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.
Commitment watch is on for Wills
Jedrick Wills tweeted six days ago that a big announcement was coming in the next two weeks. That announcement would be a commitment, according to his high school coach Eric Shaw.
Wills, a 4-star offensive tackle from Lafayette High School (Lexington, Ky.), has been trending toward Alabama for the past month, and there’s good reason for that, Shaw said.
The Under Armour All-American visited Alabama in mid-July, but the increased interest in the Crimson Tide started a few weeks before that visit. Wills got a chance to spend a week with 5-star offensive tackle commit Alex Leatherwood, who has been recruiting Wills hard.
Shaw and Wills have talked extensively about Alabama, and it’s clear the nation’s No. 9 offensive tackle is liking the Tide.
“Who wouldn’t want to go be a part of a program like that?” Shaw rhetorically asked. “He has made some visits there and he really likes the atmosphere there. He likes their tradition of success, so that’s why he’s interested in them. Academically, the school meets his needs, too.”
When asked why his star player would choose Alabama, here’s what Shaw had to say:
“That would be the best pair of shoes he could wear,” Shaw told SEC Country. “It’s really simple in the recruiting process for all of my kids. You need to go where the shoes fit where you’d be comfortable. This decision on which college you go to is not a 4-year decision, it’s a rest-of-your-life decision.”
Lafayette’s season starts on Aug. 12, so fans should expect a decision before next Friday. When it comes to his players, Shaw likes them to have as little of a burden as possible when it comes to recruiting. It’s one of the reason why he doesn’t have an assistant on staff help with his players’ recruiting process.
“That’s something that you don’t drag out. I have kind of pushed a deadline on (Wills),” Shaw said. “We need to get this out of the way because I don’t want this to affect the season. It would be better for him to have that weight off his shoulders to make a decision before the season starts. His interest has always been there in Alabama, I just think it’s time to start narrowing it down to get ready to make a decision.”
From talking to Shaw and several people close to Wills, I expect Alabama to land his commitment when he makes his decision in the coming days.
Another WR has Bama in top 5; no, it doesn’t matter
Jaylen Harris, a 4-star prospect from Cleveland, released his top five on Thursday, and Alabama made the cut.
There are three uncommitted wide receivers who have committable offers from the Crimson Tide: 4-stars Devonta Smith, Henry Ruggs III and Nico Collins. All other receivers are on standby regardless of any top schools list.
The team’s targets at wide receiver has been unchanged for several months. Alabama has commitments from 4-stars Tyrell Shavers and Jerry Jeudy. Smith makes his decision on Aug. 15, and I expect the Tide to land his pledge. Ruggs is likely choosing Alabama when he makes his commitment. Collins has Michigan on top. I do not expect Alabama to land his commitment at this time.
The plan is for Alabama to sign four wide receivers. Smith and Ruggs would give Alabama its four wideouts in the Class of 2017.
TE target commits to UCLA
Jimmy Jaggers, a 4-star tight end from Roseville, Calif., committed to UCLA on Thursday.
Jaggers visited Alabama in June and was one of the team’s targets at tight end. He was not a priority at the position but could have been a factor if other prospects decided to commit elsewhere.
As I said recently, the plan IS for Alabama to take two tight ends in the Class of 2017. The Tide recently picked up a commitment from 3-star Kedrick James. Alabama remains in the mix for 4-stars Josh Falo and Kemore Gamble and 3-star Major Tennison.
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.