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 one of Alabama’s top offensive line targets.
Commitment by the end of the month possible for Penei Sewell
Penei Sewell will likely come out with a very short top schools list by this weekend. Don’t expect more than four schools to be on that list. It could even be three schools. Alabama and Oregon are definitely going to make the cut.
Sewell, a 4-star guard from Desert Hills High School (Saint George, Utah), is one of Alabama’s top offensive line targets in the 2018 class, but the Crimson Tide have some strong competition from the Oregon Ducks. Sewell and his entire family visited Oregon last weekend, and there’s some buzz with the Ducks because of Mario Cristobal, a former Alabama assistant coach who is now Oregon’s offensive coordinator.
“He was really intrigued that Alabama’s former offensive line coach is there,” Gabriel Sewell, Penei’s father, told SEC Country. “We heard a lot of good things about him, but we need to figure out who’s going to put him in the best situation and help him reach his life goal.”
That goal is to make it to the NFL and Gabriel Sewell believes Alabama is the best place to make that dream a reality. An Alabama offensive lineman has been drafted every year since 2009, except for 2012. In the same time period, Oregon didn’t have an offensive lineman taken in 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
“As it stands today, there’s no comparison,” Gabriel Sewell said. “Historically, there’s a good probability of making it to the league if you play at Alabama. With Nick Saban there and everyone under his watch, things have been good. There’s no argument there. The proof is in the pudding.”
Cristobal’s success at Alabama in making sure the Tide’s offensive linemen are NFL ready is why Oregon is such a threat. But the good news for Alabama is the family hasn’t changed their opinion about the team. When they visited Tuscaloosa in June, it was clear Alabama was the team to beat. After all, Sewell’s nickname is ‘Bama.
There’s usually always a visit high with recruits after they visit any campus. The Sewells were no different. Two months later, though, those feelings on how they felt at the time are still there.
“We still feel the same way, in regards to Alabama,” Gabriel Sewell said. “As the days go on and we think of different things, we continue to ask them questions. We still think Alabama is the same place as when we left. They have [QB] Tua [Tagovailo] there, and now they have [Alabama Jack linebacker commit] Cam [Latu]. That’s the only difference from the last time we visited, which is a good thing.”
Like Tagovailoa and Latu, Sewell is Polynesian. Those three have developed a connection. Sewell almost missed his flight home back in June because he was having a great time hanging out with Tagovailoa. Sewell and Latu formed a friendship this summer as they attended plenty of recruiting camps together. Gabriel Sewell said his son and Latu talk to each other often, and he believes they have communicated since Latu committed to Alabama last week.
A commitment for Sewell could be coming in the near future, too. His father believes a decision is likely before the end of the month. If it doesn’t happen by then, it won’t extend into the fall for long.
“I think right now there’s a 75 percent chance he commits before the end of the month, but we’ll see,” Gabriel Sewell said.
Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon and Southern California are the schools recruiting Sewell the hardest, but his recruitment should come down to the Crimson Tide and Ducks.
Sewell is looking into taking an official visit to Alabama for the LSU game on Nov. 4, but that depends on how his high school team does this season. That weekend is the first round of the Utah state playoffs. The nation’s No. 4 tackle (he’s being recruited as a guard for the Tide) isn’t planning on taking all five official visits. His father said he may take two or three, so the fact that Alabama will get one is good for the Tide.
Because of Alabama’s success in churning out offensive linemen in the NFL draft, I still think he’s going to commit to the Crimson Tide when he makes his decision. Other guard targets for the Tide include Michigan commit Emil Ekiyor of Indianapolis and 4-star prospect Jerome Carvin from Memphis, Tenn.
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