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 maintains significant lead for Mason
One of Alabama’s top targets in the 2018 class was in Tuscaloosa on Monday, and the trip reaffirmed one thing: The Crimson Tide remains in the driver’s seat to land his commitment.
Myles Mason, a 4-star athlete from Pleasant Grove (Ala.) High School, told SEC Country that Alabama, like it’s done since his ninth grade year, leads for him. He explained why the Crimson Tide still hold the edge over Auburn, which is his No. 2 school.
“I have a great relationship with the coaches,” Mason said. “I’m also really impressed with what Alabama does outside of football with its academics. They have a lot of opportunities to succeed outside of football.”
The 6-foot-3, 197-pound prospect was invited to Alabama’s exclusive Champions Cookout this Friday by director of player personnel Jody Wright. The event is invite-only and is set up for some of the Crimson Tide’s top prospects. Mason is the only confirmed 2018 prospect for the event so far.
“It’s really big for me to be in that position,” Mason said. “It’s just a blessing to know that they are interested in me that much.”
Mason is rated as the nation’s No. 21 safety but he could end up playing wide receiver for the Crimson Tide. While he didn’t participate in camp on Monday because of an ankle injury, he has lined up at wide receiver at previous camps. He plays quarterback for his high school team, but he has no preference on which position he’d like to play in college just yet.
“Coach (Nick) Saban actually told me that if I did go to Alabama, he would let me choose whichever position I prefer,” Mason said.
The state’s No. 7 prospect said he hasn’t thought of committing to Alabama just yet because he is focused on his upcoming season, but he did say if Friday’s visit goes well, he could ultimately decide to pull the trigger and become a part of the Crimson Tide.
“It’s possible,” Mason said.
New offers out for Alabama
Alabama extended an offer to Florida tight end commit Kemore Gamble at camp on Tuesday, according to 247Sports’ Ryan Bartow.
Major Tennison, a former Texas commit, has emerged as the team’s top tight end target over the last month and will visit Alabama on Thursday. There’s a good chance he ends up committing before his visit is over on Friday.
Arik Gilbert, a 2020 athlete from Woodward Academy (Atlanta), picked up an offer while on campus, according to an assistant at Woodward. Georgia offered Gilbert this week, too.
Nicholas Petit-Frere, a 2018 offensive tackle from Berkeley Prep (Tampa), announced on Twitter that he received an offer.
Big honor for Tagovailoa
What a couple of weeks it has been for Alabama quarterback commit Tua Tagovailoa.
Fresh off of winning the Elite 11 MVP a week ago, Tagovailoa was named an Under Armour All-American on Tuesday. The Under Armour game is one of two elite all-star games top recruits can participate in at the end of their high school career with the Army Bowl being the other event.
Tagovailoa joins four other Alabama commits in the game: 5-star offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood, 4-star defensive tackle Akial Byers, 4-star linebacker Markail Benton and 3-star defensive end Aaron Sterling will all play in the game, too.
Major Crimson Tide targets such as 5-star offensive tackles Trey Smith and Isaiah Wilson, 5-star safety JaCoby Stevens, 4-star wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, 4-star defensive end LaBryan Ray, 4-star running back Anthony McFarland, Jr., 4-star offensive tackle Jedrick Wills, 4-star linebacker Chris Allen and 4-star defensive end Ryan Johnson will compete in the game as well. The full roster for the game has not been announced yet.
One to watch
Monty Rice, a 3-star linebacker from James Clemens High School (Madison, Ala.), will attend Alabama’s camp Wednesday. He was also invited to the team’s cookout on Friday, but he does not know if he will attend just yet.
Rice is teammates with big Alabama targets LaBryan Ray, a 4-star defensive end, and Kyriq McDonald, a 3-star defensive back. The trio has discussed the possibility of playing together in college.
“It would be really cool,” Ray told SEC Country recently. “I’m not going to even lie about that. It would be really exciting to play with those guys for a couple of more years.”
While McDonald and Ray are takes for Alabama’s recruiting class, Rice’s status remains unclear. Alabama already has three linebacker commitments in the Class of 2017 and remain in the mix for several other top linebackers such as 5-stars Chase Young and Baron Browning and 4-star Chris Allen. It is possible though Rice becomes a take at some point, especially if both Ray and McDonald end up at Alabama, which is likely.
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.