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 Alabama’s defensive back targets.
Why Isaac Taylor-Stuart‘s visit to Alabama is important
Coach Nick Saban told reporters last month that Alabama would like to sign five defensive backs in the 2018 class. The Tide currently have three signed in 4-star prospects Jalyn Armour-Davis, Josh Jobe and JUCO prospect Saivion Smith.
Want to see how thin the secondary is heading into the offseason? Here’s the breakdown of how the roster will look next season:
- Seniors: None
- Juniors: Saivion Smith (CB), Shyheim Carter (star), Trevon Diggs (CB), Jared Mayden (S), Deionte Thompson (S)
- Sophomores: Xavier McKinney (S), Kyriq McDonald (star), Daniel Wright (S), Nigel Knott (CB)
- Freshmen: Jayln Armour-Davis (CB), Josh Jobe (CB or S)
RELATED: 2018 Alabama recruiting big board
That’s it, guys. That’s why it’s so important for the Tide to nail these last two signees. Here are the prospects the Tide are still after in the secondary:
- 5-star cornerback Tyson Campbell
- 5-star cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr.
- 5-star cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart
- 3-star cornerback Eddie Smith
Campbell appears to be leaning toward Georgia. Surtain is likely going to LSU barring something unforeseen. Both prospects will visit Tuscaloosa this weekend, and it’s a great time for them to visit because the national championship parade is on Saturday. The campus will be buzzing. But the Tide have ground to make up heading into this visit.
That’s why the news late Monday night that Taylor-Stuart has set his official visit to Alabama for next weekend is huge. Heading into his junior season, Taylor-Stuart listed Alabama as his leader for several months after his first-ever trip to Tuscaloosa. The Tide lost the top spot over time, but that was just because he hadn’t been able to make it back. Taylor-Stuart lives in San Diego, so, obviously, it’s not an easy trip for him to make.
It should also be noted that with the staff addition of Jeff Banks, Alabama hired Taylor-Stuart’s primary recruiter at Texas A&M. There are some people who believed the Aggies were the favorites to land Taylor-Stuart before Banks’ departure.
The Tide have turned up the heat on Taylor-Stuart lately, especially after losing Nadab Joseph, who flipped from Alabama to Georgia during the Dec. 20-22 early signing period after Alabama didn’t send him a letter of intent because of academic concerns. Outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi is Taylor-Stuart’s primary recruiter.
“I’m hearing a lot from Coach Lupoi,” Taylor-Stuart said. “We talk pretty much every day. We have been talking a lot, and he’s been saying how he needs to get me down there. I’m working on that.
“He’s just been telling me, ‘Isaac, we need you. We have too many DBs leaving for the draft. We need you to come here and be an impact player.’”
Alabama will likely have a much better understanding of where it stands with Campbell and Surtain after this visit. If we see a new defensive back target emerge after this weekend, we’ll know the Tide likely don’t feel good about one or both players.
With the secondary as thin as will be next season, I can’t see the Tide striking out on each of the 5-star corners. But, right now, Taylor-Stuart seems like the likeliest addition. He’s one of my picks to be in this class.
I also think Eddie Smith will end up choosing Alabama. Smith was offered by the Tide earlier this month, and he’ll visit next weekend. It’s hard to imagine him going elsewhere now that he has this offer.
So, to recap, I think the Tide’s 2018 class in the secondary will be: 5-star corner Taylor-Stuart; 4-star corners Armour-Davis, Jobe and Saivion Smith; and 3-star cornerback Eddie Smith.
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