FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – With Jerry Jeudy now on board for Alabama, the question now becomes what’s next for the Crimson Tide at the wide receiver position?
Alabama now has two commitments at wide receiver with 4-star Tyrell Shavers being the other prospect.
The Crimson Tide is expected to sign at least four wide receivers in the Class of 2017, and it’s very possible the team’s top targets are all committed before Alabama kicks off the season against Southern California.
Let’s take a look at Alabama’s top remaining targets at receiver:
Devonta Smith, 4-star, Amite, La.
Smith is scheduled to announce his commitment on Aug. 15. It would be a surprise if he chose anywhere other than Alabama.
Since he de-committed from Georgia back in January, Alabama was the favorite to land him.
The Army All-American is good friends with Crimson Tide freshman cornerback Shyheim Carter, who is also from Louisiana. The two have been friends for several years and have expressed the desire to play with each other in college.
Smith also has a great relationship with Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who was the receiver’s primary recruiter when he was at Georgia.
Finally, Alabama having assistant director of player personnel Sam Petitto on the staff is huge for the Crimson Tide’s chances of landing Smith. Petitto got his coaching career started at Amite High School and was an important person in Smith’s life when he was a child. Both he and Carter consider Petitto a father figure. Once Petitto was hired away from Georgia, it was likely that Smith was likely going to follow him to Tuscaloosa.
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound prospect recently put LSU in his group of finalists along with Alabama and Miami. That was certainly interesting.
He told SEC Country at The Opening earlier this month that he had no interest in attending college in the state of Louisiana and that he disliked the Tigers’ offense.
Putting LSU into the mix should not be a concern for Alabama. I fully expect him to be a Crimson Tide commit come Aug. 15.
Henry Ruggs, 4-star, Montgomery, Ala.
Ruggs was supposed to make his commitment on Aug. 1, but he recently delayed his decision after trips to Penn State and Auburn.
The reason for the delay was to visit more schools to make sure he was making the right decision. If he did make his decision on Aug. 1, Ruggs was expected to choose Alabama.
I still expect Alabama to land him when he does make his decision. He has told SEC Country in the past that each time he visits Tuscaloosa, he finds something new about Alabama that he likes.
Out of all the campus trips he’s taken, Alabama has hosted him more than any other school, and it’s not even close.
Even though he’s pushed back his announcement, Ruggs remains a priority for the Crimson Tide. It would be surprising if Ruggs did not end up in Alabama’s class.
Nico Collins, 4-star, Pinson, Ala.
At one point, Collins was viewed as a lock for Alabama. That is no longer the case.
Michigan is on top for the state of Alabama’s No. 1 prospect followed by Georgia. The Crimson Tide are in the No. 3 spot.
Collins told SEC Country at The Opening that Alabama did at one point lead in his recruitment but trips to Ann Arbor and Athens opened his mind to the possibility of leaving the state to play his college ball elsewhere.
He noted that traveling to different places excites him, and it’s one of the reasons why two of his favorite places to visit are ahead of Alabama at this time.
Collins is expected to announce his commitment on National Signing Day. Do not expect Alabama to go down without a fight.
Jeff Thomas, 4-star, East St. Louis, Ill.
Anointed the fastest man at The Opening, Thomas currently has Alabama on top in his recruitment.
Thomas has some academic hurdles that he needs to clear before he becomes a player the Crimson Tide would accept as a commitment.
Depending on numbers and where other position groups stand this fall, it is possible the Tide would take five receivers. Thomas would likely be the guy.
Tarik Black, 4-star, Cheshire, Conn.
If you follow Black on Twitter, you’d see him showing a lot of love to Alabama. That comes on the heels of a visit to Tuscaloosa last week.
Black had named Alabama in his top five earlier this summer, but it seems that his trip last week has the Crimson Tide quickly rising up his list of favorites.
Notre Dame and Stanford are still considered the favorites to land him, but if Alabama misses on one of its main targets, perhaps Black becomes a guy the team strongly wants in the Class of 2017.
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.