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 one of Alabama’s top targets who’s announcing his commitment on Thursday.
Slade Bolden committing to Alabama or TCU on Thursday
Alabama should get some good news on the recruiting trail around 6:30 p.m. ET as Slade Bolden, a 3-star wide receiver from West Monroe (La.) High School, will announce his commitment to either the Crimson Tide or TCU.
Entering this week, it seemed like TCU was going to be the pick. However, SEC Country reported Wednesday morning that Alabama was likely the choice for Bolden when he announced his decision.
West Monroe coach Jerry Arledge told SEC Country that he also believes his star player is trending toward the Tide.
“I’m thinking he’s leaning toward Alabama because of the interest he has in them and the great job recruiting that they do there,” Arledge said. “The new offensive coordinator sold him on the idea of him being the next great slot receiver.”
Bolden earned a committable offer from Alabama last month at the team’s camp, where offensive coordinator Brian Daboll told him that he envisions using him the way the New England Patriots utilize Julian Edelman. In the Patriots’ offense, Edelman mainly gets touches out of the slot and sometimes in the backfield. Bolden is listed as an all-purpose back on scouting websites, but his coach thinks he can line up anywhere.
“He’s whatever you want him to be with his versatility,” Arledge said. “If you need a cornerback, he can play there. A safety, wide receiver, tailback — he could play them all at a high level. He doesn’t have great sprinter speed, but he has quickness, escapability. Those intangibles make you a football player and separates guys with talent.”
With his skill set and versatility, one has to wonder why LSU, the school Bolden grew up rooting for and the one Arledge himself supports, wasn’t more of a factor for the Louisiana native. I asked Sam Spiegelman, who covers LSU recruiting for us, to provide his thoughts on that inattention.
It mainly came down to the Tigers having bigger targets on the board.
“With spots filling up quickly, I believe there was some uncertainty about what role Bolden would have at LSU,” Spiegelman said. “He was offered as an athlete but worked out mainly at receiver at camp. With names such as Terrace Marshall, [Florida commit] Ja’Marr Chase, [Kansas commit] Devonta Jason and Lawrence Keys still in play, Bolden did not feel as if he was a priority for the Tigers at the position they were recruiting him at.”
If Bolden does end up committing to Alabama, that would give the team its second at the position in the 2018 class, as Xavier Williams is already committed. The Tide would also like to add 4-star receivers Justyn Ross and Jaylen Waddle. It’s unclear at this time if Alabama landed both Ross and Williams if there would be space for 4-star prospect Justin Watkins. Space is limited, so it’s hard to imagine that Alabama could get Ross, Waddle, Williams, Bolden and Watkins all in one class with there being other positions of more importance.
Jacob Copeland commits to Florida
Jacob Copeland, a 4-star wide receiver from Escambia High School (Pensacola, Fla.), was one of Alabama’s top slot receiver targets. He decided to commit to Florida on Wednesday night in an exclusive commitment video with SEC Country.
Copeland visited Tuscaloosa earlier this week, but that was just to build suspense for his video because most reporters and fans believed he was a lock for Florida. The video was completed on Sunday. He was in Tuscaloosa on Monday.
Coach Nick Saban prioritized Copeland and even drove him around in his car prior to the A-Day scrimmage. Copeland was a major target for Alabama. The good news is the Under Armour All-American loves recruiting. It wouldn’t shock me at all if he continues talking with the Alabama staff all the way until he signs his letter of intent.
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