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 three 5-star quarterbacks in the Class of 2018.
Tanner McKee still strongly considering Alabama
BEAVERTON, Ore. — Tanner McKee’s recruitment is arguably the most unique in college football.
McKee, a 5-star quarterback from Centennial High School (Corona, Calif.), won’t play a down of college football until 2020, even though he’ll graduate high school this year.
That’s because McKee is a devout Mormon and will do a two-year mission trip upon graduation. That hasn’t stopped schools across the country from heavily recruiting him.
“All of the schools have been open to whatever is best for me,” McKee said. “They’ve all been cool with it.”
Alabama is one of those schools. McKee told SEC Country at Nike’s The Opening Finals that he’s talking to Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Brian Daboll at least every other day and he also spoke with Nick Saban last week.
McKee visited Tuscaloosa in March and at the time, he said he could “absolutely” see himself playing for Alabama.
Not much has changed since then.
“They’re obviously a great program,” McKee said. “They’re a winning program. Coach Saban has done a phenomenal job over the years. They brought in Coach Daboll, and now they want to sling the ball around like the Patriots. It’s really exciting for them. I’m excited to see how they do.”
The Army All-American mentioned BYU, Texas and Washington as other schools he’s currently interested in. He did say that he hasn’t put much thought into a top five.
But, it’s clear Alabama, mainly Daboll, has made an impression on him.
“He’s a great guy,” McKee said. “I really want to get back there and do some board work with them and figure out what they’re trying to do. While we were there, we watched a lot of film on the Patriots. He wants Alabama’s offense to look like the Patriots.”
McKee said he’s planning on making a commitment to his school of choice after his senior season. There’s no rush for him to decide because we won’t see him in a college football stadium until 2020.
Does Alabama really have a chance with Matt Corral and Justin Fields?
Both 5-star quarterback prospects Justin Fields and Matt Corral had positive things to say about Alabama on Thursday, which was the first day of The Opening.
Fields told SEC Country that Alabama was back in the mix after telling us earlier this month that he wasn’t really considering the Crimson Tide because of his lack of a relationship with the coaching staff.
Well, things changed after the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat quarterback visited Tuscaloosa for the first time last weekend.
“I just love the way (offensive coordinator) Coach (Brian) Daboll coaches,” Fields said on Thursday. “Of course, they are going to contend for national championships every year. They also have most of the best players in college football. Just getting to practice with those guys every day is going to get you better.”
I would still say Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Georgia all have a better chance at signing Fields than the Crimson Tide as of now. If he decides to take an official visit to Alabama this fall, we’ll learn just how much last week’s visit really mattered. As of now, he says that trip is a “maybe.”
An interesting part of Fields’ interview on Thursday was him saying he will “probably” extend his recruitment into the fall and take official visits before deciding. If that happens, I think that helps the Tide’s chances. The thought before Thursday was that Fields was going to commit somewhere in August.
For the Tide’s chances at Corral, Fields’ decision directly impacts the team landing the 5-star California prospect.
Corral, the nation’s No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2018 is in an interesting spot. It is anticipated that Georgia is the favorite for Corral, however, the Bulldogs also likely have Fields at the top of their board. If Fields goes elsewhere, then Corral would likely be the choice for Georgia.
Corral wants to make his decision before the season begins. Will Georgia know if it will land Fields by then? If not, will the Bulldogs take Corral anyway? Alabama will likely make a good impression on Corral when he visits next month for the Champions Cookout. Daboll, over the phone, has made a good impression on Corral already.
“Tom Brady was his guy,” Corral said. “If I want to be as good as I want to be, I’m going to learn under Coach Daboll.”
He’s never visited Tuscaloosa before, so we’ll know just where he stands with the Tide at that point.
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