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.
McDonald remains locked in with Alabama
Kyriq McDonald torched Clay-Chalkville this past Friday, scoring 3 touchdowns in front of his future coaches at Alabama. Offensive line coach Mario Cristobal and defensive line coach Karl Dunbar were in attendance to see McDonald score on a kickoff return, interception return and long touchdown run in his team’s win.
The miraculous part about McDonald’s recruitment is that he’s somehow only ranked as the nation’s No. 53 cornerback and only the No. 29 player in the state of Alabama.
Yet, Alabama saw something in McDonald’s game that many other schools didn’t see, which is why it made him a priority this summer and why he ultimately committed to the Tide.
Each time I’ve seen McDonald play in person, he’s made play after play. He also doesn’t understand why the recruiting services have listed him as a 3-star prospect and not among the nation’s top corners.
“I’d rather be under-looked than overlooked,” McDonald told SEC Country. “I’ve been feeling like I’m a good ballplayer and I can ball anywhere since I can remember. It’s not a surprise to see myself where I am today.”
McDonald committed to Alabama in early August, and he won’t be wavering on his commitment despite his desire to take all five of his official visits. He will take an official visit to Alabama and possibly California or UCLA. He hasn’t decided which California school he’d like to see. McDonald also hasn’t considered the other schools he’ll check out.
Sometimes when commits talk about visiting other schools, it means they may be rethinking their commitment. McDonald is not one of those commits.
“It’s straight Alabama from here on out,” McDonald said. “They’re still recruiting me very hard. They send me messages every single day. All of the coaches keep in touch with me.”
When Alabama accepted his commitment, the coaching staff told him he should expect to play virtually every position in the secondary — free and strong safety, nickelback and cornerback.
He doesn’t have a preference on which position he’d like to play in college, but if he did have his choice, he wouldn’t even play defense.
“Shoot, if I had my choice, I would play offense because I like the ball in my hands,” McDonald said. “I just love making plays.”
Alabama got a steal in McDonald. It won’t be a surprise at all to see him making big-time plays for the Crimson Tide for years to come.
Previewing this weekend’s official visitors
Dylan Moses, 5-star LB, Bradenton, Fla. — There will be no one recruit on campus Saturday that is more important than Moses. The nation’s No. 1 outside linebacker has been on Alabama’s radar since he was in the eighth grade. The Tide have at one point been the leader in the clubhouse for his commitment, but that has since changed. Alabama is definitely a serious player to land his commitment when he announces at the Under Armour All-American game, but Moses’ recent moves suggest he’s doing everything possible to allow LSU to get his signature. LSU has been the presumed favorite in his recruitment ever since he became a national recruit in eighth grade. He’s from Baton Rouge, La., and practically grew up on the Tigers’ campus. Things have changed a bit, though, now that Les Miles was fired by the school. The 5-star prospect is very close with Miles. Now that he’s no longer LSU’s coach, this presents a serious opportunity for any school to get in the mix for Moses.
Jacob Phillips, 4-star LB, Nashville, Tenn. — Phillips is an interesting recruit to keep an eye on this weekend because he’s expected to announce his commitment next month. There was serious momentum flowing in Alabama’s direction this summer, and it seemed likely he was going to end up in the Tide’s class. Alabama still is a serious player in his recruitment, but Oklahoma and Oregon have snatched some of that momentum. With a great visit, the Tide have a great chance to seize control of Phillips’ recruitment and land his commitment next month. Alabama has three linebacker commitments, and he could possibly be the next one.
Robert Beal, 4-star DE, Bradenton, Fla. — Beal is listed as a defensive end by every recruiting service, but Alabama is recruiting him to play JACK, which is a hybrid of outside linebacker and defensive end. It’s a similar position to what Tim Williams plays for the Tide. Beal committed to Georgia this summer, and Alabama could be considered the runner-up in his decision. For part of the summer, Beal committing to Alabama seemed like a certainty. It’s unclear why Alabama fell off a bit for Beal. The Tide are still recruiting him, but it’s unlikely he’s going to flip his commitment.
Thomas Fletcher, 2-star LS, Bradenton, Fla. — Fletcher is the only Alabama commitment who will be taking an official visit to Tuscaloosa this weekend. This will be Fletcher’s only official visit, as his recruitment is over. He is expected to be an early enrollee and will be on campus this January for spring practice. It’s rare to see long snappers receive a ranking by scouting services, but Fletcher is widely considered the best at the position in the 2017 class. For Alabama to use a scholarship on a long snapper, you know Nick Saban is excited about Fletcher’s skills.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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