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.
It’s decision day for 5-star OL Isaiah Wilson
Isaiah Wilson, ESPN’s No. 2 overall player in the Class of 2017, will make his college commitment known in a few hours, and Alabama is one of the teams in the mix for the elite offensive tackle.
Wilson, a 5-star prospect from Poly Prep Country Day School (Brooklyn, N.Y.), will either commit to Alabama, Georgia or Michigan. With just a few hours to go until his decision, I am not expecting the Crimson Tide to be his choice.
As detailed on Thursday, there’s just no room to add a sixth offensive lineman in this year’s recruiting class. Readers may bring up the fact that Alabama tried to get 5-star offensive tackle Trey Smith on board just a few weeks ago, but his recruitment was a different situation. Some Alabama staff members believed Smith was able to play pretty much anywhere on the offensive line — that’s not the assessment for Wilson.
There was a point where Alabama looked like the favorite to land Wilson. He visited Tuscaloosa this summer, and the vibes of him eventually committing to the Tide were strong. Michigan then seized the momentum of his recruitment for several months before Georgia seemingly took a chunk of that lead this past weekend when he took an official visit to Athens.
Some may ask why Alabama wouldn’t make room for a 5-star prospect like Wilson, especially when the Tide have a 3-star prospect committed on the offensive line in Hunter Brannon, but the staff feels confident in his abilities, regardless of rankings. The Tide also have three elite offensive tackles committed in this class in 5-star prospect Alex Leatherwood, the nation’s No. 1 junior college offensive lineman Elliot Baker and top 10 tackle Jedrick Wills.
With Alabama needing at least two more defensive linemen, one or two more wide receivers, one JACK linebacker and possibly one defensive back (though not a certainty), the numbers just don’t compute for Wilson being in this class.
Can something crazy happen in the next few hours where Alabama somehow finds a way to squeeze him in the class? Absolutely. This is recruiting, where things change constantly, but I am fairly confident that if something crazy did happen, I don’t think it would benefit the Tide.
Make sure you guys are following along with Jeff Sentell on Twitter in a few hours. He will be on scene for us, and he’ll have a live stream of his ceremony when it gets going around 11:30 a.m. ET.
Prediction on where Wilson will commit to:
Michigan — 51 percent confidence level
Georgia — 49 percent confidence level
In case you missed it …
Tua Tagovailoa, as reported by SEC Country for a month now, has officially ended his recruitment by signing his financial aid agreement with Alabama. There wasn’t any chance the 4-star quarterback commit was going to flip his commitment to any other school, but there was always worry from fans that he wouldn’t stick for some reason.
There’s no need to be concerned anymore.
Alabama 2017 class snapshot
Alabama has a good chance to have the nation’s No. 1 class for the seventh straight year. As it stands now, this actually might be Alabama’s best class in the Nick Saban era because it has commitments from a top-class running back, two future play-making quarterbacks, a bookend left tackle and more.
Where it ranks?
Alabama’s 2017 class is ranked No. 1 in the country. It passed Ohio State for the top spot once Jedrick Wills committed. The Tide have held the top spot since that moment.
As is standard in the Saban era, the majority of Alabama’s commitments are of the blue-chip variety, meaning they are either rated 4- or 5-star prospects. For context purposes, the Tide have 24 pledges, including four 5-star recruits (RB Najee Harris, OT Alex Leatherwood, LB Dylan Moses and WR Jerry Jeudy), 16 4-star prospects and five 3-star talents.
Who are Alabama’s top 2017 commitments?
- 5-star RB Najee Harris
- 5-star OT Alex Leatherwood
- 5-star WR Jerry Jeudy
- 5-star LB Dylan Moses
- 4-star QB Tua Tagovailoa
Who committed to Alabama this week?
Isaiah Buggs, the nation’s No. 1 junior college defensive lineman from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, committed to and signed with Alabama earlier this week. Buggs was thought to be a longtime lean to LSU, but Alabama seized control of his recruitment over the past several weeks. Baker, the nation’s top junior college offensive lineman, also signed his letter of intent this week, too.
Who de-committed from Alabama this week?
Alabama hasn’t had a de-commitment since late October when 4-star linebacker Gary Johnson backed off his commitment. He took a class in junior college that would not have been accepted by SEC schools. He could have chosen to retake the class and remained in Alabama’s class, but it would have delayed his enrollment into a four-year university. Jhavonte Dean, a 3-star junior college cornerback, is someone Alabama fans should keep an eye on as far as who could be the next de-commitment.
Who are Alabama’s top remaining targets?
- 5-star offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson
- 4-star safety DeAngelo Gibbs
- 4-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon
- 4-star defensive end LaBryan Ray
- 4-star defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw
- 4-star defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis
- 4-star wide receiver Henry Ruggs III
- 4-star wide receiver DeVonta Smith
- 4-star JACK Jarez Parks
Breakdown by position
QB: 2 of 2
RB: 2 of 2
WR: 2 of 3 OR 4
TE: 2 of 2
OL: 5 of 5
DL: 2 of 4 OR 5
LB: 3 of 3
JACK: 1 of 1 OR 2
DB: 3 of 3
ATH: 1 of 1
K: 1 of 1
LS: 1 of 1
Geography of Alabama’s 2017 recruiting class
Florida (6): Leatherwood, Jeudy, Cowan, Jones, Fletcher, Wright
Alabama (6): Benton, Robinson, Randolph, Townsend, McDonald, Brannon
Texas (4): Shavers, Tennison, James, Dean
California (2): Harris, Baker
Louisiana (3): Moses, Allen, Buggs
Hawaii (1): Tagovailoa
Kentucky (1): Wills
Arkansas (1): Byers
Arizona (1): Ruiz
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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