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 Alabama’s newest commit and a dream offer that went out on Thursday.
Why Alabama’s offer to Tommy Brown is a big one
Tommy Brown, a 247Sports 4-star offensive tackle from Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, Calif.), had been waiting for an Alabama offer since he became a national recruit.
He got it on Thursday.
“[Offensive line] Coach (Brent) Key was the one who let me know the news,” Brown told SEC Country. “He explained that he knew that it has always been a school I’ve liked, and he wanted to wait for this offer just because he wanted to make sure that it was one that he had no doubt that if he offered, and I committed, he’d be able to accept my commitment. He finally got the green light.”
SEC Country confirmed with a source close to the Alabama program that Brown will not have to camp to receive a “committable” offer. He can commit to the Crimson Tide whenever he wants.
— Tommy Brown (@Tommy_brown18) June 15, 2017
That’s important because it’s likely that he’ll be a commitment at some point. He says he wants take all five official visits before announcing his decision. His father Vince attended Alabama on a track scholarship from 1979-82. Tommy has said multiple times before that if his father’s alma mater ever offered him a scholarship, it would be tough to say no to the Tide; however, he’s saying the right things right now.
“Saying no to Alabama would be tough, just like any other school who has offered me,” Brown said. “There is lots of thinking that needs to go into my decision, so I’m going to sit down with my family and talk it out.”
The nation’s No. 14 offensive tackle in the Class of 2018 now becomes a major recruit to track moving forward (the 6-foot-7, 315-pound prospect is indeed being recruited as a tackle by Alabama). But he added that he would have no problem playing anywhere on the line as long as it helps the team win games.
Prior to Brown’s offer, 4-star tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere, 4-star guard Penei Sewell and 3-star guard Jerome Carvin were the most likely offensive linemen to join Alabama’s 2018 class at some point.
We should add Brown to that list immediately.
What remains unclear is if Alabama will take three or four offensive linemen this cycle. SEC Country is projecting three.
Here’s a breakdown of how I see the numbers shaking out, knowing the team can only sign 22 prospects this year because of three 2017 prospects (Joseph Bulovas, Hunter Brannon and Jarez Parks) who are either grayshirts or blueshirts. Those three will count against the 2018 class.
I can see Alabama adding a fourth offensive lineman if it doesn’t take a tight end. That position isn’t that big of a priority this year because the team added two in 2017. Dominick Wood-Anderson and Glenn Beal are the main tight end targets. Neither of them are trending to the Tide at the moment. Luke Ford, a 4-star prospect from Illinois, is visiting Alabama this upcoming weekend. If he balls out in front of the coaching staff, he could become the team’s top target in the future.
Regardless of how the numbers shake out, Brown needs to be placed on permanent commitment watch until he makes his decision.
“It’s pretty surreal,” Brown said. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to get the offer, but now that I have it, my decision has become even harder.”
Skyler DeLong locked in with Alabama
Skyler DeLong, the nation’s No. 1 punter from Nation Ford High School (Fort Mill, S.C.), flipped his commitment from Tennessee to Alabama on Thursday. DeLong committed to Tennessee on June 1 but visited Alabama two days later for its specialist camp.
“It was a difficult decision, but Tennessee was very professional when I told them,” DeLong told SEC Country. “I just have the opportunity to play for a legendary coach and program. Alabama is also just a great campus. It feels like the place I want to be.”
More importantly for the Crimson Tide, DeLong is done with recruiting.
“I’m locked in with Alabama,” he said.
Punter was one of Alabama’s biggest needs in the Class of 2018 because JK Scott will exhaust his eligibility after this season, and there isn’t a clear backup to replace him. DeLong will likely be that man now in 2018.
Here’s a breakdown of DeLong’s game from Kohl’s Kicking Camps, one of the nation’s top experts on special teams play:
DeLong is developing into one of the best punting prospects in the 2018 class. He had strong a strong showing at the 2016 Southern Winter Showcase and followed it up with an even stronger showing at the 2017 Underclassman Challenge. One of the premier hang time guys in his class, DeLong, can continue to keep the ball extended and sit back on his contact which should help improve his contact and power through his finish. He has the ability to kick off as well but his best chance at the D1 level will be punting. Delong has attended previous camps with the most recent being the NSC in July of 2016. Once again he showed flashes of dominances.
SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi and I will be in Bradenton, Fla., this weekend for the NFA 7v7 national championship at IMG Academy.
Several Crimson Tide targets are expected to be in attendance, including 5-star quarterback Justin Fields, 4-star LSU defensive back commit Kelvin Joseph, 4-star wide receiver Kearis Jackson, 4-star wide receiver Seth Williams and 4-star defensive back Christian Tutt.
We’ll have coverage of the Alabama targets in attendance all weekend.
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