BEAVERTON, Ore. — The Opening finals wrapped up on Monday from Nike world headquarters, and Day 5 featured all of the invited recruits, including the offensive and defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs.
Among those gathered in the Pacific Northwest for the largest annual recruiting showcase in the country were a bevy of Alabama recruiting targets.
Here is what I learned from Day 5:
- Penei Sewell, a 4-star offensive lineman from Utah, is really, really high on Alabama. At this point, it seems like the Crimson Tide are the favorites to land him when he makes his commitment, which is expected before the season begins. His father also told SEC Country that he believes Alabama is one of the best-positioned teams for his son.
- You can tell that Tanner McKee, a 5-star quarterback, is high on Alabama because he’s already looked into the Tuscaloosa LDS Institute. McKee is a devout Mormon and will go on a two-year mission trip after graduating from high school. Religion is the most important thing to McKee, so finding a church that fits him is going to be a critical factor. He also said that Alabama’s attention to detail is most impressive to him out of the schools he’s considering.
- Justin Fields, a 5-star quarterback, said since his visit to Alabama last month, he’s been talking with offensive line coach Brent Key, his primary recruiter, almost every day. He’ll visit Auburn on July 13 and Georgia on July 16. Fields was named the Elite 11 MVP on Monday. One Elite 11 director told SEC Country that in the nine years he’s been working with the event, Fields is the best quarterback he’s seen.
- Emil Ekiyor, a 4-star Michigan guard commit from Cathedral High School, told SEC Country at The Opening finals on Monday that despite his canceled trips to Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide are “pretty much” the only other team he’s considering. “The track record they have of getting guys into the league,” Ekiyor said for why he’s still considering Alabama. “That’s what Alabama is all about. They also have one of the best coaching staffs in the business.”
- Brenton Cox, a 5-star defensive end from Stockbridge (Ga.) High School, committed to Ohio State over Alabama and Georgia in April. That hasn’t stopped Alabama from pursuing the nation’s No. 2 defensive end.The 6-foot-5, 247-pound prospect said he talks to either defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley or outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi at least once every two days; however, his commitment to the Buckeyes is solid.