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 reached out to 5-star LSU commit
Les Miles was fired by LSU on Sunday, and Alabama wasted no time trying to get in touch with the Tigers’ top commitment.
JaCoby Stevens, a 5-star safety from Oakland High School (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), confirmed to SEC Country that coaches from the Tide reached out to him shortly after the news broke that Miles had been fired.
At this time, nothing has changed in his commitment. He remains 100 percent solid with LSU despite the coaching change. Things could get interesting if defensive backs coach Corey Raymond moves on from the school, but that’s too early to predict right now.
If that happens, expect Alabama to become, once again, a serious player in the Stevens sweepstakes. The Tide finished No. 2 to the Tigers this summer when he announced his commitment. Alabama actually led for two weeks prior to him committing to LSU.
“They were just preaching to me that (Nick) Saban is the guy that taught all these (coaches) from Georgia and the guys at Alabama now, so why not go to the primary guy?” Stevens said at the time of his commitment. “It made sense to me, so that’s why I did like Alabama.
“The thing they showed me with Saban is that you have guys like Mark Barron and Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix. They showed me meal plans and how they are going to take care of me off the field and in the classroom. I liked it.”
Stevens still plans to take only one official visit — to LSU — before he enrolls early in January. Again, that could change if there’s a major overhaul to LSU’s coaching staff.
If that does not happen, Stevens will suit up for the Tigers in 2017.
Surprise visitor this weekend
Robert Beal, a 5-star defensive end from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), told SEC Country he’ll take an official visit to Alabama this weekend for the team’s game against Kentucky. Beal committed to Georgia this summer.
Besides the fact that he’s a Bulldog, this is a big deal for the Crimson Tide because it represents a major shift from what Beal said a month ago. In early August, he told DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell that his recruitment was “done” and he planned to only visit the school that received his commitment. Despite Beal’s commitment to Georgia, Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has made Beal a priority.
Beal will now take all five of his official visits, which means his recruitment is far from done. When he committed to Georgia this summer, Alabama was a strong player in his recruitment. Most in the recruiting industry believed his decision was going to come down to those two schools.
Alabama is recruiting the defensive end for its JACK position, which is a hybrid of defensive end and outside linebacker. The Tide are also recruiting 4-star prospects Jarez Parks and Christopher Allen at that position, too. Behind the scenes, Parks favors Alabama, and Allen once had Alabama on top of his recruitment. Allen will be an interesting prospect to track over the next several months because LSU is the other serious player in his recruitment. With Les Miles now out, he’s one of the prospects who was most affected by the news.
Beal will visit Alabama with his parents, as well as several other prospects from IMG Academy, including 5-star linebacker Dylan Moses, who is one of Alabama’s top targets; 4-star defensive end Joshua Kaindoh, who is committed to Maryland; Alabama long snapper commit Thomas Fletcher; and 2019 Alabama commit Trey Sanders.
I don’t expect Beal to flip his commitment to Alabama. It’s safe to classify him as a long shot, but the Tide’s chances with him have definitely increased now that he’s changed his mind about not visiting other schools.
Small note on 4-star LB
Jacob Phillips, a 4-star linebacker from East Nashville (Tenn.) Magnet School, will also take an official visit to Alabama this weekend. He’s one prospect to keep an eye on as he’s expected to announce his commitment next month.
He told SEC Country that he won’t leave Tuscaloosa until Monday, which is good news for the Tide because most official visitors leave Sunday afternoon. He’ll get the entire day after the Kentucky game to hang out with coaches and players on what should be a relaxing time after an expected win over the Wildcats on Saturday night.
Oklahoma should be considered Alabama’s biggest competition for Phillips.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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