Have Alabama football recruiting questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every Wednesday for the SEC Country Alabama recruiting mailbag to discuss Crimson Tide recruiting.
This week, we discuss Alabama’s main targets in the secondary, if Christian Miller’s and Terrell Lewis’ injuries hurt the team on the recruiting trail, Tanner McKee and more.
Let’s get to your questions.
Looks like we will need some defensive back help after this season. Will we get it?
Absolutely. There will not be a repeat of the 2017 class.
Alabama didn’t sign any true corners in the 2017 class, which is important to note when you look at the current roster right now. Anthony Averett, Tony Brown, Levi Wallace and likely Minkah Fitzpatrick, who could play corner, will be gone after this season.
The only corners on the roster next season, who are capable of playing on the outside, are Trevon Diggs and Nigel Knott. That’s it. Shyheim Carter and Kyriq McDonald are nickel backs, meaning they would play inside.
So, DB recruiting, especially at corner is critical for Alabama in the 2018 class.
The Tide are strongly in the race for 5-star corner Tyson Campbell. If I was offering up a prediction now, I think he signs with ‘Bama. The same could be said for former LSU CB Saivion Smith, who is now at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. I also think 4-star CB Nadab Joseph will choose the Tide when he commits. I wrote about him on Tuesday. Alabama also has a commitment from 4-star CB Jalyn Armour-Davis.
So, I think the team’s DB haul right now would be Campbell, Smith, Joseph and Armour-Davis. That’s an elite group of defensive backs.
Do you think the injuries we sustained (Christian Miller, Terrell Lewis) will affect our DE recruiting?
This is a very good question, Michael.
Both Christian Miller and Terrell Lewis suffered season-ending injuries in the Florida State game last Saturday. Miller suffered a torn bicep while Lewis tore a ligament in his elbow. Lewis will redshirt this year while Miller will have to apply for a medical redshirt to gain eligibility for his 6th year. It’s not a guarantee that he’ll be granted one.
With that being said, the injuries will allow freshmen the opportunity to earn significant playing time, which is always closely watched by high school seniors. Whenever I talk with recruits, the majority of them say early playing time and the possibility of playing as a freshman is what’s most important to them. Though, there’s a double-edged sword to that. If those freshmen at the positions they play at the programs they are considering do well, it’s likely that early playing time won’t be there for them.
Chris Allen and Dylan Moses are the freshmen to watch now that Miller and Lewis are out. I expect them to get lots of snaps moving forward.
Now, how will that affect DE recruiting you ask? I think you mean Jack linebacker, which is a hybrid of defensive end and outside linebacker.
It really shouldn’t affect Alabama much on the recruiting trail because there are so many targets at the positon who are strongly considering the Crimson Tide. They already have two Jack linebackers committed in Jordan Davis and Cameron Latu. The team is in good position to land 5-star prospect KJ Henry and 4-star prospect Eyabi Anoma. Alabama also remains in the thick of it for 5-star prospect Micah Parsons, who we’ll talk about below, and 3-star prospect Andres Fox.
There are lots of linebacker possibilities for Alabama this class, so they’ll be fine regardless if Allen or Moses emerge as a possible starter.
When do you think ‘Bama will really go after Tanner McKee?
They’re after him right now. Tanner McKee, a 4-star quarterback from Centennial High School (Corona, Calif.), is one of Alabama’s top targets in the 2018 class.
Alabama hasn’t landed a quarterback commitment in this class just yet. McKee and Ohio State commit Emory Jones look like the likeliest options out of the top-tier quarterbacks in this class.
McKee will take an official visit to Tuscaloosa on Nov. 4 for the LSU game. Remember, McKee is essentially a Class of 2020 prospect because he will complete a 2-year Mormon mission after graduating from high school. That hasn’t stopped Alabama or any other school from prioritizing him.
McKee told me in July that he talks to offensive coordinator Brian Daboll multiple times per week and chats frequently with Nick Saban himself, too. Alabama is in good shape here, but Stanford seems like it will be the choice for McKee when he commits.