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 players visiting Alabama this weekend.
Loaded visitors list for Alabama’s game against LSU on Saturday
Alabama will host a majority of its top targets in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 classes on Saturday when it takes on LSU at 7 p.m. ET. The Crimson Tide are expecting double-digit 5-star prospects on the sidelines before the game.
Let’s get to the biggest names and storylines.
Pair of 5-star defensive ends committed elsewhere expected in town
Xavier Thomas, who is committed to Clemson, and Brenton Cox, who is committed to Ohio State, have RSVP’d to be at the game this weekend. This will mark Thomas’ first trip to Tuscaloosa this fall and Cox’s second.
Thomas seems to be 100 percent locked in with the Tigers. He did tell SEC Country this past summer that if for some reason he didn’t want to attend a school located in his home state of South Carolina, he would choose Alabama. This is an unofficial visit for Thomas, so he technically could return in an official capacity before he enrolls at Clemson.
Cox, on the other hand, shouldn’t be classified as being 100 percent locked in with Ohio State. One source close to the Alabama program told me he wouldn’t be surprised to see Cox reopen his recruitment at some point. He visited for the Arkansas game, and Alabama certainly believes it has a chance to flip the nation’s No. 2 defensive end from the Buckeyes. This is an unofficial visit, so he could take another visit in an official capacity.
Jacob Copeland, a 4-star wide receiver from Escambia High School (Pensacola, Fla.), is making his third trip to Tuscaloosa this fall. Copeland committed to Florida over Alabama a few months ago but has retained a strong relationship with the Crimson Tide staff. One source told me that he believes it’s a matter of when, and not if, Copeland will flip to the Tide. That remains to be seen. I know Copeland loves the Gators, but with all of the uncertainty surrounding the team after firing Jim McElwain, who he was very close to, perhaps the Tide’s stability pushes him toward Tuscaloosa.
First trip of the fall for two major prospects
Eyabi Anoma, a 4-star linebacker from St. Frances Academy (Baltimore), and Patrick Surtain Jr., a 5-star cornerback from American Heritage High School (Plantation, Fla.), will make their first trips to Tuscaloosa this fall.
Anoma has been one of the team’s biggest Jack linebacker targets since the Tide’s big board started taking shape. He visited Tuscaloosa over the summer, and the Tide have been considered the favorite since then. I expect him to choose the Tide whenever he commits.
Getting Surtain on campus this weekend is huge because as of now LSU is considered the favorite. If Alabama blows out LSU, that could give Surtain, the nation’s No. 1 cornerback, a reason to pause. The Tide desperately need corners in the 2018 class after not signing any true corners in the 2017 class and with Anthony Averett, Tony Brown and Levi Wallace all exhausting their eligibility after this season. Expect the staff to drill that message into Surtain’s head this weekend.
There are a few official visitors who could commit. Check out who below.
Nadab Joseph, 4-star cornerback — Out of all the visitors Alabama will host this weekend, Joseph is the likeliest candidate to commit to the Crimson Tide at some point during his stay in Tuscaloosa. Joseph has said that he wanted to make a commitment by the end of the weekend — and with him visiting Alabama — it makes sense for him to make a decision on a commitment. He has a top 3 of Alabama, Georgia and LSU, but it would be a big surprise if he didn’t choose the Tide.
Brandon Kaho, 4-star linebacker (committed to BYU) — Kaho is one of the team’s top linebacker targets in the 2018 class, but he is expected to take a two-year Mormon mission trip after graduating from high school. That will essentially make him a 2020 prospect. He does have a committable offer, though.
Tanner McKee, 4-star quarterback — Like Kaho above, McKee will also take a two-year Mormon mission trip after graduating from high school. McKee is still being strongly recruited by Alabama.
Saivion Smith, 4-star cornerback — There’s a chance Smith could commit to Alabama this weekend. Smith, one of Alabama’s top cornerback targets in the 2018 class, transferred from LSU to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College this past summer. It certainly would be interesting if he committed to the Tide after a big win over his former teammates?
Jaylen Waddle, 4-star wide receiver — Waddle is another player who could decide to end his recruitment this weekend. He has been trending toward the Tide since the summer. From all I’ve heard, it would be a surprise to not see him playing for the Tide next season. He is Alabama’s top slot receiver target in the 2018 class.
• Jalyn Armour-Davis, 4-star cornerback
• Jordan Davis, 4-star Jack linebacker
• Slade Bolden, 3-star athlete
• Skyler Delong, 3-star punter
• Vernon Jackson, 3-star linebacker
• Cameron Latu, 4-star Jack linebacker
• Quay Walker, 4-star linebacker
• Stephon Wynn Jr., 4-star defensive end
• Trey Sanders, 2019 4-star running back
• Pierce Quick, 2019 4-star offensive tackle
Players committed elsewhere
• Damone Clark, 4-star linebacker — committed to LSU
• Matthew Hill, 4-star wide receiver — committed to Auburn
• Elliott McElwain, 2-star fullback — committed to Army
• Coynis Miller, 4-star defensive tackle — committed to Auburn
• Marcus Murphy, 3-star defensive back — committed to Mississippi State
• Brandon Cunningham, 2019 3-star offensive tackle — committed to Miami
• Rashad Cheney, 2019 4-star defensive end — committed to Georgia
• Tyrion Davis, 2019 4-star running back — committed to LSU
• Akeem Dent, 2019 5-star cornerback — committed to FSU
• Maurice Hampton, 2019 4-star cornerback — committed to LSU
• Jadon Haselwood, 2019 5-star wide receiver — committed to Georgia
• Chris Hinton, 2019 5-star defensive end — committed to Michigan
• Nathan Latu, 2019 3-star linebacker — committed to BYU
• George Pickens, 2019 4-star wide receiver — committed to Auburn
• Nolan Smith, 2019 5-star defensive end — committed to Georgia
• Jaquaze Sorrells, 2019 4-star defensive end — committed to Florida
• Kardell Thomas, 2019 5-star offensive tackle — committed to LSU
Prospects of note
• Andres Fox, 3-star defensive end
• Glenn Beal, 3-star tight end
• Mike Williams, 3-star defensive lineman
• Jerome Ford, 3-star running back
• Joseph Foucha, 3-star safety
• Brendan Radley-Hiles, 4-star cornerback
• Justyn Ross, 4-star wide receiver
• Kevontae’ Ruggs, 3-star defensive back
• Christian Tutt, 4-star cornerback
• Noah Cain, 2019 5-star running back
• Nakobe Dean, 2019 4-star linebacker
• Daxton Hill, 2019 4-star safety
• Sheridan Jones, 2020 4-star cornerback
• Amari Kight, 2019 4-star offensive tackle
• Jaylen McCollough, 2019 4-star safety
• King Mwikuta, 2019 4-star linebacker
• William Norton, 2019 4-star defensive end
• Owen Pappoe, 2019 5-star linebacker
• Nathan Pickering, 2019 4-star defensive end
• Garrett Shrader, 2019 4-star quarterback
• Derek Stingley Jr., 2019 4-star cornerback
• Taulia Tagovailoa, 2019 4-star quarterback
• Brandon Turnage, 2019 4-star defensive back
• Travon Walker, 2019 4-star defensive tackle
• Zach Evans, 2020 4-star running back
• McKinnley Jackson, 2020 4-star defensive tackle
• Drew Pyne, 2020 4-star quarterback
• Tate Ratledge, 2020 4-star offensive tackle
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