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 the nation’s No. 1 overall player and an Ohio State quarterback commit.
Justin Fields not expected to visit Tuscaloosa
Justin Fields, the Class of 2018’s No. 1 overall player according to the 247Sports rankings, was expected to visit Tuscaloosa for the second time this summer for Alabama’s Champions Cookout event on Friday.
Turns out he won’t be there, after all.
“We’re not going to make it,” Ivant Fields, Justin’s father, told SEC Country.
In mid-June, Fields told SEC Country that Alabama wasn’t one of the main teams he was considering because of the lack of a relationship he had with the coaching staff. Things started to progress toward the end of the month after the Fields family made their first visit to Alabama.
“I just love the way [offensive coordinator] Coach (Brian) Daboll coaches,” Fields told SEC Country at Nike’s The Opening Finals earlier this summer. “Of course, they are going to contend for national championships every year. They also have most of the best players in college football. Just getting to practice with those guys every day is going to get you better.”
I still think Fields ending up in Alabama’s class is a long shot; however, it’s clear that loaded depth charts are not an issue to him because he’s strongly considering Georgia. The Bulldogs have sophomore Jacob Eason and 4-star Class of 2017 prospect Jake Fromm on their depth chart.
Fields’ father said a commitment from his son likely won’t happen until the college football season begins because they want to see how some of the games shake out and how some offenses look.
What’s the deal with Ohio State QB commit Emory Jones?
Emory Jones, a 4-star quarterback from Heard County High School (Franklin, Ga.) took a secret visit to Alabama earlier this week, making it at least the second time he’s been in Tuscaloosa in 2017.
Secret visits from recruits committed elsewhere are always interesting because, well, there’s a reason why you’re hiding the fact that you’re on someone else’s campus. What makes Jones’ visit even more interesting is that he may not have been truthful with Ohio State, the school he’s committed to, about his visit plans.
Still, Jeremy Birmingham, who covers Ohio State recruiting for our sister site Land of 10, said there’s no reason to believe that Jones is seriously considering a flip at this time.
“If the question is if there’s a concern with a possible flip [on Ohio State’s side of things], then the answer is not really,” Birmingham said. “But if there’s a question whether or not [Ohio State is] concerned about visits made that they’re not being told about or being misled, then most certainly.”
If the Buckeyes aren’t concerned with the possibility of losing their anchor then why would Jones make a secret visit to Tuscaloosa and not just be upfront with the team he’s considering?
“I think it’s a matter of a kid who wants to experience some of the things that the recruiting process has to offer,” Birmingham said. “I don’t think he’s genuinely interested in attending another school, though. There are certainly programs out there, Alabama being one of them, that Ohio State isn’t going to be thrilled about him visiting.”
There is reason for optimism in Columbus. Jones will make his third visit to Ohio State since April when he travels there for the Buckeyes’ Friday Night Lights camp this week. That’s a lot of visits for a kid from Georgia. He’ll stay in Ohio until Sunday. This trip will likely squash any doubts Jones may have.
“The Buckeyes clearly want Emory Jones as their quarterback,” Birmingham said. “They’re not recruiting any other quarterbacks and haven’t offered anyone else. They don’t intend to do so, either.”
After Jones visited Tuscaloosa earlier this week, there was some confidence from people inside Alabama’s program that a flip could happen. But, with him making the trip to Ohio State this weekend, the momentum Alabama thought it had will likely be stymied by Sunday night.
We are talking about a kid who is committed to Urban Meyer. You better believe Meyer is going to make sure his star quarterback doesn’t flip to Alabama.
Despite all the "concern" re: the commitment of Emory Jones, 3 visits since April is pretty good indicator of where he's focused.
— Jeremy Birmingham (@Birm) July 20, 2017
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