Welcome to the Alabama recruiting mailbag, I am your letter-opener Chris Kirschner.
Questions for the mailbag were submitted to me via my Twitter account, which you can follow here. If you didn’t get a chance to submit your question for this edition of the mailbag, you still can send me questions for future editions by tweeting me or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There were A LOT of good questions this week, so let’s dig in.
Is there a chance that Texas prospects like Baron Browning and Marvin Wilson could consider Alabama more if Charlie Strong got fired from Texas?
With the way this season is going for Texas, it seems like it’s a given that Charlie Strong won’t be the Longhorns’ coach in 2017.
Like with any head coaching change, there’s going to be a major impact on recruiting.
The two prospects you mentioned, 5-star linebacker Baron Browning and 5-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, are considering Alabama but look like long shots at this moment.
Will they consider Alabama more if Strong gets fired? That’s definitely possible, especially in Browning’s case. I still think Wilson going to Alabama is highly unlikely. It’s possible he doesn’t even take an official visit to Alabama before he commits on National Signing Day.
Browning is scheduled to take an official visit to Alabama for the Tide’s game against Texas A&M, and there’s always a chance to blow away prospects on those visits. It happened just last Sunday with 5-star linebacker Dylan Moses, who committed to Alabama after his official visit for the Kentucky game.
Tosh Lupoi, Alabama’s outside linebackers coach, is spearheading Browning’s recruitment, and that’s a good thing because he’s arguably the top recruiter in the country.
Even with Strong looking like he’s out at Texas, I still don’t think either of these guys commit to Alabama.
It seems like Devonta Smith is a lock, who becomes that 4th WR in this class?
First off, you are right about 4-star wide receiver Devonta Smith appearing like a lock for Alabama. Nothing in recruiting is ever 100 percent locked, but Smith is probably 99 percent locked for Alabama.
If Alabama lands Smith, which I am expecting to happen, he would be the third wide receiver to go along with 4-star commitments Jerry Jeudy and Tyrell Shavers.
The Tide are looking to sign four wide receivers in the Class of 2017, and I’m still expecting them to add 4-star prospect Henry Ruggs III at some point.
As the days go by, my confidence in projecting Ruggs in this class fades slowly. At one point, he was my No. 1 pick for the biggest lock for Alabama. He then delayed his Aug. 1 commitment date because of trips he took to Penn State and Auburn. I have not seen Ruggs on the sidelines at any Alabama home games so far.
He’s definitely become infatuated with Auburn over the past few months, but I think that will die down as the season goes along. It also remains very possible that Gus Malzahn will get fired.
One thing that is possible is Ruggs, who has visited Alabama countless times, is going on all of these other trips to compare those schools to Alabama. I think that is a very possible situation.
Do you think Alex Leatherwood will sign with Alabama on signing day?
Yes. I get it that it’s always concerning seeing your 5-star commitments take visits elsewhere. Leatherwood, the nation’s No. 5 overall player, is going to take four more official visits, and you can expect him to say he loves each and every one of them.
After his official visit to Michigan last weekend, he told SEC Country that the trip made him rethink his commitment. Do I believe that? No.
Leatherwood loves Alabama. That’s where his heart is. He is the team’s best recruiter when it comes to getting other top players to choose Alabama. He even played a part in landing Dylan Moses.
Despite what he may say in interviews, I know that it’s going to take something major for him to reconsider his commitment to Alabama. For example, if Alabama offensive line coach Mario Cristobal leaves after the season, I could see Leatherwood start to truly reconsider his commitment.
You have Conliffe, Mathis, Ray, & Byers to the Tide. If the Tide got another DT, would could that be?
I think the answer has to be 4-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon. Solomon, who de-committed from Michigan last month, is strongly considering Alabama. I think when he ultimately decides to commit, his decision will come down to Alabama and Georgia.
Georgia should be considered the favorite because he has told me in the past that he feels more comfortable with the players on its roster than Alabama’s. He also has more relationships with the Bulldogs commitments than with the Tide commitments.
Solomon is all about relationships, and the Bulldogs have the edge in that category.
His mother is the key to his commitment though. Solomon is a mama’s boy. She must approve of her son’s decision. Luckily for Alabama, she loves the program Nick Saban runs.
The Tide just need to host Solomon and his mother on campus a few more times before he makes his commitment.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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