America game. Right now, his relationship with Alabama is in the growing stages, unlike the one he has at Florida, mainly because Daboll and Mike Locksley still are new.
But the nation’s No. 45 player said he can already see himself at Alabama.
“I feel like I got that skill set to play at Alabama because I’m all about work,” Copeland said. “I can compete with Calvin Ridley. I’m going to give it all I got no matter where I go.”
Moore high on Alabama despite lack of visit
Joshua Moore has never visited Tuscaloosa before, but Alabama already is one of his top schools due to the relationships he has with the staff.
Moore, a 4-star wide receiver from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), told SEC Country at the New Orleans Opening regional this past weekend that Saban, wide receivers coach Locksley and assistant director of player personnel Sam Petitto are in contact with him multiple times a week.
“The coaching staff is always showing my family a lot of love,” Moore said. “They keep in touch with me at least three times a week. Relationships are very important in my recruitment. That will definitely play a big factor on why I go there or not.”
The 6-foot-1, 160-pound prospect admits that his relationship with Locksley isn’t as strong as other coaches he’s talking to elsewhere because he’s new, but he says the coach not only talks to him but also his mother, father and high school trainer, which is important to him.
Locksley isn’t selling Moore on playing just wide receiver at Alabama, if he did go there, and that has piqued his interest.
“Coach Locksley has told me that it’s my decision on whether I want to play offense or defense, if I go there, and even kick and punt returner,” Moore said. “With me being the athlete that I am, that’s like music to my ears. Anyone would want that. It sounds like a great opportunity for me.”
He doesn’t care which position he ends up playing, which is important because some recruits get turned off from a school if it’s not recruiting him at the position he thinks is best for his future.
Florida State and LSU, two of Moore’s top schools, are pitching him on playing football and track at their respective school. That has also caused him to seriously consider those programs. Track was one of Moore’s first loves.
“Only LSU and Florida State are schools that have given me the opportunity (to run track),” Moore said. “It’s something I’d love to look into doing. It’s a big part of my decision because I grew up as a track guy.”
The Under Armour All-American said he’s expected to make his first trip to Tuscaloosa on June 4. The timing of that visit will be critical because he’s planning a July commitment as of now. That’s not set in stone. If he’s not ready, Moore will postpone his decision until the Under Armour game in early January.
In addition to Alabama, Florida State and LSU, Moore rattled off Georgia, Oklahoma and Tennessee as other schools he’s strongly considering at this point. Though he hasn’t visited, Moore said he feels close to Tide staff members because of how often they have communicated with him over the past few months.
Moore talks to Saban frequently and he said the five-time national champion is a man he could see himself playing for next season.
“That’s a head coach who I would definitely want to be under because he’s the kind of guy I am, too,” Moore said. “I’m a business guy. I don’t like to play around too much. I like to handle my business and get out of there. You want to be under a coach that you get along with.”
Moore is on track to enroll early at his university of choice in January.
JUCO TE explains why Alabama is a top school
Dominick Wood-Anderson, the nation’s top junior college tight end in the Class of 2018 from Arizona Western, released his top 6 early Tuesday morning and Alabama made the cut along with Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee, Oregon and Utah.
Wood-Anderson has said in previous interviews that Alabama and Louisville were his top two schools, and the Cardinals didn’t make this cut. He told SEC Country why Alabama is one of the schools he’s looking at closer.
“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 TE in the country my first year and be a top 20 draft pick after my second year,” Wood-Anderson said.
He said seeing O.J. Howard’s success in the NFL combine and the chatter of him possibly being a top 10 pick in next month’s draft definitely help Alabama’s case of possibly landing his commitment.
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. Wood-Anderson is one of the top, if not the top, target at the position.
The 6-foot-5, 245-pound prospect has three years to play two when he transfers to an FBS school. He will make his first-ever trip to Tuscaloosa on April 3. When he arrives for that trip, he will be on commitment watch.
Spring practice visitors
With the first day of spring practice here, Alabama will host several visitors. Here are the following players who are expected on campus in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday:
- Priority defensive tackle target Coynis Miller from Jackson-Olin High School in Birmingham.
- In-state 2019 offensive lineman Pierce Quick. He grew up an Alabama fan and got his offer from the Tide last month at the team’s junior day event.
- 5-star 2019 offensive tackle Devontae Dobbs from Detroit.
- 4-star 2019 center Tyrone Sampson from Detroit.
- 2019 wide receiver Julian Barnett from Detroit.
Here’s a picture of Barnett and Sampson arriving in the Birmingham airport early Tuesday morning:
Landed wit bro ?? pic.twitter.com/LizFcmX9eR
— Julian Barnett (@_OfficialJB1) March 21, 2017