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 about the latest offer at quarterback.
Could Brock Purdy be Alabama’s next quarterback?
New Alabama assistant coach Jeff Banks traveled to Arizona on Monday to meet with Brock Purdy and his family. Banks was expected to fly back to Alabama on Tuesday, but the snowy weather in the Yellowhammer State kept the Tide’s special teams coordinator on the West Coast.
Because recruiting rules prohibit an assistant coach from visiting a prospect multiple times in one calendar week, Banks couldn’t spend more time with Purdy and his family on Tuesday. So, the coach, after speaking with coach Nick Saban, delivered Purdy the news he was waiting to receive over FaceTime.
“My family and I were so excited,” Purdy told SEC Country. “He FaceTime’d me, and I was excited to see him. He’s a good guy. He’s super energetic. He told me that ‘I have some good news for you.’ My heart dropped and then he told me that Coach Saban told him to call me to offer me a scholarship.”
SEC Country was alerted to Purdy likely receiving a scholarship offer over a week ago. The 3-star prospect from Perry High School (Gilbert, Ariz.) had picked up a preferred walk-on offer from the Tide on Dec. 13. Former offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi reached back out to Purdy a week after that, he said, and told him to remain patient because the staff really liked his game and they would visit him after the dead period ended.
Purdy broke down his conversation with Banks and said it was easy to form a connection with the new Crimson Tide assistant.
“He broke down the plan of them getting a quarterback in this class,” Purdy said. “He said that I am the No. 1 guy on the board out of the ones that they are still trying to sign in the 2018 class. I am the guy they want to get. They want me to get up there on the visit and go from there decision wise.”
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The 6-foot-1, 200-pound prospect led his school to the state championship while throwing for 57 touchdown passes and 4,410 passing yards. He also rushed for 1,016 yards and 10 touchdowns. Purdy was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Arizona.
Those are gaudy stats, and it makes you wonder how a prospect such as Purdy goes under the radar for so long. He didn’t pick up his first Power 5 offer until Dec. 21, which is when Kansas offered.
He has a theory as to why his recruitment has taken so long to ignite. Quarterback recruiting is much different than every other position. Most schools lock in their quarterback recruits before the player’s senior season even begins. Schools want their quarterback in place so they can be the face of their recruiting class.
Purdy started his junior season playing with mononucleosis, keeping his weight down and making him weak. He played several weeks hovering around 180 pounds and just didn’t have the strength that colleges covet.
“I was small and looked frail,” Purdy admitted. “Once my senior highlights came out, I started getting looks by colleges. I have always been in touch with coaches, but they’ve wanted to see me in person to size me up. For the most part, these colleges get their guys after their junior year and shut things down. It helped that I got bigger and stronger this year. When the coaches come see me, they all say I’m bigger in person. Every single one of them.”
Banks was no different. He mentioned how he looks bigger than what his film suggests. Purdy will visit Tuscaloosa for the first time next week. He’ll visit Iowa State this weekend. He was originally going to visit UCF, but after Hawkeyes coaches visited him on Tuesday, he decided to change his plans. Those are the only two visits he has planned before National Signing Day on Feb. 7.
Purdy said Illinois and Oregon State have been in touch with him, but no offer had been extended his way.
As far as what he wants to get out of his visit to Tuscaloosa next weekend, Purdy said he’s just looking to experience everything the city has to offer.
“I just want to make sure it’s a great college town, and I know it will be,” he said. “I obviously want to meet the coaching staff and the players and build a good relationship with them. That’s going to be huge for my family and I. And then, obviously, meeting with Coach Saban. That will be a big deal. As a quarterback, you need to have a good relationship with the head coach, so that will be big.”
Alabama is an interesting spot right now when it comes to quarterback recruiting. The Tide are looking for their next offensive coordinator after Daboll left for the Buffalo Bills. Purdy said that Banks told him that he shouldn’t worry too much about it because Saban has the call on which quarterbacks they want to offer.
He still wants to see who Alabama hires, and he hopes the coordinator is in place by the time he visits next weekend.
“I want to find a system that I’ll be able to pick up pretty easily and as fast as I can so I can play, so I obviously want to know what kind of system they are going to run with their new offensive coordinator,” Purdy said.
It was always going to be difficult for the Tide to land an elite quarterback in the 2018 class. Heading into the season, Jalen Hurts was the reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Year and the team signed the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat prospect in Tua Tagovailoa and 4-star prospect Mac Jones. The depth in Tuscaloosa would suggest that any 2018 quarterback won’t play for a few years.
And now that Tagovailoa showed what he can do in the National Championship Game, it’s something that Purdy is looking at when he considers Alabama.
“It’s definitely important to think about when I’ll play if I go there,” Purdy said. “I’m a competitor and I would go there and do my job and do whatever it is they ask me to do. We’ll see what happens there. His play as a true freshman was amazing. All props to him. But I just need to take my visit and get a feel for the place first.”
It’s possible and likely that by the end of next weekend, though, Alabama will have its 2018 quarterback in place.
“I hope to not make my decision by Signing Day, but it might happen that way,” Purdy said. “If I go to the right school and feel like that place is home on one of my visits, then I’ll probably commit then.”
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