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 wide receiver targets.
Alabama or TCU for Slade Bolden
Slade Bolden hasn’t decided whether he’ll announce his commitment on Thursday or Saturday, but a decision will be made by the end of the week.
Bolden, a 3-star wide receiver from West Monroe (La.) High School, will choose either Alabama or TCU when he makes his decision public. He already knows which school he’ll be committing to, but Bolden wouldn’t offer up any hints.
The 5-foot-11, 198-pound slot receiver visited Tuscaloosa for the first time earlier this month for camp. He earned a committable offer from the coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll actually compared Bolden to New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, who is one of the top slot receivers in the NFL.
The slot receiver is a focal point in New England’s offense, and it’s likely going to be an important puzzle in Alabama’s, too.
“That definitely helps them,” Bolden told SEC Country. “Obviously, Alabama is going to have some of the best running backs in the country. They’re still going to run the ball. I know he’s going to incorporate some of what he learned in New England for this offense. TCU also throws the ball around a lot, so it’s going to be a tough decision.”
While most may think of this as an easy recruiting victory for the Crimson Tide because they are going up against the Horned Frogs, Bolden insists that TCU truly is a competitor for his services mainly because he believes there’s a better chance to make an immediate impact there.
“I’ve never been afraid of competition, but I just think there would be a higher-percentage chance of me starting earlier there,” Bolden said. “They do a really good job of competing. They’re obviously smaller than a lot of these SEC schools. I know last year wasn’t their best year, but in years past, they’ve been right there on the highest level.”
Bolden had a top three of Alabama, LSU and TCU but cut the Tigers over the weekend. The Louisiana native grew up a big LSU fan, but he felt like not every coach was on board with wanting him in their 2018 class.
He mentioned how Ed Orgeron told him repeatedly that he wanted him to be a Tiger, but he didn’t think offensive coordinator Matt Canada wanted him. He holds no ill feelings toward the in-state program, but he knows that lots of people in his life wanted him to attend LSU.
“They’re just going to have to get over it,” Bolden said. “Once I got to high school, I finally realized that it’s not about what other people want. It’s what I want and what’s best for me. If Alabama or TCU is best for me, that’s where I need to go. It doesn’t matter what others think because they’re probably just sitting on the couch and watching TV.”
The nation’s No. 17 all-purpose back scored 37 touchdowns last season and piled up more than 2,500 all-purpose yards. He’s also an excellent outfielder, as he hit over .350 with 5 home runs for his high school’s baseball team. Both Alabama and TCU have told Bolden that he could play baseball at their schools.
“TCU’s baseball coach is much higher on me and is trying to get me to come play for them,” Bolden said. “But I know Alabama has a new coach coming in, but Coach [Nick] Saban did say that I could play both if that’s what I wanted to do.”
Whichever school Bolden publicly commits to later this week, don’t expect him to flip or take visits elsewhere.
“It’s just like if you’re married or if you have a girlfriend,” Bolden said. “You’re not going to say to her, ‘Hey, I’m married to you, but I’m still going to look at these other girls.’ When I commit to that school, I’m staying consistent with them and not look at other schools.”
My pick is for TCU.
JT Daniels commits to Southern Cal
As expected, the nation’s No. 1 quarterback in the 2019 class — 5-star prospect JT Daniels from Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, Calif.) — committed to Southern California on Sunday.
Daniels visited Tuscaloosa a few months ago, but he was seen as a long shot to end up in the Crimson Tide’s 2019 class even though teammate and 4-star offensive tackle Tommy Brown committed to Alabama in the 2018 class.
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