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Harris’ mother responds to report from a few days ago
Najee Harris, Alabama’s prized running back commitment in the Class of 2017, reportedly made some remarks to USA Today a few days ago that definitely seemed odd in nature.
For one, Harris does not like talking about his recruitment, and when he does, he usually just says he’s 100 percent committed to Alabama and that’s it. This time, he reportedly said his mind was ‘not 100 percent set on Alabama.’
That obviously got Alabama fans buzzing because he has told the Crimson Tide staff otherwise and there hasn’t been too much concern with a possible flip.
His mother, Tianna Hicks, in an interview with 247Sports’ Hank South, clarified those comments.
“My school — that’s Alabama — that’s where we are committed now, and that’s where we plan on staying,” Hicks said. “If anything changes, I’ll tell you it will be something I’m not aware of. For right now, as far as we are all concerned, him too, we are still committed to Alabama, same commitment, 100 percent. He just doesn’t want to talk about it right now.”
His mother has been a big fan of Alabama since Harris committed to the Tide over a year ago. She’s given Najee her blessing to attend the school.
Once again, time is on Alabama’s side because he is an early enrollee. It’s going to be extremely difficult for Harris to squeeze in all five official visits by the time the dead period rolls around in the middle of December.
While it’s always concerning to see your top commitments take visits elsewhere, I don’t see Harris flipping.
Akers talks Alabama
It’s crazy to think about, but at one time, Alabama had both the nation’s No. 1 running back in Najee Harris and the No. 2 tailback in Cam Akers committed in the Class of 2017.
Akers decided to de-commit from Alabama in March, citing his desire to make sure he was making the right decision. Since then, he has still maintained communication with Alabama, but he’s not expected to rejoin the class.
One of the main reasons behind the scenes for his de-commitment was because the Crimson Tide had Harris committed as well. Other schools he is considering have top running backs committed, but none of them have someone on Harris’ level.
Akers blew off that notion that who’s committed where matters when it comes time to his own recruitment in an interview on Wednesday.
“Who’s committed where doesn’t really play a role in my process,” Akers told Bleacher Report’s Damon Sayles. “Most schools already have a running back committed. Some have two committed. I’m going to go where I think it best fits me.”
Just a few weeks ago, a source told our Georgia reporter Jeff Sentell that the Bulldogs, Tennessee and LSU were in the best position to sign Akers when he does decide to commit. Ohio State and Florida State remain in the mix, too.
The U.S. Army All-American has only one official visit scheduled thus far and that’s to Alabama next weekend for the team’s game against Texas A&M.
Despite the visit, Akers re-committing to Alabama remains a long shot. The interesting question is if Harris does decide to flip his commitment later on, would Akers’ interest level in Alabama spike once again?
What’s the latest with Ruggs?
One of the most-asked questions I get from Alabama fans is what’s going on with 4-star wide receiver Henry Ruggs III? Ruggs, who delayed his Aug. 1 commitment date, has kept a low profile since that time.
He’s taken visits elsewhere, most notably to Auburn, which he has been to multiple times in the past couple of months. He’s also taken a trip to Florida State. I’ve been to each of Alabama’s home games, and I have not spotted him on the sidelines.
Is that a big deal? Sure. But he has still visited Alabama more than every other school, and it’s not really close. He could be visiting these other schools to make sure Tuscaloosa is where he’d like to call home for the next four years.
At one time, Ruggs to Alabama was the biggest lock in the Class of 2017. Now, things are not so certain.
“(We’re) still working it,” one source close to Alabama told SEC Country.
The nation’s No. 29 wide receiver is expected to take an official visits to Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Penn State at some point. He has previously said that he would like to make a commitment after he takes all five trips.
I will be in attendance for Ruggs’ game this Friday when Robert E. Lee High School (Montgomery, Ala.) takes on Central High School (Phenix City, Ala.), so I hope to have a full update on where things stand with him after the game. Central is where 4-star Alabama linebacker commit Markail Benton and major 2018 wide receiver target Justyn Ross play.
Leatherwood sets final decision date
Alex Leatherwood has been committed to Alabama since June 2015, but a final decision on where he’ll play college football is coming in two months.
At his Under Armour All-American jersey presentation on Wednesday, Leatherwood told reporters in attendance when he’ll be announcing his final decision.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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