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 two Ohio State commits that Alabama would like to flip.
The latest with Emory Jones and Brenton Cox
Two of Alabama’s top targets in the 2018 class are committed to Ohio State: 4-star quarterback Emory Jones and 5-star defensive end Brenton Cox. Both of them have visited Tuscaloosa since they picked the Buckeyes.
Jones, the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the class per the 247Sports composite, has visited Tuscaloosa three times since the summer, and that doesn’t include him going to Alabama’s season opener against Florida State in Atlanta. I was told that Jones will likely take an official visit to Alabama this weekend for the Tennessee game. Cox, the No. 2 strongside defensive end in the class, visited Tuscaloosa last week for the Arkansas game. It was his first trip to a game at any college this fall.
There’s a big difference between Jones and Cox that needs to be mentioned, however. Jones took a secret, well, he tried to keep it secret, trip to Alabama during the summer. He didn’t tell the Ohio State staff about it and, of course, the Buckeyes coaches found about it. They ended up having a sit-down conversation with Jones and told him that they want him to stop taking trips elsewhere. He hasn’t stopped.
Cox did tell Ohio State coaches about his Alabama trip prior to visiting Tuscaloosa last weekend, according to Jeremy Birmingham of Land of 10, our sister site.
“He told [Ohio State] about the visit,” the source said. “He’s going to watch a friend from Arkansas play. [The Buckeyes] aren’t worried.”
Now, I was told by a source close to the Alabama program that the Tide feels like it has a chance with Cox. He was receptive to the team’s message that there’s an opportunity to make an impact early. The main thing is just getting him back on campus for an official visit, which is likely. He is taking his official visit to Ohio State for the Penn State game Oct. 28, just like Jones.
Jones and Kentucky quarterback commit Jarren Williams have emerged as the team’s top, and likeliest, targets in the 2018 class. I think one of those two will end up being Alabama’s quarterback in this recruiting cycle.
Both Jones and Cox are early enrollees, so their recruitments will be wrapped up in December during the new early signing period. I would expect Jones to have a final decision on whether or not he wants to flip after he takes his official visit to Ohio State in two weekends. That trip is gigantic for the Buckeyes because Jones, who’s from Heard County High School (Franklin, Ga.), will likely not have another opportunity to visit Columbus before signing. The same can’t be said for Alabama as it’s not a long drive for Jones.
That can also be said about Cox, who’s also from Georgia. Cox hasn’t been to Ohio State since the summer, so the trip for the Penn State game may also be his last one before signing in December.
Other flip candidates for Alabama fans to know
The Crimson Tide are also trying to flip other top recruits from schools they’re currently committed to. Here’s a look at who Alabama is fighting to flip:
- 4-star DT Robert Cooper (committed to Florida State): Cooper recently told SEC Country that he’s still considering Alabama and Georgia despite his commitment to the Seminoles. There have been some murmurs that he may decide to reopen his recruitment soon.
- 4-star CB Josh Jobe (committed to Miami): Jobe is considering Alabama and Michigan along with Miami. Jobe is considered to be one of the Tide’s top cornerback targets. He’s expected to take an official visit to Alabama for the team’s game against LSU on Nov. 4.
- 4-star OG Emil Ekiyor (committed to Michigan): Ekiyor took an official visit to Alabama on Sept. 30 for the Ole Miss game. Sources told SEC Country that the visit couldn’t have gone better for the Tide’s chances of flipping Ekiyor, who the Alabama staff considers to be one of the elite interior linemen in the 2018 class. I think he’s eventually going to flip to the Tide.
- 4-star LB Brandon Kaho (committed to BYU): It’s unclear where Kaho stands on the linebacker board because there are so many elite linebackers in the mix for Alabama, but he will take an official visit this fall.
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