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.
Alabama misses on West, now what?
Alabama was dealt a big blow in its search for a quarterback in the Class of 2018 when Jack West, the Crimson Tide’s top target, told SEC Country that he had committed to Stanford. What makes that news sting even more is that West and his entire family are huge Alabama fans. But his fandom was never going to play a role in his recruitment. Here’s what he told SEC Country two months ago on that matter.
“I love Alabama. I’m not going to lie,” West said at the time. “I’m really good friends with AJ McCarron and Jacob Coker. We (my family) have a lot of contacts at Alabama. That doesn’t mean I’m just going to go to Alabama, though.”
Ultimately, the lure of obtaining a degree from Stanford and the opportunity to further his career in politics is what won over the nation’s No. 8 pro-style quarterback. West aspires to be President of the United States one day, and there are not many better academic institutions in the world than Stanford.
Herbert Hoover went to Stanford. John F. Kennedy did as well (though he dropped out). There has never been a President who graduated from an SEC school.
“Stanford — its degree is second to none,” West said. “You aren’t going to find many better schools in the world. You’d be able to make a lot of contacts at that school. A degree from there would definitely help you in politics.”
With West off the board, the quarterback picture does get a little blurry. The top targets fans should get familiar with in 2018 include: 4-stars Cameron Rising (Newbury Park, Calif.), Allan Walters (Paramus, N.J.) and Jalen Mayden (Sachse, Texas). Rising and Walters currently hold offers from Alabama while Mayden doesn’t. Mayden is definitely the most intriguing option for the Crimson Tide at this point because his brother, Jared, is a freshman cornerback for Alabama. Mayden told SEC Country a few weeks ago that the Alabama offer was one that he was waiting on.
“It would be pretty nice to play with my brother,” Mayden told SEC Country at the IMG 7-on-7 national championships. “If they offered me, I would definitely narrow my schools down to a top five. Alabama would be in the mix.”
Walters visited Alabama back in March with his family for four days and fell in love with the school.
“They blow me away every time,” Walters said at the time. “The facilities, the atmosphere, the coaches, the hospitality — it’s just an amazing place to be at as a student and as an athlete.
“I can see myself there as a college student and just as a football player.”
As for Rising, he is expected to visit Alabama this summer, so until he does take a trip to Tuscaloosa, Mayden and Walters are the two names fans should become familiar with.
Even with Alabama missing on West, it needs to be mentioned that the Crimson Tide has two 4-star quarterbacks committed in the 2017 class in Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones.
Flip on the way?
Texas tight end 3-star commit Major Tennison will visit Alabama on July 21. It’s very possible Tennison ends up flipping his commitment that day.
One source close to the Alabama program told SEC Country that the recruitment of Tennison has picked up so much so that he’s now believed to be the top tight end target for the Crimson Tide.
The 6-foot-6, 245-pound prospect is expected to bring along his family on the trip.
Zech Byrd, a 3-star tight end from Millbrook, Ala., was thought to be an Alabama lock, but a source told SEC Country that his brother, who is a Gators fan, has been trying to get Zech to Florida.
Name to know
Josh Falo, the nation’s No. 5 tight end from Sacramento, Calif., will visit Alabama this weekend. Why is that important? Well, it’s an offer that Falo really wants to receive but hasn’t gotten yet, but more importantly, he’s good friends with Alabama 5-star running back commit Najee Harris.
Falo and Harris competed at The Opening this past week and when the competition ended, the pair were usually seen together. It’s well-documented that Harris’ recruitment is still a mystery, but if Alabama can get in the mix for Falo and possibly land his commitment, that would help Alabama’s chances of keeping Harris on board as well.
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.