Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. In this edition, we talk the latest with the nation’s No. 1 running back.
Alabama still in the mix for Trey Sanders
Trey Sanders, a 5-star running back from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) committed to Alabama more than two years ago when he was in Tuscaloosa for A-Day in April 2016. He kept his commitment to the Crimson Tide for nearly two years before de-committing just before Alabama faced Clemson in the Sugar Bowl this past New Year’s Day.
Normally when a recruit de-commits from a school, that program likely doesn’t have a chance at regaining that prospect’s commitment. The last time it happened for the Tide was back in the 2017 class when Xavier McKinney de-committed from Alabama then surprisingly recommitted to the Crimson Tide. McKinney’s recommitment is one of the most surprising moments since I started covering Alabama recruiting in 2015.
Sanders says there’s a possibility he rejoins the Tide when he makes his next decision.
“Alabama has a shot. Alabama has always been in it for me,” Sanders told my DawgNation colleague Jeff Sentell. “I committed a couple of years ago and I have never lost that relationship with that staff and the program and its coaches.”
The nation’s No. 1 running back is at the top of the board for Alabama. The Crimson Tide have not stopped pursuing him, but he hasn’t visited Tuscaloosa this year yet. He is planning on returning this summer but a date for that visit hasn’t been set.
The reason why Sanders de-committed from the Tide was because he wanted to see more programs and enjoy his recruitment. He felt like he rushed the process a little bit, so he needed to step aside from his commitment.
Whatever he decides to do, Sanders will sign on the day before enrolling early in his school of choice.
“I am just taking my time and slowing it down to take my time,” Sanders said. “This is one of the biggest decisions of my life. I just want to find the right school for me for the next four years.”
An interesting nugget that Sanders provided to Sentell was when asked which team he felt had the best offensive line for him to run behind.
“I’m pretty sure everybody knows this one for me,” Sanders said. “That would be either Georgia or Alabama. No question about that one. Alabama has got a young line that is going to be great. Georgia has a young line that is coming in that is going to be crazy.”
How Trey Sanders’ brother going to Florida affects him
There are numerous schools in the mix for Sanders, but the main contenders appear to be Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami and Alabama. The Gators have two familial connections working in their favor when Sanders makes his commitment.
His mother wants him to attend Florida where his older brother, Umstead, a 3-star outside linebacker in the Class of 2018, decided to accept a preferred walk-on opportunity with the Gators.
The looming question is whether Trey will follow his older brother to Gainesville. It’s not a certainty it will happen.
“First of all, for me, I know my brother is going to ball out at Florida,” he said. “He is just that type of player. He feeds off negativity and things like that. I wasn’t the reason why they picked him up. They watched his film and they loved him right away.
“He talks to me every day about going to Florida, too. But I feel like at the end of the day we just have to do what is best for us. If Florida is the best thing for me, then it is the best thing. But until then, I still have to make that decision and figure that out. I’m going to just enjoy my recruitment.”
But what about his mother’s wishes?
“At the end of the day, I am going to have to do what is the best thing for me,” Sanders said. “That’s my mom. She is always going to love me no matter what. I feel like she just wants what is the best for both of her sons. Whatever that may be. … My dad wants the same thing for us. My parents just really tell us that they both want us to be successful in life.”
Sanders will visit Florida State this weekend with his family. That’s the only visit he has planned right now. He’s not sure about any of his five official visits this fall, either. I still think it’s going to be a challenge for Alabama to regain Sanders’ commitment; however, he did say the Crimson Tide may be recruiting him harder than any other school and he does plan on returning to Tuscaloosa this summer and possibly this fall, so it’s not out of the question.
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