Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. In this edition, we discuss the latest with priority offensive tackle target Nicholas Petit-Frere and linebacker Amari Gainer.
Nicholas Petit-Frere talks Alabama
Nicholas Petit-Frere is one of Alabama’s top offensive line targets in the Class of 2018. Not only is he a top target on the offensive line, but the staff considers him to be one of the “must-gets” in this recruiting cycle.
There are three main contenders for his commitment at this time: Alabama, Florida and Notre Dame. At least one high-ranking source inside the Alabama program likes where the Tide stand with Petit-Frere when he makes his decision, which he says will most likely happen after his senior season.
“Right now, if I’m focused on football, which I will be during the summer and fall, then that comes first,” Petit-Frere told SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi. “I understand that college is a very important decision for me, but I’m here to get a good education and play for the Berkeley Buccaneers. What I’ve been told is to make sure I enjoy the process. It’s not like I can do this three or four times. It’s a one-time opportunity.”
The 6-foot-6, 260-pound prospect was last in Tuscaloosa for A-Day. SEC Country spotted the elite offensive lineman on the sidelines prior to the scrimmage with a giant smile on his face for the majority of the time he was on the field. Several Alabama coaches also made sure to check in with Petit-Frere while he was on the sidelines. Only the priority recruits get that attention.
“What I got at the spring game is that they are interested in me and they think I’m a good player,” Petit-Frere said. “I’m glad that they think that. I’m very humbled that they do [think that].”
Academics are very important to the nation’s No. 5 offensive tackle (per 247Sports composite rankings) from Berkeley Preparatory School (Tampa, Fla.). When asked about the most important factor for his college decision, getting a top-notch education was the first thing he listed.
“I just want to make sure that no matter where I go, I get a good education and finish out with my degree,” he said. “I just want to make sure I just do well in all of my subjects.”
Miami, which is one of the schools he’s also considering, is pitching a private school education. Notre Dame, which is most likely Alabama’s biggest competitor, is doing the same. He goes to a private high school now. He said he and his mother don’t have a preference when it comes to a public or private college.
Florida is coming after Petit-Frere very strongly, too. He hears from Gators coaches on a regular basis.
“I talk a little bit with everyone,” Petit-Frere said. “I usually try to talk with [offensive line] coach [Brad] Davis regularly and coach [Jim] McElwain when I’m able to. I see that Coach Davis is a very good coach and I know he’s a down-to-earth kind of guy. I don’t think he’ll ever try to sell a pitch that he doesn’t believe is true.”
He believes the same is true with Alabama offensive line coach Brent Key, who is recruiting him on a daily basis. The message from Key is plain and simple.
“He thinks that I would be a great fit for them,” Petit-Frere said. “I just tell him that I’m very humbled to have an offer like that.”
Amari Gainer releases final 4, committing on Friday
Amari Gainer, a 4-star linebacker from Chiles High School (Tallahassee, Fla.), released his final 4 schools on Tuesday night. Alabama, Florida State, Miami and Texas will be the schools he selects from this Friday.
The nation’s No. 23 outside linebacker, according to 247Sports, has never been to Miami or Texas to my knowledge. So, this is effectively a decision between Alabama and Florida State. Not only does Gainer live in Tallahassee, but his parents also attended the school. His father, Herb, played wide receiver for the Seminoles from 1983-87. The Gainers are usually at every home game.
It goes without saying that Gainer has been to FSU more than any other school, but he insisted to SEC Country in February that he was completely open.
“I’d say that my options are open and I have no leader right now,” Gainer said at the time. “My dad doesn’t care where I go as long as I make the best decision for me and my career.”
He also explained what he liked about Alabama.
“I’m high on ‘Bama and they’re definitely one of my top schools,” Gainer said. “I love the program. I like how they win and the coaches coach you up right and train you for the next level.”
He did make it to Tuscaloosa twice in the past few months, but there was a lot of ground for the Tide to make up in Gainer’s recruitment. When he makes his decision on Friday, I expect the Seminoles will be the choice.