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 most important visitors for Alabama this past weekend.
Alabama continues to gain ground on its top targets
Alabama hosted some of its most important targets in the 2018 and 2019 classes over the weekend for the LSU game. This was, by far, the busiest recruiting weekend of the fall. Some recruits didn’t fit in the normal section recruits sit in during the game — that’s how busy it was. Other seating arrangements had to be made because of how many recruits were on campus.
Let’s get to what I’ve heard on some of the team’s top targets who were in attendance.
- Jacob Copeland, a 4-star wide receiver from Escambia High School (Pensacola, Fla.), made the trip to Tuscaloosa. Copeland remains committed to Florida, but there’s a lot of buzz surrounding his recruitment that he’s eventually going to flip to Alabama. I was once again told over the weekend that it shouldn’t be a matter of if but when he actually goes ahead and makes that decision. Copeland brought his mother on the trip and she was decked out in Alabama gear from head to toe — literally. She had on crimson-colored shoelaces. This was Copeland’s third trip to Tuscaloosa this fall and the only time I’ve seen his family along with him for any trip.
- Alabama has gained significant momentum with 4-star BYU linebacker commit Brandon Kaho, according to a source close to the program. Kaho was in town for an official visit with several family members. He is one of the team’s top inside linebacker targets in the 2018 class and does, in fact, have a committable offer. He’s going to be one to closely watch. Kaho will finish his visit on Monday.
- Four-star quarterback Tanner McKee told SEC Country that he was blown away once again with his visit to Tuscaloosa: “I would say the fact they will help you to be the best player you can be is what stands out. I really believe that. Their program is about hard work and competition. I like that. That’s how it is at my high school.” McKee will make his commitment on Signing Day but won’t enroll at his school of choice until 2020 because he’s taking a two-year Mormon mission after graduating from high school. I think McKee stays on the West Coast when he makes his decision, but Alabama is certainly in the race here.
- Both Jaylen Waddle, a 4-star wide receiver from Texas, and Nadab Joseph, a 4-star cornerback from Florida, were on commitment watch and will not finish their official visits until Monday. Do not be surprised to see at least one of them make a commitment soon.
- Saivion Smith, one of Alabama’s top cornerback targets, continues to trend toward the Tide. Smith, a former LSU cornerback, told SEC Country recently that he wants to wait until he officially knows he’s done with junior college (December) to make a commitment. From all I’ve heard, if he doesn’t announce for Alabama, it would be a giant surprise.
- Yes, there are several silent commitments in both the 2018 and 2019 classes. No, I’m not going to out these players and ruin their moment on how they want to announce their decision. So, you should keep that in mind before you tweet me and ask why Alabama is struggling in recruiting this year.
- Several Alabama commitments made it back to town: Slade Bolden, Stephon Wynn Jr., Jordan Davis, Vernon Jackson, Skyler Delong, Quay Walker, Cameron Latu, Trey Sanders and Pierce Quick. It’s clear that all of those guys are tight. They made it a point to hang out with each other while on the sidelines. The only one who I didn’t view hanging out with the other commitments while on the sidelines was Walker. The guys took a group picture together, but Walker wasn’t in it. I wouldn’t read too much into it, though. Walker is just a quiet guy.
- Four-star Auburn defensive tackle commit Coynis Miller made it to Tuscaloosa. He got to spend a lot of time with the coaches, but it doesn’t appear like the Tigers have much to worry about as of now with his commitment, according to sources in Tuscaloosa; however, if things go south with Gus Malzahn over these next few weeks, depending on how Auburn looks against Georgia and Alabama, watch out.
- Jerome Ford, Alabama’s top uncommitted running back target, made it to Tuscaloosa for the first time this fall. The visit went great for Ford, and it was a big win for the Tide to get him on campus for an unofficial visit. He’ll return after the season for an official visit. Alabama likes where it stands with Ford now.
- Justyn Ross, the state of Alabama’s No. 1 player in the 2018 class, made it back to Tuscaloosa for the first time since the Colorado State game in mid-September. Those close to the program have received a Clemson vibe from him lately, but Alabama is going to continue to push for him.
- The nation’s No. 1 cornerback in the 2018 class, Patrick Surtain Jr., ended up not making it to Tuscaloosa.
- It’s important to note that Ohio State commits, 5-star defensive end Brenton Cox and 4-star quarterback Emory Jones, didn’t visit Tuscaloosa. That doesn’t really change anything with Jones, but Cox not making it hurts a little bit, as he was scheduled to be there.
Miss a previous edition? Find every post of SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings recruiting notebook right here.