Alabama is on the hunt for its seventh straight recruiting championship. Join us here at 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.
Smith not committing Monday night
Alabama was expected to add a big-time commitment Monday night in 4-star wide receiver Devonta Smith, but the Crimson Tide will have to wait a bit longer to get the news that’s been expected since January.
Smith, who attends Amite (La.) High School, pushed back his commitment date due to the devastating flooding in Louisiana, according to his coach Zephaniah Powell. A new date has not been set yet.
There are definitely more important things in the world than finding out where the elite wide receiver will play college football, so I definitely commend Smith and the Amite coaching staff for focusing on the safety of those in his home state.
From a recruiting standpoint, this shouldn’t affect Alabama too much, though it does give Smith’s two other finalists, LSU and Miami, more time to make last-ditch efforts to sway him.
According to sources, the Crimson Tide remain confident they will land Smith when he makes his announcement.
Projecting Alabama to sign two top recruits in the near future
I sat down with Simon Rose of CineSport to preview both Smith’s and 4-star tackle Jedrick Wills’ commitments.
Wills is expected to announce his commitment by the end of this week. As of now, sources maintain that it’s an Alabama-Kentucky battle with Notre Dame being on the outside looking in. The Crimson Tide have become the favorites over the last month.
RB visiting Tuscaloosa for Auburn game
Alabama already has two running back commitments in 5-star Najee Harris and 4-star Brian Robinson, but it’s possible the Crimson Tide add a third to the group.
Anthony McFarland, a 4-star all-purpose running back from DeMatha Catholic High School (Hyattsville, Md.), is at the top of the wish list. McFarland told SEC Country at The Opening last month that Alabama would be on top if he had to name a leader. He also said that the commitments of Harris and Robinson don’t affect where he stands with Alabama.
“I don’t get into stuff like that because I’m a versatile player,” McFarland said. “I can play any position on the offense — slot receiver, even tight end if they need me — I can do anything.”
He told Rivals’ Adam Friedman that he will visit Alabama for the Iron Bowl game this November. What’s important about that visit is it’s likely to be an unofficial visit. He told SEC Country at The Opening that the trip would be an official visit.
But more importantly, McFarland told Friedman he’s likely going to take an official visit to Alabama after the season finishes. That’s great news for Alabama in its pursuit of McFarland because the more visits an elite recruit takes to Tuscaloosa, the more likely Alabama is at getting that player committed.
Again, with numbers tight, it still remains seen if the Tide will sign three running backs in the Class of 2017.
Note on OL making his commitment Monday
Obinna Eze, a 4-star offensive tackle from Davidson Academy (Nashville), will announce his commitment on Monday. Alabama is a finalist, but Eze does not hold a committable offer from the Crimson Tide.
So, if you see articles later on about Memphis, the supposed favorite, beating out Alabama for a recruit, realize that he could not commit to Alabama at this time.
The Crimson Tide have four offensive line commits in the Class of 2017: 5-star tackle Alex Leatherwood, the nation’s No. 1 junior college player in tackle Elliot Baker, 4-star guard Kendall Randolph and 3-star guard/center Hunter Brannon. As mentioned above, Alabama is expected to land a commitment from 4-star tackle Jedrick Wills this week.
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.