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 one of the nation’s top uncommitted quarterbacks.
James Foster down to 4 schools
James Foster, a 4-star quarterback from Sidney Lanier High School (Montgomery, Ala.), grew up a Crimson Tide fan. The University of Alabama is his dream school. Alabama is one of his final 4 schools, along with Florida State, LSU and Texas A&M. Committing to the Tide, though, isn’t that simple.
“It’s a dream come true [to be recruited by Alabama], but at the end of the day, it’s a business decision,” Foster told SEC Country’s Benjamin Wolk at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game practice on Thursday. “I know it’s my dream school, but if I don’t choose it, it’s just a business decision.”
Alabama is still searching for its quarterback in the 2018 class. The Tide would like to flip Ohio State quarterback commit Emory Jones, but if he sticks with the Buckeyes next week during the early signing period, Foster is the next man up.
Jones hasn’t given any indication to either Alabama or Ohio State, the two schools he’s strongly considering, what he’s going to do. In case he goes through with signing Ohio State, Alabama has been turning up the heat with Foster over the past 2 weeks.
“[Defensive backs] coach [Derrick] Ansley came down to see me,” Foster said. “We sat down and talked for a minute. We had a great talk. Coach [Brian] Daboll came to my school last Monday, and we had a great talk, too. That put them back in the mix.
“They’ve turned it up really hard. They came to my house Monday to see my mom. It shows me that they want me there.”
I’ve had a lot of Alabama fans who follow recruiting ask me if the Tide’s recent interest in Foster means the team won’t flip Jones. That’s not necessarily true. The Tide recruit plenty of players who may be backup options at the time and then become a priority at some point in the future. If Alabama and other schools didn’t do this, they would all be at a disadvantage because they would have no relationship with that player.
Foster was asked if Alabama recruiting Jones mattered to him, and he said it didn’t. The nation’s No. 14 dual-threat prospect will make his final decision on National Signing Day on Feb. 7. Before then, he’ll take an official visit to LSU during the weekend of Jan. 12. He’ll then visit Tuscaloosa the following weekend. Florida State will then host him before Texas A&M gets him on campus in the coveted spot the weekend before Signing Day.
Don’t expect any other schools to get in the mix for Foster at this point.
“Those are the schools that are coming at me the hardest and I want to go somewhere where I’m wanted at and not go somewhere that I’m not,” he said. “I just want the place to feel like home to me. I also want to have a great relationship with the coaches and I want my mom to have a great relationship, too.”
Alabama official visitors this weekend
This is the final official visit weekend before the early signing period begins on Dec. 20 and lasts until Dec. 22. The Tide will host a small group of official visitors this weekend:
- 4-star cornerback Josh Jobe — committed to Miami
Jobe has been trending toward Alabama for several months now. Do not be surprised to see him flip to the Tide this weekend and sign with the team next week.
- 4-star defensive tackle Tyler Friday
Friday has emerged as a priority for Alabama over the past month. Coach Nick Saban and defensive line Karl Dunbar visited with Friday earlier this week. Alabama needs to make up ground to Michigan and Ohio State.
- 3-star running back Jerome Ford
Like Jobe, do not be surprised to see Ford commit to Alabama before the weekend is over. He’s still thinking about signing early, but I have a feeling the staff is going to tell him to get this recruitment over with.
- 3-star defensive end Casey Rogers
Rogers doesn’t have an offer from the Tide just yet. He’s an intriguing prospect. He was once committed to Syracuse to play lacrosse before deciding that he wanted to focus on football. The Tide need to add several defensive linemen this class.
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