Alabama is on the hunt for its seventh straight recruiting championship. Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of Alabama recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes, and for a glimpse at what’s coming next.
JaCoby Stevens flip talk should be over
LSU decided to re-up defensive backs coach Corey Raymond to a new deal late Monday night. The Tigers will now pay Raymond $1.25 million over the next three years. While the particulars of his contract aren’t of supreme importance to Alabama fans, the news that Raymond received an extension affects one of the Tide’s most important recruiting targets in the Class of 2017.
There was some chatter on the Internet that LSU and Raymond could part ways before the start of the 2017 season. If it was done before early enrollees arrived on campus in January, that could have impacted 5-star LSU safety commit JaCoby Stevens, who is still being aggressively pursued by the Alabama staff.
Stevens told SEC Country before that if Raymond remained at LSU, then there was no chance for any school to flip his commitment. So, he now should be completely solidified in LSU’s recruiting class with the Raymond news.
Alabama viewed Stevens as one of its top safety targets in this year’s class along with 4-star commitment Daniel Wright and 4-star prospects DeAngelo Gibbs, Xavier McKinney and Devon Hunter. For a few weeks this summer, it looked like Stevens was going to commit to Alabama. The Tide held the lead in his recruitment before LSU, the school he grew up rooting for, pulled away before his decision.
Nick Saban and defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley visited Stevens at Oakland High School (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) before the dead period went into effect last week. Expect the Tide to continue recruiting Stevens until he enrolls at LSU, but it’s likely their efforts won’t matter.
In case you missed it …
Now that Stevens is likely out of the picture, all eyes now turn to what 4-star safety DeAngelo Gibbs will do. His recruitment is shaping up to be an Alabama-Georgia race. He’ll make his commitment at the Under Armour All-America Game.
I spoke with Gibbs last week after he and his Grayson High School teammates won a state championship.
Here’s where I think things stand with Alabama and Gibbs right now.
Joshua Kaindoh to commit this week
Several Alabama fans have asked me about Joshua Kaindoh, a 5-star defensive end from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), after he took a late official visit to Alabama shortly before the dead period ended.
Originally supposed to commit Jan. 1 at the Under Armour game, Kaindoh announced Monday night that he will now commit this Friday. That should be good news for Alabama, considering he just visited Tuscaloosa two weeks ago, right? Not necessarily.
Florida State and Penn State remain the top contenders for Kaindoh at this time, according to a source close to him. The Seminoles have picked up the last 24 predictions on his 247Sports Crystal Ball.
I don’t expect Kaindoh to choose Alabama this Friday, but the Tide remain in good shape with the following defensive line targets: 5-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon, 4-star defensive end LaBryan Ray and 4-star defensive tackles Phidarian Mathis and Javon Kinlaw. The defensive line class Alabama will sign this year is going to be elite. Don’t worry about Alabama only having two pledges at this moment.
Jerry Jeudy signs financial aid agreement
A week ago, 5-star Alabama wide receiver commit Jerry Jeudy said he was shutting down his recruitment. On Monday, he took it one step further.
Jeudy, the nation’s No. 4 wide receiver from Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High School, signed his financial aid agreement during a school ceremony. Those documents are non-binding. They protect the recruit by ensuring the school holds a scholarship for him, but the prospect still is free to choose any school. The benefit for the program is that it allows for unlimited contact between the football staff and the recruit, even once the dead period began this past Monday. Recruits can sign as many financial aid agreements as they want.
The Under Armour All-American committed to Alabama over Florida and Miami in late July. Even after his commitment, Jeudy was open about potentially taking visits elsewhere. He did that — secretly, although his plan failed — when he took an official visit to Miami on Dec. 9.
After the visit, Jeudy came out and reaffirmed his commitment to Alabama. There wasn’t much concern with the visit to Miami, but Jeudy is officially done with the process now. He announced on Twitter that he’ll wear No. 4 next season.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Follow Chris on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.