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 a priority offensive line target and an LSU commit whom Alabama is hoping to flip.
Penei Sewell says everything stood out about his Alabama visit
BEAVERTON, Ore. — Penei Sewell was one of the top offensive linemen at The Opening the last few days at Nike headquarters. Alabama is recruiting Sewell as a guard, though he’s listed on scouting sites as a tackle.
I think guard is where he should play on the next level after seeing him play both positions last weekend. He didn’t lose many reps when he slid inside, and when Sewell gets his hands on opposing defensive linemen, the rep usually was over.
The Crimson Tide are in good position to land the 4-star OL from Desert Hills High School in St. George, Utah. Sewell visited Tuscaloosa in early June, and he still hasn’t come down from his visit high.
“Kind of everything stood out,” Sewell told SEC Country. “[Outside linebackers] Coach [Tosh] Lupoi — I love him. He just gets me. I’m really tight with Coach Tosh. I finally got to meet him when I went there. We clicked right away.”
Sewell has an interesting nickname. In eighth grade, he was called “Bama” by his teammates and coaches. There’s a good chance that nickname sticks if the Crimson Tide continue to impress the nation’s No. 7 tackle.
Sources close to Sewell and the Alabama program feel good about the team’s chances with the 6-foot-4, 349-pound prospect, who likely will announce his commitment before his senior season begins.
“I like the coaches a lot [at Alabama],” Sewell said. “I feel like I can mix in with them well. The atmosphere was great there. I just felt comfortable.”
Southern California and Nevada are big players in Sewell’s recruitment, too. Sewell actually said Nevada is the only school he’s 100 percent sure will be a finalist because his older brothers, Gabriel Jr. and Nephi, play for the Wolfpack. Being close to his family weighs on his mind.
“Distance does matter,” Sewell said. “Sometimes I want to stay close to home, but I have to do what’s best for me.”
Sewell said he’s expecting to return to Tuscaloosa this fall for an official visit. As of now, he remains projected to commit to Alabama.
Kelvin Joseph seems more locked in with LSU than what we thought
Like Sewell, 4-star defensive back Kelvin Joseph was a standout at The Opening. SEC Country’s LSU recruiting reporter Sam Spiegelman, who has seen Joseph perform at numerous camps, actually said this was the best he’s ever seen the LSU commit perform.
Alabama has been Joseph’s No. 2 school for over a year now, but it seems like he’s more locked in with LSU than ever before. He’s actively recruiting 5-star cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. to join him in Baton Rouge.
“He can come in with me and we can both make an impact on each side,” Joseph told SEC Country. “He’s really long; he plays big just like me. We’re both going to compete, and it isn’t going to be easy. We can be the face of ‘DBU.’ ”
Not only is he recruiting other elite prospects at his position but LSU also landed a basketball commitment from one of his best friends: 5-star point guard Javonte Smart.
“It was kind of funny,” Joseph said. “Everyone was thinking he was going to Kentucky and all that. Then, Javonte committed, and now we’re about to turn the city up because we’re from Baton Rouge.”
Joseph is one of Alabama’s top safety targets, and it looks like the Crimson Tide will have their work cut out for them if they were to flip Joseph from the Tigers. He said the Alabama staff has kept up its communication and still is recruiting him hard.
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