Recruiting question of the day: Will Alabama land either 5-star CB Tyson Campbell or Patrick Surtain Jr.?
The early signing period has passed and Alabama is trying to obtain another No. 1 recruiting class come February. With recruiting ramping up, SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner will answer the Recruiting Question of the Day every day of the week. You can ask him your questions on Twitter or on Facebook. Find our previous questions and answers here.
Does Bama get one of the two of Surtain or Campbell?
— jackie white (@08jwhite) January 16, 2018
This has been by far the most popular question (outside of if Alabama is recruiting a field goal kicker in this recruiting class — it isn’t) in the 2018 recruiting cycle. And for obvious reason, too.
The Tide’s secondary is going to be thin next season as they will have to replace Anthony Averett, Tony Brown, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ronnie Harrison, Hootie Jones and Levi Wallace. Alabama also failed to sign a true cornerback in the 2017 class (Kyriq McDonald will play Star). Aaron Robinson, a cornerback in the 2016 class, transferred. Nigel Knott, another 2016 cornerback, hasn’t played a snap in the secondary and has battled injuries.
Depth in the secondary could be an issue next season, so that’s why Alabama has prioritized getting elite recruits in this cycle. None are more important than 5-star cornerbacks Tyson Campbell and Patrick Surtain Jr.
Campbell and Surtain, teammates at American Heritage High School (Plantation, Fla.), are scheduled visit Tuscaloosa this weekend. It’ll likely be the last time either of them are in Tuscaloosa before they announce their decisions on National Signing Day.
I think there’s a better chance of landing Surtain than Campbell at this time. Campbell is fresh off an official visit to Georgia, while Surtain visited LSU last weekend. Each of these schools is considered the favorite with each respective recruit.
From talking to sources, it seems as if Campbell is strongly leaning to UGA. I don’t know if there’s much Alabama can do this weekend to get him to change his mind. Surtain is more so of a 50-50 race with LSU, and that’s a good thing for Alabama. Throughout his recruitment, it has seemed like a no-doubter that Surtain eventually would choose the Tigers. That stance has since eased up.
“I’ve been looking at it like they’re [Alabama] losing a lot of defensive backs, so there’s a high chance I can come in and compete and play as a freshman,” Surtain told SEC Country. “On the LSU side, they’re losing a lot of defensive backs, too, and I look at it like I have the chance to compete and play at a high level.”
Both Campbell and Surtain had a good relationship with former defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley, but he left for the same position with the Oakland Raiders. Alabama hired Karl Scott from Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday. It’s good timing on Bama’s part with the 5-star corners in town this weekend.
If I had to pick which recruit Alabama has a better chance of landing today, it would be Surtain. I do think the Tide have a lot to gain this weekend with him.
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