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Hate from fans doesn’t hurt Alabama’s chances of regaining McKinney’s commitment
Xavier McKinney’s mentions on Twitter haven’t been all rainbows and butterflies ever since he de-committed from Alabama last month.
The vitriol from Alabama fans has continued, McKinney told SEC Country at the Corky Kell Classic luncheon on Wednesday. He’s not letting it get to him, though.
“It’s been a lot, but I feel like I deal with it in a good way,” McKinney said. “I pretty much come back with something all of the time. I don’t like when people try to come at me with something they don’t really know what they’re talking about. Most of the time, it’s kind of dumb comments I get. I reply back to them to teach them up on some things.”
Despite the frequent attacks from some Tide fans, McKinney said Alabama is still one of his top schools he’s considering. He won’t name who all he’s strongly considering at this point, but Clemson, Florida and Georgia are the schools in best position to land his next commitment.
He hasn’t changed his stance on how he feels about Alabama even though some fans have let McKinney know what they think of him.
“That stuff has never meant a lot to me,” McKinney said. “I don’t care what the fans have to say about me. At the end of the day, you aren’t going to school for fans. You are going to school for the school itself and the program. They can say whatever they want to me, but I’ll have an opinion back.”
His primary recruiter at Alabama, defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley, has remained in contact with the 4-star safety from Roswell (Ga.) High School. The two communicate at least once a week, McKinney said.
McKinney, who will make his commitment at either the Under Armour All-American Game or the Army All-American Bowl (he hasn’t decided on which game he’ll play in), said there’s nothing Alabama can show him at this time to really impress him. He feels like he has seen everything the school has to offer.
Clemson appears to be the team to beat at this time. His teammate LeAnthony Williams is currently committed to the Tigers, and former teammate Tre Lamar is a freshman linebacker for Clemson.
Solomon sounds firm with his commitment to Michigan
Aubrey Solomon’s June commitment to Michigan came as a surprise to not only the coaches recruiting him but also his mother. When he told his mother that he had pledged to the Wolverines, Solomon said he was “basically” grounded.
“She wasn’t all that happy at first,” Solomon said, laughing.
His mother is fully on board with his decision now. How’d a 180 happen? Well, both Solomon and his mother put academics ahead of athletics. At all of the schools the 4-star defensive tackle was considering, no school’s head coach sat down with him and mapped out which courses he would take to fulfill his degree.
No other head coach other than Jim Harbaugh, that is.
“Basically, I was just blown away with the academic pitch from Michigan,” Solomon told SEC Country at the Corky Kell Classic luncheon on Wednesday. “I was also really impressed with the people around the program. I felt like I just needed to make that commitment.”
Solomon, who had Alabama as his leader for several months prior to his Michigan commitment, admitted that it’s going to be tough for the Crimson Tide to change his mind at this point. He believes that Michigan, which is ranked No. 26 in national universities according to U.S. News & World Report, is a better degree than Alabama, which is slotted at No. 96.
The nation’s No. 6 defensive tackle wants to be a nurse when he finishes football. Harbaugh showed Solomon exactly what he’d get out of Michigan’s nursing program.
“It’s a field that most males don’t really do,” Solomon said. “I know there’s a big work force for males in the nursing program, so I think that would be great for me.”
If he did end up switching his mind, Alabama would need to show him a different career path. But he’s pretty set on becoming a nurse, so it sounds like it would be frivolous.
“I know I’d like to be in broadcasting, too, so if they have a good broadcasting program then that just may be the way,” Solomon said. “It’s going to be really tough to change my mind though. I try to be a man of my word. I don’t try to go back on it.”
The 6-foot-3, 305-pound prospect said he talks to Alabama defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley once a week, which is much less than the constant communication the two had prior to his commitment.
He also said several schools, which he chose not to name, bashed him after his commitment to the Wolverines. He said Michigan, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Southern California are the schools he’s still considering at this point.
Who else can Alabama get on the DL?
The year Alabama needs several quality defensive linemen in its recruiting year happens to be a down year nationally at the position. The talent in the Class of 2017 on the defensive line doesn’t compare to the Class of 2016. This year, there are only five 5-star defensive linemen. There were 10 in 2016.
Four of the five 5-star defensive linemen are already committed. The nation’s No. 1 defensive lineman Marvin Wilson is the lone uncommitted 5-star, but at this time, I do not expect Alabama to sign him. Things could change down the road, but there’s a slim chance Alabama gets him.
Alabama is in good shape with 4-star defensive end LaBryan Ray. His teammate Kyriq McDonald committed earlier this month, and that helps the Tide’s chances. It would be a surprise if Ray didn’t end up in the Tide’s class.
Tyler Shelvin, a 4-star defensive tackle, is committed to LSU, but the Tigers are fighting off the Tide to land his signature when the papers get faxed in. He was very close with former defensive line coach Bo Davis and is now working on building a relationship with current DL coach Karl Dunbar.
It’s an Alabama-Auburn battle for 4-star defensive end Ryan Johnson. It appears as if the Tigers have some momentum at this time. He remains a top target for the Tide staff.
Elijah Conliffe, a 3-star defensive tackle, has Alabama as his leader. He is expected to be in Tuscaloosa early next month. A commitment is very possible if he ends up visiting.
Alabama could potentially look for a junior college defensive lineman as well, but those targets are unclear at this time. Isaiah Buggs, a 4-star junior college DL, is wanted by Alabama, but he has never visited Tuscaloosa.
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.