Alabama only signed two wide receivers in the Class of 2016: T.J. Simmons and Trevon Diggs. Thankfully for the Crimson Tide, the No. 1 player in the state of Alabama is a wide receiver.
Nico Collins’ voice raised when asked if the fact that Alabama only signed two receivers helps its case when it comes time to make his decision.
“Yeah,” Collins said in a high-pitched tone. “I say that because they only signed two guys in the Class of 2016. Now with me being in 2017, that just tells me that the opportunity is there to possibly get early playing time.”
One of those receivers Alabama signed, Simmons, happens to be a former teammate of Collins’ and one of his good friends. That also helps the Crimson Tide’s case for keeping the receiver in state.
“It’s kind of a big deal because if I go there, I know I’ll have one person that’s already there,” Collins said. “I played three years of high school football with him. We’re really close.”
Simmons, an early enrollee at Alabama, was just at Clay-Chalkville High School (Pinson, Ala.) Tuesday to get a workout in at his old school. Collins said the pair were back in the gym “pushing each other as always.”
With Simmons on campus already, the receiver is playing as big of a role in Collins’ recruitment as Alabama wide receivers coach Billy Napier. Simmons is constantly blowing up his friend’s phone.
“He wants me to come down there and play with him again,” Collins said. “Every day he’s telling me how I need to be there with him.”
The four-star receiver mentioned that Napier is one of the college coaches he connects with the most, along with Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee and Georgia wide receivers coach James Coley, among others.
He already knows that Alabama, Georgia and Clemson are going to get official visits this fall. In terms of Alabama’s recruitment, he feels like a wanted man.
“They’ve been telling me that I am a main priority to them,” Collins said. “They try to get me down there as much as they can to come watch their practice and everything. They’re trying to spend as much time with me as they possibly can.”
The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder mentioned Alabama along with Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss, Florida State, Michigan, Clemson and Miami as the schools coming after him the hardest right now. But Alabama seems to be in a good position to land his commitment when he announces his decision after his senior season.
“I’m really considering Alabama because they have a great football team,” Collins said. “It’s really nice down there. The coaching staff — they’re all cool. If you go there, you will win. … Alabama would be nice to go to.”
Collins is rated as the nation’s No. 12 wide receiver.
All ratings and rankings are from the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.