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 wide receiver targets in the Class of 2018.
Seth Williams trending toward Auburn?
Seth Williams plays his high school football at Paul W. Bryant High School in Cottondale, Ala. It should be a near certainty that if Alabama wanted a player from a school named after Bear Bryant, it should land his commitment, right? Wrong.
Williams, a 4-star wide receiver, visited Alabama on Wednesday after spending a few days at Auburn over the weekend. What’s significant about Williams choosing to visit Auburn this past weekend is Alabama had its premier recruiting event of the summer on Friday. The in-state prospect decided to visit Auburn instead. He did, as mentioned, decide to visit Tuscaloosa a few days later, but it is interesting nonetheless.
With him living in the backyard of Bryant-Denny Stadium and growing up an Alabama fan, Williams is certainly taking a business approach to his recruitment and says choosing another school not named Alabama wouldn’t be a tough decision.
“It’s not hard,” Williams told SEC Country’s Benjamin Wolk. “It’s one of those schools where, if you’re Tuscaloosa-born, and you want to go to Tuscaloosa, you stay in Tuscaloosa,” Williams said. “But nothing in Tuscaloosa is going to make you stay in Tuscaloosa.”
Williams does have a committable offer from the Crimson Tide, but his relationship with the staff has been hot and cold. Earlier this year, Williams told SEC Country that he wasn’t hearing much from the Alabama staff. But, that was likely because Brian Daboll had just been hired to be the new offensive coordinator and Tuscaloosa is one of his recruiting territories.
“It’s just recruiting,” Williams explained at the time. “You’re going to have some schools show you love and some that don’t. I still have lots of schools that are interested in me.”
He now says Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss are the schools recruiting him the hardest. But, it appears the Tigers have a slight edge over the other two teams.
“They’re family,” Williams said of Auburn. “Every time I come here, it feels like family. You just can’t get past that. It’s got to be really important. I’m not going to go anywhere where I don’t feel comfortable. I just want to feel like I’m supposed to be there.”
If I was making a prediction today on where I think Williams will sign, my pick would be Auburn. Multiple people close to the Alabama program also believe Williams is trending away from Alabama, but the Crimson Tide aren’t going to stop recruiting him.
The latest with other Alabama wide receiver targets
Xavier Williams, 4-star prospect, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Williams is firmly committed to Alabama. He’s actively recruiting other players for the Tide and has definitely turned into a leader for the 2018 class.
Justyn Ross, 4-star prospect, Phenix City, Ala.
Ross remains at the top of Alabama’s wish list at the wide receiver position. His decision will likely come down to Alabama, Auburn or Clemson. Ross was in Tuscaloosa this past weekend but was a late arrival on Friday, so he missed the cookout portion of the event. He got to hang out with freshman linebacker Markail Benton, one of his best friends, Friday night before participating in a 7-on-7 tournament on Saturday, when he was one of the top performers. The Tide are very confident with where they stand with Ross.
Jaylen Waddle, 4-star prospect, Bellaire, Texas
Waddle is Alabama’s top slot receiver target. There’s some strong competition to land his services among Alabama, Florida State and Texas A&M. He visited Tuscaloosa for the cookout this past weekend. One source says the Tide are in very good shape to land his commitment.
Jacob Copeland, 4-star prospect, Pensacola, Fla.
Copeland is expected to release a commitment video in the coming days. Alabama and Florida are the main contenders to land the slot receiver. I fully expect the Gators to be the choice when that video comes out.
Justin Watkins, 4-star prospect, Clermont, Fla.
Watkins has undergone a roller coaster of a recruitment. He’s already de-committed from LSU, Florida State and Texas. The slot receiver has said he’s going to take his recruitment slowly from here on out. He also visited Alabama for the cookout and has a committable offer.
Slade Bolden, 3-star prospect, West Monroe, La.
Bolden, the nation’s No. 16 all-purpose back, visited Tuscaloosa for camp and left with a committable offer. When Bolden released his top 3 of Alabama, LSU and TCU a few weeks ago, I called it another “hat-on-the-table” situation. He didn’t have a committable offer at the time he released his top 3, but Bolden performed at such a high level in Tuscaloosa that Daboll compared his game to New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman. That’s high praise. SEC Country was told that Bolden’s mother loved everything about the visit and her son is also being considered for the baseball team at Alabama, which works in the Tide’s favor. Bolden is now one to watch closely moving forward.
There are also receivers such as Matthew Hill and Kearis Jackson out there, but I don’t think there’s much of a chance to land either prospect. I think Hill chooses Auburn and Jackson will choose Georgia.
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