Another quarterback domino has dropped in the Class of 2017, and that’s big news, if not good news, for Alabama because the Crimson Tide need to sign a signal caller in this class.
Ever since Jake Fromm de-committed from Alabama and flipped to Georgia, the Crimson Tide have focused on filling his spot by offering four-star prospects Tua Tagovailoa, Jake Bentley, Davis Mills and Bailey Hockman.
One of those quarterbacks committed to another SEC school Thursday morning. So let’s get to the big news.
Jake Bentley, a four-star prospect from Opelika (Ala.) High School, announced his commitment to South Carolina Thursday morning.
There may not have been much that Alabama could have done to earn Bentley’s commitment. After all, his father, Bobby, is the running backs coach at South Carolina.
“It was nothing Alabama did,” Bentley said when asked if Alabama could have done anything differently. “I just felt like South Carolina was the best fit for me.”
Shortly after Bentley received an offer from the Crimson Tide a few weeks ago, he told SEC Country that Alabama was one of his top schools along with South Carolina, Stanford, Miami, Nebraska and LSU. He talked about Nick Saban’s message to him and where the Tide coach thought Bentley could fit into the program.
“(Saban) said that I was a great fit for their system and I have what it takes to be successful,” Bentley said. “It doesn’t seem like they put a lot of pressure on quarterbacks to have to make a play to win a game because of their great tradition of running backs and great defense.”
With Bentley off the board, Alabama’s focus should be on Hawaiian four-star QB Tua Tagovailoa and four-star Bailey Hockman from Powder Springs, Ga. Davis Mills is still on the board, but he committed to Stanford a day before Alabama offered him.
If we had to choose one quarterback who is more likely to commit to Alabama, it would be Hockman. His mother is a graduate of the school and he lives just a short distance from Tuscaloosa.
It’s only March and more quarterback prospects will turn up as we get closer to the summer, so there’s no need for Tide fans to panic about their team missing out on a quarterback in the ‘17 class.
The loss of Bentley hurts, but Alabama most likely knew he was going to return home to South Carolina and follow his father.
It should be noted that Alabama is in good position with both Jack West and Allan Walters, two top prospects in the 2018 class.
DeAngelo Gibbs admits that Georgia is coming after him harder than any other program.
Gibbs, a five-star cornerback from Grayson High School (Loganville, Ga.), said even though Georgia is doing everything it can to keep the state’s top prospect in state, he’s still very high on Alabama. He mentioned Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, Georgia’s former defensive coordinator, is doing everything he can to make him a member of the Crimson Tide.
“I still like Bama. I don’t know the next time I am going to visit there, but I know when I get there it is going to be Bama,” Gibbs told DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell. “It is going to be that powerhouse.”
Even when the time comes again to visit Alabama, Gibbs says the visits to different schools now all seem to run together.
“I’ve already seen everything,” Gibbs said. “There’s nothing I think a school can show me on a visit or hear I haven’t seen or heard before. … Every time I go to a school it kind of already feels like an official visit.”
There is one thing that is different about Alabama than the other schools Gibbs hears from. Winning. Lots of it.
The 6-2, 204-pounder said the Crimson Tide players have made it clear to him why he should commit to Alabama.
“They tell me if you don’t look forward to winning, then don’t come here,” he said. “Don’t go to Alabama then. Period. Because you are going to win here.”\
While Alabama is in the mix for Gibbs, my opinion is it is behind Georgia and Tennessee. He’s close with a lot of the Georgia commits and signees, while his cousin, Nigel Warrior, is a Tennessee signee. Gibbs and Warrior have stated in the past that they are a package deal.
Alabama has some work to do in order to have Gibbs be a part of this signing class.
Willie Gay won’t reveal all of his top schools, but he knows Alabama is one of those programs.
Gay, a four-star linebacker from Starkville (Miss.) High School, told SEC Country that Alabama is one of his top schools because of how much interest the Crimson Tide is showing him.
“To see a school that shows love like Alabama does, you just really have to appreciate that,” Gay said.
Gay, who was just given an invite to the prestigious Nike “The Opening” finals in Oregon, a camp that showcases the top high school football players in America, expanded on why he has Alabama rated so highly.
“My interest level in Alabama is high because to see a school that wants you so much, it really puts in your mind like ‘man, I see how much this school really wants me,’” Gay said. “It’s something to keep in mind and will really come in handy come signing day when you think about all of the schools that have showed you love. I really appreciate that.”
When he makes his commitment on National Signing Day, his reasons for why he will choose a school bode well for Alabama’s chances. It’s very similar to what he said for why Alabama is one of his top schools.
“My decision will be based off the team that shows love for me and shows how much they really want and need me,” Gay said. “I want a school that talks the truth with me and not just tell me anything so I can come.”
Alabama is recruiting the Mississippi product at inside linebacker.
- Alabama RB signee said one SEC school talked down Alabama after he committed
- VIDEO: Is Alabama on the verge of flipping a four-star LB from Florida State?
- Analyzing some of Alabama’s top wide receiver prospects in the Class of 2017
- Nation’s No. 9 RB wants to know where he stands with Alabama
- Four-star athlete says lack of family environment hurts Alabama’s chances with him
All rankings are provided by 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.