Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. Today, we talk the latest with Alabama’s 2018 signees who could see the field as freshmen.
Alabama signees who could make immediate impact
One of the biggest things Alabama has to combat on the recruiting trail is other schools saying freshmen don’t play for the Crimson Tide. Alabama debunked that myth this past season. Seventeen freshmen saw the field for the Tide and 12 of them played in the National Championship Game.
Which Class of 2018 signees could see the field for the team this upcoming season? This is a guess at who may play:
WR: Jaylen Waddle
There’s a lot of young talent returning to Alabama next season at the receiver position, but I think Jaylen Waddle is too good to not see the field in some capacity. Waddle is one of the most electrifying athletes in the 2018 class and could make an impact in the return game, too. Think former Texas A&M star Christian Kirk for Waddle. He’s that good. Alabama needs to get the ball in his hands next season.
Returners: Jerry Jeudy, sophomore; Henry Ruggs III, sophomore; DeVonta Smith, sophomore; Tyrell Shavers, redshirt freshman
DL: Stephon Wynn Jr.
Stephon Wynn has a leg up on the other defensive lineman Alabama signed, Christian Barmore, because he’s already in Tuscaloosa and will be able to go through spring practice. Wynn is 6-foot-4 and more than 300 pounds. The plan right now is for him to be an interior lineman, which is probably the smart play there because he’ll be able to use his quickness to his advantage against guards.
Returners: Johnny Dwight; senior; Raekwon Davis, junior; Quinnen Williams, sophomore; Phidarian Mathis; redshirt freshman
LB: Eyabi Anoma
There are plenty of talented outside linebackers returning to Tuscaloosa next season, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Eyabi Anoma will see the field for Alabama at some point next season. He’s a freak. The explosion Anoma showcased in Orlando, Fla., at the Under Armour All-America Game against some of the top tackles in the country was otherworldly.
Returners: Christian Miller, senior; Terrell Lewis, junior; Anfernee Jennings, junior; Chris Allen, sophomore; VanDarius Cowan, sophomore
Patrick Surtain Jr. was the nation’s No. 1 cornerback in the 2018 class. He has the bloodlines (his father was a former first-team All-Pro defensive back for the Miami Dolphins) to know what it takes to succeed at a high level. Surtain is 6-2 and weighs 200 pounds. He’s the prototypical defensive back for Nick Saban. It’s going to be hard to keep him off the field this upcoming season.
Saivion Smith is a former LSU cornerback who transferred to Alabama from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. It’s hard to imagine Smith not being one of the the Tide’s starting cornerbacks in 2018.
Josh Jobe is listed as a cornerback but has the ability to play safety. He has the cover skills as a corner and the hard-hitting, break-on-the-ball skills as a safety. Jobe just fits Alabama. He’s a no-nonsense type of player. He’s going to put in the work to see the field immediately.
JK Scott, a two-time Ray Guy Award finalist, graduated, which leaves a void for Alabama at punter. Skyler Delong was one of the nation’s top punters in the 2018 class. He’s expected to start right away.
Other players who just missed cut
I can also anticipate the following players seeing the field as freshmen:
• Emil Ekiyor, center
• Jalyn Armour-Davis, cornerback
• Eddie Smith, cornerback