Amari Cooper’s cousin says Alabama has a ‘great chance’ at landing his commitment
Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. In this edition, we discuss the latest with 4-star Georgia defensive back Trey Dean and Florida wide receiver Warren Thompson.
Dean strongly considering Alabama
Trey Dean’s interest in Alabama doesn’t get much publicity. Read a recruiting article on Dean and it’s usually about Georgia or South Carolina. Those two schools are definitely in that top group for Dean, but Alabama should be mentioned, too.
Dean, a 4-star safety from Dutchtown High School (Hampton, Ga.), is the second cousin of Alabama legend Amari Cooper. The Crimson Tide are one of the top teams Dean is considering before he makes his commitment in late June.
“They have a great chance with me,” Dean told SEC Country. “They have that winning mentality, and that’s what I have.”
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound prospect was visited by Alabama defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley on May 8, which was the day his spring practices at Dutchtown began. Ansley has let Dean know that he is one of the Tide’s top targets in the Class of 2018 at safety. Dean also has the versatility to play cornerback, too.
In addition to the schools mentioned above, Tennessee, Texas and UCLA are also coming after Dean hard. The nation’s No. 24 safety claims no leaders at this point. He also says each of those schools is in contact with him every single day.
“They’re recruiting me very hard,” Dean said of Alabama. “A lot of SEC schools are recruiting me very hard, and they’re one of them.”
Dean credited Ansley with staying in touch with him every single day.
“I have a great relationship with him,” Dean said. “He’s a great coach. He’s got Alabama’s DBs looking really good.”
His coach told Jeff Sentell of DawgNation what a team will get in Dean if he ends up committing to that program.
“He can put his hands on you and not allow you to break his jam by shortening his jam and then he has the ability and speed to run with a fast receiver and play with them,” said Dutchtown coach Clifford Fedd. “I’ve seen him go from cornerback and handling an outside receiver just as well as that slot receiver. He can stick that short little slot receiver and he can stick with and cover that 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4 receiver on the outside, too. He’s going to defeat that jump ball to that tall outside guy, too.”
Fedd went on to say that Denn has many other qualities.
“He has that ‘I.T.’ factor,” Fedd said. “That it factor. He has the work ethic to play at any Power 5 school on that level. He understands the game. His football IQ level is high. He understands what we ask of him here. He has that desire to be good and is that hard worker for us from the moment he steps in the door.”
Expect Dean to make his commitment to one of the schools listed above. He already knows how he’ll end up making his decision.
“I’m going to choose the school that God leads me to,” Dean said. “I think he’ll lead me on the right path. I’m going to lean on him for this decision.”
Dean will graduate high school in December and enroll in the school of his choice in January, which means he’ll be able to participate in spring practice.
What happened with Jaycee Horn?
From all of my talks with 4-star Alpharetta (Ga.) High School cornerback Jaycee Horn over the past few months, it seemed like he was destined to commit to Alabama. It was just going to be a matter of when. He grew up a fan of the Crimson Tide and said his father, former New Orleans Saints great Joe Horn, thought Alabama was the closest college program you can get to the NFL.
On Wednesday, Horn told SEC Country that the Crimson Tide no longer lead for him. South Carolina is now his leader. Before you say, “That’s fine, Alabama doesn’t want him anyway” or “he probably couldn’t commit to the Tide,” realize that Horn is one of the team’s top targets at cornerback.
Horn said he felt like Alabama was recruiting his good friend Kyler McMichael harder, which was one of the main reasons why he dropped the Tide. McMichael is a 4-star cornerback at Greater Atlanta Christian School (Norcross, Ga.). He also is one of the Tide’s top targets at cornerback. Horn and McMichael happen to be very close friends.
Clemson is believed to be the favorite for McMichael, so why would it matter to Horn then if Alabama isn’t even the favorite for his friend? He feels like the Tide are prioritizing other corners over him while he believes he is the No. 1 cornerback target for South Carolina. That’s the biggest difference. If Alabama starts to recruit Horn on the same level as McMichael, the Crimson Tide will likely regain the lead they once held.
Alabama is planning on signing four cornerbacks in its 2018 recruiting class. Four-star prospect Tyson Campbell, Miami commit Josh Jobe, 5-star recruit Patrick Surtain, McMichael and Horn are the top targets. Christian Tutt, a 4-star cornerback who is committing on May 30, does not have a committable offer at this time. He needs to attend camp next month for further evaluation.
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