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.
Williams has Alabama on top
The nation’s No. 2 athlete in the Class of 2018, Xavier Williams, raised some eyebrows on Wednesday after he tweeted at Alabama quarterback commit Tua Tagovailoa that the Hawaiian standout will be throwing him touchdown passes soon.
As it turns out, Williams told SEC Country that Alabama is his leader.
“That’s the only staff I can honestly say that I talk to every day, faithfully,” Williams said. “Me and (Alabama wide receivers coach Billy) Napier talk every day. They also talk to my parents because they’re just as important in this process as I am. They’re really showing me love.”
The 4-star wide receiver from Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood, Fla.) said Miami and Florida are showing lots of interest in him, too, but those two programs are not doing it as well as Alabama is.
“It’s really anyone’s game, but Alabama is really winning the battle right about now,” Williams said. “I’m a blessed kid with over 30 offers, and out of the rest of those schools battling for me, Alabama is making me a priority. Miami has told me that, but Alabama is actually showing me I’m a priority for them.”
Williams is trying to make it to one of Alabama’s home games before the season ends, but his high school team is gearing up for the playoffs, so it’s looking difficult for the top-1o0 prospect to make it to Tuscaloosa.
Even without trekking to Alabama recently, Williams has been impressed with what he’s seen out of the Crimson Tide this season, especially the freshmen who have made an impact.
“Everyone claims Alabama doesn’t play freshmen, but they have freshmen on the field making plays for them,” Williams said. “That’s the big deal in my recruitment — playing early alongside receiving a great education.”
The 6-foot, 180-pound prospect is rated as the state of Florida’s No. 14 prospect in the Class of 2018.
He is planning on making a commitment next spring or summer before the start of his senior season at Chaminade-Madonna.
Coaches on the road Friday night
Because of the bye week, all of Alabama’s assistants will be on the road recruiting this weekend. Here are the expected recruits each of the Tide coaches expect to see:
Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin
- Najee Harris, 5-star running back, Alabama commit
Antioch (Calif.) High School hosts Heritage.
Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt
- DeAngelo Gibbs, 4-star safety
- Owen Pappoe, 2019 4-star linebacker
Both recruits play for Grayson High School. Grayson will be on the road Friday as it takes on Hoover (Ala.) High School. Hoover is where Pruitt got his coaching start.
Offensive line coach Mario Cristobal and wide receivers coach Billy Napier
- Jerry Jeudy, 5-star wide receiver, Alabama commit
Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High School will travel to Piper High School.
Outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi
- Tua Tagovailoa, 4-star quarterback, Alabama commit
- Najee Harris
Lupoi saw Tagovailoa on Thursday night in Honolulu. He and Kiffin will be at Harris’ game Friday night.
Defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley
- AJ Terrell, 4-star cornerback, Clemson commit
- Xavier McKinney, 4-star safety, former Alabama commit
Terrell and Westlake High School (Atlanta) host Wheeler. McKinney’s Roswell Hornets host Woodstock High School.
Offensive line coach Brent Key
- Mac Jones, 4-star quarterback, Alabama commit
- Shaun Wade, 5-star cornerback, Ohio State commit
- Tyreke Johnson, 2018 5-star defensive back
Jones’ Bolles Bulldogs (Jacksonville, Fla.) host Raines. Both Wade and Johnson play for Trinity Christian. The Conquerors will face Episcopal High School.
Defensive line coach Karl Dunbar
- Malik Herring, 4-star defensive end
Herring plays for Mary Persons High School (Forsyth, Ga.), and it hosts Perry on Friday night.
Running backs coach Burton Burns
- Cam Akers, 5-star running back, former Alabama commit
Akers’ Clinton (Miss.) Arrows hosts Greenville High School.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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