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 Cottondale WR Seth Williams and Ohio RB Tavion Thomas.
Paul Bryant WR was almost … Florida State bound?
Paul W. Bryant High School in Cottondale, Ala., is less than 10 miles away from Bryant-Denny Stadium. And, yes, Paul W. Bryant High School is named for that Paul Bryant. It’s almost a given that a highly rated recruit from that school would automatically go to Alabama, right? Wrong.
Seth Williams, a 4-star wide receiver from Paul Bryant, announced in January that he was going to announce his commitment that month. He ended up delaying his decision, but if he went through with it, he was going to choose Florida State.
His coach, Eldrick Hill, told SEC Country’s Benjamin Wolk that the pressure to play for the Crimson Tide is what you’d expect it to be.
“I was in the grocery store the other day, didn’t even know a guy. He came up to me. He knew I was the head coach. He said, ‘You better make sure that kid goes to ‘Bama.’ Things like that are regular … Cottondale is basically Tuscaloosa,” Hill said.
Now, it’s understandable that perhaps Williams just wants to get away from home for college. Not every recruit wants to attend a college that is about 10 minutes from home.
The Crimson Tide were the first to offer Williams a scholarship, and the team rarely misses on top priorities from the state — let alone one in Bryant-Denny’s backyard. He also grew up an Alabama fan, but that’s not going to play into his decision.
Auburn has shown him lots of attention and has hosted him on campus multiple times. Williams’ coach believes the Tigers have a very good chance at landing his commitment.
“It wouldn’t be hard at all,” Hill said. “They’ve probably communicated with him most. When you’re talking about a kid, that really weighs in a lot. … Yeah, he grew up an Alabama fan, but he’s still looking out for the best situation for him.”
Williams, along with the state’s No. 1 prospect, Justyn Ross, are two of Alabama’s top targets at wide receiver. Ross happens to play for Central High School, which happens to be in … Auburn’s backyard. With the way things stand now, it’s possible Williams goes elsewhere and Ross goes to Alabama and follows former teammate Markail Benton.
While Williams may be a stone’s throw away from Alabama, the Tide may have to work harder than they thought to land his commitment down the road.
Ohio RB picks up Alabama offer, highly interested in the Tide
Tavion Thomas spoke with Nick Saban for around 20 minutes on Thursday. Before hanging up the phone, Thomas picked up an offer from Alabama.
Thomas, a 3-star running back from Dunbar High School (Dayton, Ohio), told SEC Country that Saban told him that he wants him to be one of the next great running backs to come through Tuscaloosa.
“He was saying that he loves my game, my speed, my size and the way I move,” Thomas said. “Saban said I can run the rock down there.”
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound prospect rushed for 1,606 yards and scored 17 touchdowns last season. What makes those stats even more impressive is that Thomas said he sat out the majority of the second half in several games because of blowout wins.
The Ohio prospect, who is also strongly considering Ohio State, Wisconsin, Kentucky, West Virginia and Cincinnati, is fully aware of Alabama’s depth at running back. That doesn’t scare off Thomas when it comes time to picking a school.
“It doesn’t matter to me because I love to compete,” Thomas said. “Stars really don’t mean anything when those pads are on.”
Thomas will visit Tuscaloosa for the first time next weekend for Alabama’s junior day. He’s looking forward to learning more about Alabama’s sports medicine program first and foremost. As far as where the Tide now stand in his recruitment?
“I’m really interested. Who wouldn’t be?” Thomas rhetorically asked. “I’m just so blessed and excited to have an offer from them.”
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All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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