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 some of the visitors Alabama is expected to host this weekend.
Alabama will host key official visitors this weekend
Because Alabama isn’t playing in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta this weekend, it allows the Crimson Tide to host some key visitors in Tuscaloosa while the game between Auburn and Georgia is being played.
Here is who Alabama is expecting on campus this weekend:
Brenton Cox, 5-star DE, Stockbridge (Ga.) — committed to Ohio State
I reported the week of the Mercer game that Alabama was trying to get a “secret visitor” on campus for an official visit. That secret visitor was Brenton Cox. It didn’t work out for the Tide that weekend. He decided to visit Georgia instead.
It wasn’t that big of a deal because Cox visited Tuscaloosa in October for the Arkansas game. At that time sources close to the Alabama program told SEC Country that they believed the Tide had a chance to flip Cox from Ohio State.
Cox hasn’t visited Ohio State this fall. He’ll visit Columbus for the first time since the summer next weekend for an official visit. He’ll then take an official visit to Georgia the following weekend.
The Tide have continued to have lots of contact with Cox since his commitment to the Buckeyes. He has been receptive to the Tide’s message of not having a deep talent pool at Jack linebacker currently on the roster.
The Army All-American is an early enrollee so his recruitment will be wrapped up by Dec. 22, which is the last day of the early signing period. The Tide will likely know where they stand with Cox after this weekend.
Justin Watkins, 4-star WR, East Ridge (Clermont, Fla.)
Justin Watkins, one of the top wide receivers in the country, is down to Alabama and LSU. He’ll make his commitment on Jan. 4 at the Under Armour All-America Game.
I confirmed with a source close to Alabama that Watkins does, in fact, have a committable offer. I then asked if that meant one of the Tide’s top wide receiver targets — Jacob Copeland, Jaylen Waddle and Justyn Ross — doesn’t have a spot. It was learned that they all can commit whenever they want.
The numbers will work out. If Alabama landed all of those receivers, I would venture to guess that numbers at another position group would be cut or a current commitment would be pushed out.
I haven’t spoken with Watkins since he visited Tuscaloosa in July, but I know he was extremely high on the Tide back then. This will be his first visit since the summer.
Trey Dean, 4-star S, Dutchtown (Hampton, Ga.) — committed to Tennessee
Trey Dean has remained committed to Tennessee throughout the chaos surrounding the program. The Tide would like to add one safety to the 2018 class, and Dean does have a committable offer, a source confirmed.
Dean camped at Alabama this summer and was a standout. He surprised many when he committed to the Vols.
Jordan Davis, 4-star Jack LB, Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.) — committed to Alabama
Jordan Davis is arguably the most solid commitment Alabama has in the 2018 class. He’s visited Tuscaloosa numerous times this fall and hasn’t been to any other program.
Davis committed to the Tide last December and hasn’t wavered once on his decision. That’s rare nowadays in recruiting.
Where Alabama coaches are expected to be on Friday
Several of Alabama’s coaches will be on the road Friday night watching some high school football playoff action.
Nick Saban will stay in Alabama on Friday. He’s expected to stop by Hoover High School to see 2019 Auburn 4-star wide receiver commit George Pickens there. Saban is also expected to stop by Pinson Valley which is the home of 2019 4-star quarterback Bo Nix, who is the son of former Auburn quarterback Patrick Nix.
Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will be at Heard County High School (Franklin, Ga.) to watch Tide top quarterback target Emory Jones.
Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt will watch 4-star linebacker JJ Peterson‘s playoff game. Peterson is a near certainty to end up in the Tide’s class.
Defensive line coach Karl Dunbar will see 4-star defensive tackle Tyler Friday, who is one of the team’s top targets at the position. He is also expected in Ohio to visit 4-star defensive end Tyreke Smith.
Running backs coach Burton Burns is expected to stop by Boling High School, which is the home of Tide linebacker commit Vernon Jackson. I don’t think Jackson is going to end up signing with Alabama. He has flirted with Texas, Texas A&M and TCU over the past few months.
Wide receivers coach Mike Locksley is expected to be in the Huntsville area to see 3-star defensive end Malik Langham. Langham has gained some traction with the Alabama staff and a possible offer could come at a later date.
Defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley and tight ends coach Joe Pannunzio will be in Florida at American Heritage to watch 5-star cornerbacks Tyson Campbell and Patrick Surtain Jr. Campbell and Surtain are major priorities for the Tide.
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