Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting, with Chris Kirschner. Today, we discuss the latest with 4-star Alabama linebacker commit Chris Allen.
Chris Allen still ‘pretty firm’ with Alabama
The narrative on social media over the weekend was that 4-star Alabama linebacker commit Chris Allen, who is from Baton Rouge, La., canceled his scheduled official visit to Tuscaloosa this past weekend so he could visit LSU. That wasn’t exactly true.
Allen rescheduled his visit to Alabama for this upcoming weekend because it’s the Crimson Tide’s biggest recruiting event this month, and the majority of Alabama’s commits will be there. The Alabama staff wanted him there this weekend to rekindle that “family feel” he’ll get this weekend instead of this past weekend when there was only one official visitor.
The Under Armour All-American spoke with a local radio program on Monday to recap his visit to LSU. The local Baton Rouge native did say that LSU was on his mind.
“They’re pretty close,” Allen said of LSU’s gap to catch the Tide. “I’ve been thinking about them more than ever, so, they (LSU) have a chance.”
That echoes what he told SEC Country earlier this month in Orlando for the Under Armour All-America Game. He said he was still giving the Tigers a chance, but he remained fully committed to the Crimson Tide.
Allen said something similar on Monday.
“It’s pretty firm,” Allen said of his commitment level, but on LSU, “They have a chance.”
LSU is pitching early playing time to Allen. It’s the same message he heard from the Tigers staff when he committed to the Tide. He understands that there is a better chance he’ll play early for LSU, considering the Tigers’ depth at linebacker.
Allen committed to Alabama knowing that he may not play right away. Here’s what he told SEC Country earlier this month:
“It piques my interest a little bit,” he said of LSU’s depth chart. “Playing early … who doesn’t want to play early, but sometimes early isn’t everyone’s choice.”
The nation’s No. 9 outside linebacker has been compared to fellow Baton Rouge native Tim Williams by the Alabama staff. There are several staff members who believe that Allen, if he continues on his path, will be a first-round draft pick in three years.
Coach Nick Saban, defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi are expected in Baton Rouge on Tuesday to see Allen in his home. Expect the trio to end any thoughts Allen may have of staying home and playing for the school he dreamed of when he was younger.
“It’s been a team that I have been watching since I was a little boy,” Allen said of LSU. “When I was young, I dreamed of playing for the LSU Tigers. So, it’s a big deal.”
He did say why he felt like several prospects from the state of Louisiana end up leaving for Tuscaloosa, which are his plans right now.
“Mainly because probably every year, they’re beating LSU and they are winning national championships,” Allen said. “Even though this year they didn’t win it, they made it to the game. That’s a huge attraction.”
One source close to the Alabama program believes that if Allen follows through with his plans to visit Tuscaloosa this weekend, then his recruitment should be over after that. The source went on to say that he is “pretty confident” Alabama will hold on to his commitment.
Harbaugh goes go-karting with Aubrey Solomon
The latest chapter of the Aubrey Solomon saga has Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, defensive coordinator Don Brown and linebackers coach Chris Partridge in Leesburg, Ga., on a go-kart track wooing the 5-star defensive tackle and his mother, Sabrina Caldwell.
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) January 17, 2017
Solomon told SEC Country two weeks ago that Alabama had a ‘huge lead,’ and he felt like his recruitment was going to just be an SEC-only race. His plans have changed tremendously since then. After visiting Southern California this past weekend, he will no longer take any visits before making his commitment on signing day, according to a source at Lee County High School. It now looks like a battle between Alabama and Michigan, with Georgia on the outside looking in.
Alabama continues to remain confident with its chances of landing him, even though there has a been run of Michigan predictions on Solomon’s 247Sports Crystal Ball. The Tide have felt confident with Solomon ever since he visited for the Iron Bowl in late November.
Again, any time I write about Solomon, I am going to have to caution everyone: Alabama is in the running for the most erratic recruit in the Class of 2017. You always need to stay on your toes for what he’s going to do or say next. At various points in his recruitment, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Ole Miss and Ohio State have been deemed his public leader.
Solomon admitted that he was immature earlier in this process, but he has learned from what he’s done up until now, he says.
The 5-star prospect has said his decision is going to come down to which school can offer him a combination of the ability to graduate, how well-behaved the team is and how strong of a football program it has.
Alabama, he has said, hits on all of those levels.
“I would say by what they have shown me recently,” Solomon said. “How their defense is playing. Lights out. Just unreal.”
He did compliment Michigan’s defense, too, almost on the same level as Alabama’s.
“If I could rate defenses, Alabama would be 1A and Michigan would be 1B,” Solomon said. “What they’re doing is unbelievable.”
Will Solomon, who de-committed from Michigan after a clerical error and cursed the program in a video, recommit to the Wolverines? That’s the million-dollar question. If there’s one recruit in the country where none of that matters, it’s Solomon.
Expect Saban and several staff members to be in south Georgia every chance they get before he makes his decision.
Saban, Sarkisian and Ansley check in on Henry Ruggs III
Saban, offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley were in Montgomery, Ala., on Monday night in a basketball gym watching one of Alabama’s biggest targets in the Class of 2017, 4-star wide receiver Henry Ruggs III.
After Ruggs’ game, the Alabama staff had an in-home visit with the electric receiver’s family. People closest to Ruggs and those inside the Alabama program still continue to believe that the in-state prospect will commit to the Tide. As of now, the plan remains for him to announce his decision on National Signing Day.
Ruggs will take an official visit to Alabama this weekend.
Nick Saban, Steve Sarkisian, and Derrick Ansley in this house checking out Henry Ruggs….. pic.twitter.com/9nThVWOWVW
— MPS Athletics (@MPSAthletics) January 16, 2017
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All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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