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 top Alabama targets.
Penei Sewell sets signing date
Penei Sewell, one of Alabama’s top offensive tackle targets in the 2018 class, will make his decision known on the first day of the early signing period, which is Dec. 20. Crimson Tide fans can expect his decision to likely come down to either Alabama or Oregon.
The Ducks appear to be the favorite at this time mainly because of Sewell’s connection to new coach Mario Cristobal. When Cristobal was Oregon’s co-offensive coordinator, he and Sewell developed a strong relationship. One source close to Alabama told SEC Country a few weeks ago that he believed Sewell was going to wind up at Oregon because of his relationship with Cristobal.
But I always go back to what Sewell’s father, Gabriel, told me when comparing Alabama and Oregon. Like many other recruits, Sewell wants to make it to the NFL.
RELATED: 2018 Alabama recruiting big board
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 the 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016 and 2017 NFL drafts.
“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.”
Even with Gabriel saying that, this decision is going to come down to whichever school his son wants to attend. Wednesday will be an important day for the Tide’s chances with Sewell because Saban will make his only in-home visit with the family.
As of now, I think Sewell winds up at Oregon because of his strong relationship with Cristobal. But Saban’s visit on Wednesday night could obviously change everything.
Jaylen Waddle not signing early
Jaylen Waddle, a 4-star wide receiver from Episcopal High School (Bellaire, Texas), announced on Tuesday that he will not sign early. Waddle will likely extend his recruitment until National Signing Day.
Waddle has been a major priority for the Crimson Tide since the summer when he was arguably the top performer at camp. He’s taken several visits to Tuscaloosa since the first time he was at camp and he gave a strong indication to where he was leaning to the Alabama staff.
Things change fast in recruiting, though.
With Texas A&M hiring Jimbo Fisher, Waddle has had second thoughts on Alabama. He had a prior relationship with Fisher when he was at Florida State, and there were always behind-the-scenes talks that Waddle could decide to stay in state.
Alabama will see Waddle on Wednesday. The Tide should have a much better understanding of where things stand with him after the visit.
Vernon Jackson and Tyler Friday receive visits
Remember, Saban can only have one visit with recruits. So, if Saban has already visited with a recruit, that’s it. Now, assistants can visit once per calendar week until the dead period begins on Dec. 18, but the head coach only gets one visit.
Vernon Jackson and Tyler Friday received their Saban visit on Tuesday.
Jackson, a 3-star linebacker from Boling (Texas), has been committed to Alabama since September. Since then, he has kept his recruitment open. The in-state schools, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU and Baylor, have tried flipping Jackson from Alabama.
He has given no indication to the Tide staff that his commitment is in danger; however, he isn’t planning on signing early, as of the last time I talked with him. That may have changed after Saban’s visit, but SEC Country couldn’t confirm that as of Tuesday night.
Big man dropped by 🅰️🐐 pic.twitter.com/m4ZM9UQ19X
— action_jackson™ (@vjackkk) December 13, 2017
Friday has climbed Alabama’s recruiting board at defensive tackle, one of the Tide’s biggest positions of need. He’ll take an official visit this weekend.
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