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 a 5-star quarterback and two 4-star wide receivers.
Justin Fields visits Alabama with his family
Keeping track of 5-star quarterback Justin Fields’ recruitment hasn’t been easy. His visit to Alabama over the weekend was another example.
SEC Country was told on Friday by multiple people that Fields, the nation’s No. 2 quarterback from Harrison High School (Kennesaw, Ga.), was not going to visit Tuscaloosa with his family, who would instead be in town for his 10-year-old sister’s softball camp.
That was false.
He did visit, according to a Facebook post by his mother on Sunday. Fields was there with both of his parents and the family met with coach Nick Saban.
This trip is the first known visit to Tuscaloosa for Fields, and it’s significant because he had told SEC Country last week that Alabama wasn’t really in the mix as Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Georgia are believed to be the top schools.
“I just don’t talk to the coaches as much as I do with the other guys,” Fields said.
It should be noted, though, there has been so much misinformation from Fields and his inner circle since he’s become a national recruit that interviews with him and those close to him need to be taken with a grain of salt.
With this visit to Tuscaloosa now in the books, he has been to Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Georgia at least once. There have been other secret visits to Auburn, Florida and Georgia, to my knowledge.
For the Tide, getting Fields on campus, especially after he just said he doesn’t talk to Alabama coaches much, is a big win as they try and ascertain which 2018 quarterback will commit to them.
Things are very murky with Alabama and quarterback recruiting this cycle. It’s understandable — the Tide have three young-and-talented prospects currently on their roster. Early playing time for any 2018 QB prospect in Tuscaloosa doesn’t look obtainable for a few years.
We should know what Fields decides to do by the end of August.
What does Justin Fields’ 7-on-7 teammate think of his recruitment?
Kearis Jackson is a major target for schools coast-to-coast just like Justin Fields. Jackson and Fields play on Cam Newton’s 7-on-7 team, so the pair has spent significant time with each other this spring and summer.
Jackson, a 4-star wide receiver from Peach County High School (Fort Valley, Ga.), also is an Alabama target. He’s set to make his first trip to Tuscaloosa next month, so he can’t really be considered a serious prospect for the Tide at this point. He does, however, talk to his primary recruiter, Derrick Ansley, every week.
Understandably, I wanted to ask Jackson his thoughts on Fields.
“We’re very close, so we talk to each other a lot about recruiting,” Jackson told SEC Country. “I think he’s just enjoying it right now. He’s trying to figure out what’s best for him. It’s stressful on him. All these coaches want him, so they keep pounding.”
In the two years I have covered recruiting, Fields is one of the best players I’ve seen in person. Every time I see him compete, he performs at a high level. Jackson dished out his own praise, too.
“He’s not like other quarterbacks,” Jackson said. “He’s smart. He knows the game. He has a powerful arm. He’s very accurate. He’s decisive with his throws. He puts it on a dime.
“On top of that, he’s a dual threat. He can pass and he can run. What more can you ask for? It’s just a blessing to be able to play with Justin Fields, who can be one of the best players to come out of Georgia in a long time.”
Of note, Jackson said he is planning on attending the same school as Fields. Right now, Georgia is the overwhelming favorite to land Jackson. There’s also quite a bit of buzz with Georgia and Fields.
Justin Watkins de-commits from Texas
Justin Watkins, a 4-star wide receiver from East Ridge High School (Clermont, Fla.), de-committed from Texas on Sunday night. It’s the third time he’s de-committed from a program. Watkins originally was an LSU commit before choosing Florida State and then Texas. He’ll be looking for his fourth school next.
Smartly, Watkins said he’s going to make his next commitment on National Signing Day, when his decision will become official.
The nation’s No. 7 wide receiver in the Class of 2018 is being strongly recruited by Alabama as a slot guy. Watkins and 4-star prospects Jaylen Waddle and Jacob Copeland are considered the Tide’s top slot receiver targets.
Look for Watkins to take an official visit to Alabama this fall. The Crimson Tide are definitely one of the teams to watch moving forward.
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