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.
Jeudy raves about Tagovailoa
There was a common theme in the 7-on-7 tournament at The Opening — Alabama quarterback commit Tua Tagovailoa connecting with major wide receiver target Jerry Jeudy.
Jeudy is one of Alabama’s top wide receiver targets, and this week was important for the Crimson Tide’s chances with the 4-star receiver because he got to see first-hand how Tagovailoa operates. Jeudy was impressed.
“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.”
Tagovailoa was named the Elite 11 MVP, which is given to the event’s top quarterback. Jeudy is considered to be a strong lean to Alabama at this time even though he declares no public leader. As far as him envisioning the future, Jeudy can see himself catching passes once again from Tagovailoa.
“I can see myself playing with him at the next level, but I can’t say that Alabama is on top right now because all of my schools are equal right now,” Jeudy said. “But Tua is a great quarterback. I see him doing a lot of great stuff in college.”
The nation’s No. 7 wide receiver is planning to take all five official visits before making a decision. Alabama will get one of those visits.
There’s no doubt about it that Tagovailoa’s success helped Alabama’s chances with Jeudy.
“It’s really good knowing Alabama has a good quarterback coming in but I’m still looking for what’s the best fit for me,” Jeudy said.
It would be a surprise if Jeudy ended up anywhere other than Alabama even though Miami, Florida and Tennessee remain in the mix at this point.
Alabama commits working Wilson hard
Alabama linebacker commit VanDarius Cowan and offensive tackle commit Alex Leatherwood are two of the Crimson Tide’s best recruiters, and the pair’s biggest target is 5-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson.
Cowan told SEC Country that he believes Alabama is Wilson’s No. 1 school, though the nation’s top defensive lineman isn’t declaring a favorite just yet. Alabama, LSU, Florida State and Texas remain near the top of his list, but Cowan and Leatherwood’s message of joining up together in Tuscaloosa is working.
“VanDarius and Alex keep on persuading me to join them and it’s starting to sound really good in my head,” Wilson told SEC Country. “That’s why I think they believe Alabama is my No. 1 school.”
Here’s what we know about where Alabama stands with Wilson right now: He has already told SEC Country that Alabama is going to be one of his finalists, along with LSU; he’s starting to develop a good relationship with Crimson Tide defensive line coach Karl Dunbar and he will most likely take an official visit to Tuscaloosa this fall.
Wilson calls Cowan and Leatherwood two of his best friends in the recruiting world. He’s thought of potentially joining forces with his friends in college.
“You know, savages want to play with savages,” Wilson said, which has become Alabama’s Class of 2017 motto. “We all could be some savages together and depend on each other to ball out.”
Wilson’s recruitment is going to be one that’s closely watched over the next several months leading up to signing day.
Ray likely to take official visit to Alabama
Like Marvin Wilson, LaBryan Ray is one of Alabama’s top targets on the defensive line.
Ray, a 4-star defensive end from James Clemens High School (Madison, Ala.), told SEC Country that Alabama sits high on his list of favorite schools.
“They are definitely up there,” Ray told SEC Country. “They are one of my top schools for sure. It’s one of those schools where I can see myself at. I am starting to get to know the new defensive line coach, Karl Dunbar, so that’s good. I’ve also been there a couple of times already. It’s a school where I’m comfortable at.”
Comfortability is important to Ray when he chooses a school. He’s not expecting to make a decision before his senior season begins. He’s planning on taking all five official visits, but those schools that receive a visit is going to be of extreme importance.
“If I go on one of my official visits and I feel like that’s the place for me then I’m going to commit there,” Ray said.
As it stands, he’s “80 percent” sure Alabama and Tennessee will get an official visit. Those are the only two schools he’s that confident about.
Ray visited Alabama last month for its summer camp and came away with one big takeaway about Dunbar.
“Just seeing how he coaches was something that looked really similar to what (former Alabama defensive line coach) Bo Davis was doing,” Ray said. “You can just tell that he’s a great coach and obviously he’s been in the NFL.”
The 6-foot-5, 283-pound prospect said he talks to Dunbar at least once a week and his relationship with the coach is growing by the day.
Testing numbers and observations for Alabama commits and targets
Tagovailoa went home with the event’s top honors, winning the Elite 11 MVP, which is given to the event’s top quarterback, the 7-on-7 MVP and left Oregon a champion in the 7-on-7 tournament.
Leatherwood was named one of the top six offensive linemen along with 4-star center target Cesar Ruiz, while Wilson was named the camp’s defensive line MVP. Jeudy was named to the 7-on-7 All-Tournament team.
Alabama’s six commits who could participate in the 7-on-7 tournament (Leatherwood did not participate because there are no offensive linemen in 7-on-7 play) were on the winning team. The chemistry they created at the event should carry on when they become official Crimson Tide players.
Final thoughts from The Opening
On Sunday night, I teamed up with Dawgnation.com’s Jeff Sentell and Land of 10’s Jeremy Birmingham for a final rundown of things from Oregon. We talked about the players who impressed us the most, what our biggest takeaways were and what we’re looking at down the line.
Check it out here:
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.