Alabama offensive coordinator Brian Daboll spent his Friday at Central Gwinnett High School with the hopes of courting quarterback Jarren Williams.
Williams, who is one of the hottest quarterbacks in the Class of 2018 in terms of recruiting, decided to shut down his process on Monday morning with a re-commitment to Kentucky. This was not unexpected.
After he decided to de-commit from the Wildcats last month, Williams maintained that they were still his No. 1 team. The reason for the de-commitment was because he had so many schools wanting to recruit him and have the opportunity to change his mind. He didn’t feel right listening to other schools while still being committed to Kentucky, so he decided to open his recruitment back up. Kentucky never lost its lead, even with schools like Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee in pursuit.
Those schools won’t change Williams’ mind now. He’s locked in with Kentucky.
Alabama, like it does with nearly every quarterback it recruits, wanted him to come to camp next month to further evaluate him. Make no mistake about it though, Williams was a top quarterback option for the Tide despite his 3-star ranking, which I expect to rise.
So, where does that leave Alabama for its 2018 quarterback? Let’s look at some options:
Tanner McKee, 4-star prospect from Centennial High School (Corona, Calif.)
McKee took a recent visit to Alabama and said he can ‘absolutely’ see himself there.
The nation’s No. 7 pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2018 is going to have a unique path. McKee is a devout Mormon. He will do a two-year mission after he graduates from high school. The plan right now is to commit to a school before the year ends, but signing a National Letter of Intent with that university remains an unknown.
Effectively, McKee will be a Class of 2020 prospect. McKee makes sense for Alabama because the depth chart doesn’t really matter to him, unlike the true 2018 prospects.
Jacob Sirmon, 5-star prospect from Bothell (Wash.) High School — committed to Washington
Sirmon, the nation’s No. 3 pro-style prospect, committed to the Huskies in 2015 and has remained firm in his commitment, but he’s still showing interest in Alabama.
“They talk to me quite frequently,” Sirmon said. “They were actually up (at my school) this past Friday. It’s good to see some interest from that side. I respect the coaches there. They obviously have a great program and do lots of good things.”
It’s not going to be easy for the Tide to flip him from his commitment, however. Sirmon has visited Washington countless times because his high school is around 20 minutes away from the college. Because of that, he’s become so familiar with the coaching staff that he’s already learning plays and breaking down film. He also has several connections to the school through his father, David, who is an associate professor in UW’s Foster School of Business; his uncle, Peter, who coached linebackers at the school in 2013; his grandfather played for the Huskies; and his cousin, Jack, is also committed to the Huskies in the Class of 2018.
There are lots of obstacles in the way to make Sirmon change his mind on Washington, but the good news is that he’s listening and talking to Alabama.
Joey Gatewood, 4-star prospect from Bartram Trail High School (Jacksonville, Fla.) — committed to Auburn
The Crimson Tide extended an offer to 4-star Bartram Trail High School (Jacksonville, Fla.) quarterback Joey Gatewood this past Thursday.
“I think they offered last year, but there wasn’t much communication so (offensive line coach Brent Key) re-affirmed it to me again today,” Gatewood said.
Gatewood has been committed to Auburn since December of 2015 but has shown interest in other schools. Even with showing interest in other programs, he has stuck with Auburn through rumors of Gus Malzahn being on the hot seat and former offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee leaving for a job with Connecticut. The latter may have been the biggest blow for Gatewood because of their close relationship, but Gatewood remained with Auburn.
The nation’s No. 1 athlete is expected to visit Tuscaloosa next month for camp. Could the Tide flip him?
Jack Tuttle, 4-star prospect from Mission Hills High School (San Marcos, Calif.) — committed to Utah
Outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi visited Tuttle’s school last week. Alabama is hoping Tuttle comes to camp next month to throw for the coaches. If that happens, he may be one to watch despite him saying all of the right things to the media about his commitment to Utah.
Tuttle is highly regarded by the Alabama staff.
Outside of those four quarterbacks, the options are very limited. You have guys like Trevor Lawrence (committed to Clemson), Justin Fields (Penn State) and Emory Jones (Ohio State) who are listening to Alabama, but the chances any of those three choosing the Tide are small. Tyler Shough, an uncommitted prospect, recently was offered by Alabama, but he hasn’t visited Tuscaloosa and it appears Michigan is surely the team to beat.
Alabama’s depth at quarterback is young. Jalen Hurts is only a sophomore and Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones are both freshmen. The depth chart is not very appealing for a highly coveted 2018 quarterback.
McKee makes the most sense for Alabama because he won’t begin his college career until 2020. The depth Alabama has right now really won’t come into play for him.
Alabama will get a quarterback in this class, but don’t expect it to be a 5-star prospect like last year.