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.
Tennsion has thought about committing to Alabama
Major Tennison de-committed from Texas three days ago, but he has already thought of choosing a new school.
Even before Tennison’s decision to reopen his recruitment came to fruition, Alabama was, behind the scenes, emerging as the 3-star tight end’s eventual home. He did tell SEC Country that the thought of becoming a part of the Crimson Tide has been a thought he has had.
“Of course it crosses my mind when my entire Twitter feed is being blown up by Alabama lovers and Alabama haters,” Tennison said with a laugh. “That’s a fair assumption though. Alabama is a great school and obviously a great program.
“I don’t know the future, but maybe I see something that lets me know that Alabama is the school I need to go to. Maybe I get on my knees and pray for a few minutes and figure out this is the place for me, then so be it — Roll Tide and all of that good stuff.”
The 6-foot-6, 245-pound prospect de-committed from Texas because of the Longhorns’ failure to utilize tight ends the way he would like to be used in college. Tennison wants to be a pass-catching tight end that also possesses elite blocking skills.
He did say that Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard’s performance in the championship game helps Alabama cause when it comes to its chances of landing him, but he also mentioned that before that game, Howard was almost non-existent in the team’s offense. Both offensive line coach Mario Cristobal and wide receivers coach Billy Napier have assured him that that won’t happen this year.
“They feel like they didn’t use the tight end right in the beginning of the season, even with the obvious success of the run game and other receivers,” Tennison said. They feel like they could have exploited matchups with the tight ends better. I want to believe them. I feel like they are telling the truth.”
Since de-committing, Tennsion has heard from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Florida, Arkansas, UCLA and Michigan. He’s visited all of those schools except LSU and Florida, and he would like to make trips to both of those colleges.
Alabama has been strongly recruiting Tennison for around a month, he said. What helps the Tide’s chances is the fact that he knows exactly how Alabama feels about him.
“Coach Cristobal has come out and said that he wants to coach me,” Tennison said. “He said he’s excited that he has the opportunity to coach me. That’s a huge honor because I know he’s coaches a lot of good tight ends. It’s great to hear that from a guy who is so experienced and knowledgeable about the position.”
The nation’s No. 11 tight end said if he doesn’t get that gut feeling this weekend in Tuscaloosa, then he’ll decide to not make a commitment. He won’t pull the trigger unless he’s 100 percent sure of his decision. That’s even if Nick Saban is sitting in front of him asking him to join his program.
“It would be an honor to have ‘The Man’ push for a commitment,” Tennison said. “That’s a huge memory that you’ll have forever. Unless I get that immediate feeling about Alabama which lets me know that it’s the place for me, then I won’t commit. I think the coaches would understand that from dealing with tons of recruits. If they push for my commitment and I feel like it’s not the time for me, I’ll just shake their hands and let them know that it’s not my time.”
If Tennison did commit, he knows why he would.
“They have a demand for success and excellence,” Tennison said. “You don’t go to Alabama unless you’re ready to work and invest yourself in the program. If you go to Alabama to play football, you are expected to work your butt off and play as hard as you can whether that’s on the practice field or in front of 100,000 people on Saturday. They have an expectation of excellence and it’s hard to not like that as a football player.”
Tennison is planning on getting a business degree in college with the hopes of possibly following in his father’s footsteps of being an oil field equipment salesman.
He will be in Tuscaloosa this Thursday and stay through Friday for Alabama’s Champions Cookout.
Alabama sends four coaches to see 5-star prospect
If you’ve been reading SEC Country the past several weeks, I have mentioned that Alabama has become a major factor in 5-star safety JaCoby Stevens’ recruitment after appearing to be a lock for Georgia.
Stevens competed Sunday at a satellite camp in Nashville and Alabama sent four coaches to see him in action. Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley and offensive analyst Mike Locksley were all at the camp.
A source close to Stevens’ recruitment said while having that many members of Alabama’s staff at the camp was appreciated, he believes the Crimson Tide are still in that second tier of schools he’s considering behind Georgia, LSU and Auburn.
Alabama has made up lots of ground and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Tide continue to push up his list.
Surprise visitor on Alabama’s campus
This is good news for Alabama.
Jerry Jeudy, a 4-star wide receiver from Deerfield Beach High School (Pompano Beach, Fla.), confirmed to SEC Country that he is currently in Alabama for the Crimson Tide’s camp. He will stay for a few days. Jeudy was at Miami, Alabama’s biggest competition, this weekend for the Hurricanes’ Paradise Camp.
Jeudy is believed to be favoring Alabama at this time. At The Opening, Nike’s premier camp for the nation’s top high school football players, Jeudy played on a 7-on-7 team of six Alabama commits, which included 4-star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
The nation’s No. 7 wide receiver told SEC Country that he could see himself playing alongside Tagovailoa.
“That’s a great quarterback. He’s a very special quarterback,” Jeudy told SEC Country. “He made good reads all day and he has a great arm. He’s a wonderful kid. Everyone loves him. Every time someone gets mad, he just brings them right back up. He’s always happy.”
Could a commitment come by the end of the week? It’s very possible, but he did tell SEC Country that he wanted to take all five official visits before making a commitment.
2018 DB sets camp record
What does setting a camp record get you at Alabama? A meeting with Nick Saban and the staff.
Brendan Radley-Hiles, a 4-star cornerback from Calabasas, Calif., told SEC Country that he had five interceptions during 1-on-1 drills and 7-on-7 competition on Monday. The five interceptions is a camp record, at least according to Radley-Hiles.
“It feels great knowing how many greats have camped with Alabama,” Radley-Hiles said. “The coaching staff just said that I’ve been applying things I learned today and it showed.”
Radley-Hiles, the nation’s No. 7 cornerback in 2018, will meet Monday night with Nick Saban and an offer could come at that point.
Just Set The New @AlabamaFTBL Camp Record.
New Record: 5 INT's ??.
(One Day Session)
— KING. (@Bookie_44) July 18, 2016
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.