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.
Tennison down to three as official visit approaches
Alabama already has a tight end commitment in the Class of 2017 in 3-star prospect Kedrick James, but it would like to add another. Major Tennison, a 3-star prospect from Bullard, Texas, is at the top of the list.
Tennison told SEC Country on Tuesday night that he’s down to three schools: Alabama, Georgia and Michigan. He will be on campus this weekend for his first official visit, and he said a commitment could possibly come if everything goes well.
“If I get there, and the trip goes very well and I’m blown away and it’s the place for me, then it’s the place for me,” Tennison said. “There would be no reason for me to continue this little process.”
The good news for Alabama in regards to his other top two schools is that he doesn’t have any official visits set to those places. His answer to why he doesn’t have any plans to visit Michigan or Georgia bodes well for Alabama’s chances at landing his commitment.
“If Alabama is the place for me, I really don’t think there’s a need to take an official visit and put doubt in my mind when I’ve already been up there, talked to their coaches and experienced their specific towns,” Tennison said. “Like I said, if I feel like Alabama is the place for me, then there’s no reason to see anywhere else when those schools are going to put out all of the stops to impress me.”
Official visit to Alabama this weekend!??⚪️ #RollTide
— Major Tennison (@major_tennison) October 18, 2016
The last time Tennison was in Tuscaloosa was back in July, and he was on commitment watch back then. He didn’t want to rush into a decision at the time because he had just de-committed from Texas a few days prior to visiting Alabama.
Since that July visit, Tennison has gone silent with his recruitment. He told SEC Country that he can’t remember the last time he granted an interview because he has just wanted to focus on the schools he’s considering and didn’t want to “put his business out in the open.”
That doesn’t mean Tennison hasn’t been keeping a close eye on his schools of interest. Out of his top three colleges, Tennison said Alabama is “for sure” recruiting him the hardest. Ever since his visit to Tuscaloosa, he has pictured himself wearing a Crimson Tide jersey.
“I think any kid would dream of playing for them and going to school there,” Tennison said. “They have a freaking awesome coaching staff.”
Alabama has kept its word to Tennison
One of the main things Tennison has closely watched when it comes to Alabama this year is the team’s use of tight end O.J. Howard.
Howard only has 14 catches for 209 yards, but Tennison said he’s been impressed with the Tide’s use of the senior. When Tennison visited this summer, the message he received from the coaching staff was Howard would be used more in the offense.
Though the stats may not paint that picture, Tennison has been happy with Howard’s season so far.
“I think it proves how honest their coaching staff is,” Tennison said. “They told me in the summer, as their recruitment of me picked up, that O.J. was going to be more utilized and that the tight end position in general was going to be more utilized. Sometimes coaches say things to recruits to catch their eye, but they’ve been 100 percent honest. I have been very impressed with that.”
— Major Tennison (@major_tennison) July 23, 2016
Not only has Tennison been impressed with Howard but also Jalen Hurts. Tennison feels like Hurts’ performance this season is one of the major reasons why Alabama has dominated its opponents.
“I think they’ve done an extremely great job with a freshman quarterback,” Tennison said. “He really plays better than a lot of these seniors I’ve seen on Saturdays.”
The nation’s No. 11 tight end is hoping to have a similar impact in his freshman season, but there will be competition as the Tide have a commitment from fellow Texan prospect Kedrick James. The two recruits have met before, and Tennison believes if he chose Alabama, their games will complement one another.
Tennison has also heard from 5-star offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood, 4-star linebacker VanDarius Cowan and 4-star quarterback Mac Jones — the three best recruiters Alabama has committed to it. If you’re a major priority for the Alabama staff, it’s highly likely you’ve heard from at least one of those three commits. Side note: That’s another prospect Leatherwood is helping Alabama recruit. Would he really be thinking about flipping if he’s recruiting this hard for the Tide?
— Mac Jones (@macjones2017) July 22, 2016
The main message he has heard from those three prospects is the reason why they committed to Alabama is because it felt like a second home.
“Going away for three to four years and being away from home for that long, the message that stuck with me the most is that you’re coming to a competitive environment, but at the same time, you work your butt off every day, but you’re with a family,” Tennison said.
As far as his upcoming visit this weekend to Tuscaloosa, Tennison said he’s most looking forward to seeing a Crimson Tide win.
“I was raised a (Texas) Longhorn and to hate A&M, so that’s always exciting,” Tennison said. “I’m just excited to see Alabama in person once again.”
Florida staff visits two Alabama commitments
Florida is using its bye week to recruit its top recruiting priorities, and two of the prospects Gators coaches saw on Tuesday were Alabama commits.
According to SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi, 5-star wide receiver Jerry Jeudy received a visit from Florida wide receivers coach Kerry Dixon II and 3-star junior college cornerback Jhavonte Dean was seen by linebackers coach Randy Shannon. Alabama athlete commit Chadarius Townsend was visited by Florida defensive coordinator Geoff Collins on Monday.
Those three Alabama commits chose the Crimson Tide over the Gators when they originally committed. If I were to choose one of those commits who could possibly flip his commitment to Florida, it would be Townsend. He’s been most open about visiting other schools despite Alabama being his dream school since he can remember.
Townsend also recently told SEC Country that Florida has worked hard to flip him away from Alabama.
Jeudy and Dean are long shots to change their commitments.
Quick note on Todd Harris
I spoke with 4-star safety target Todd Harris almost two weeks ago, but our own Sam Spiegelman saw him at Plaquemine (La.) High School on Tuesday for the recruit’s Under Armour All-American ceremony.
Things are still very much the same with Harris — Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss are the big players in the nation’s No. 9 safety’s recruitment.
He told Spiegelman that he’s going to visit Alabama for the Iron Bowl next month, and possibly visit once again in January. What’s interesting about that is that Harris is set to announce his commitment Jan. 1 at the Under Armour game. I confirmed with Harris that the plan is to commit at the game, but he will continue taking visits after that announcement.
Harris is one of Alabama’s main safety priorities along with 4-star target DeAngelo Gibbs, who will take an official visit to Tuscaloosa this weekend, and 4-star recruit Devon Hunter. Depending on what LSU’s coaching situation looks like, it’s possible Alabama could flip 5-star talent JaCoby Stevens, but it’s unlikely as of right now.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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