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The likeliest recruits to choose the Tide
There are still several commits to come for Alabama as we inch closer to National Signing Day. The Tide currently have 21 commitments and are likely to sign anywhere from 27-28 players in the Class of 2017.
In order are the recruits I am most confident in with predicting to Alabama at this time:
Devonta Smith, 4-star WR, Amite, La.
If Smith doesn’t commit to Alabama, I think I’d be more shocked than I was to see Dylan Moses commit coming off an official visit for the Kentucky game.
Since Smith de-committed from Georgia in January, Alabama has been considered the overwhelming favorite for his signature mainly because of the relationships he has at the school — the primary one being with assistant director of player personnel Sam Petitto.
Petitto got his coaching start at Amite High School, which is where Smith attends. Though Smith wasn’t in high school at that time, Petitto was a very important community figure and instrumental in Smith’s upbringing. He helped mentor both Smith and Alabama freshman cornerback Shyheim Carter.
Smith de-committed from Georgia the same day it was announced Petitto had been hired by Alabama.
The nation’s No. 10 wide receiver was back in Tuscaloosa this past weekend for Alabama’s game against Kentucky. It’s one of several trips he’s made to Alabama over the past several months. Even though he’s only an hour away from LSU, he’s visited Tuscaloosa more than Baton Rouge.
He’s expected to make his commitment on National Signing Day, but it’s very possible he ends his recruitment before then.
LaBryan Ray, 4-star DE, Madison, Ala.
Like Smith, it would be a giant shock if Ray didn’t end up in Alabama’s class when he decides to make his decision, which is not scheduled just yet.
The Crimson Tide rarely miss on one of their top in-state priorities, and I can’t see Ray choosing any school other than Alabama.
He’s very good friends with 3-star defensive back Kyriq McDonald and 4-star offensive guard Kendall Randolph, both of whom are committed to Alabama. He’s told SEC Country before that those guys being in Alabama’s class helps the Tide’s chances even more because he’s been friends with them ever since they were little kids.
The amount of times Ray has visited Tuscaloosa can’t be counted on two hands. Alabama has also hosted him on campus much more than any other school in the country.
Alabama’s biggest competition for Ray is Tennessee, but the gap between the two schools should be considered very wide.
Elijah Conliffe, 4-star DT, Hampton, Va.
Conliffe is expected to visit Alabama for the Texas A&M game on Oct. 22, and it’s very likely that a commitment comes on that trip or shortly after it.
He recently told SEC Country that Alabama still leads for his commitment. The gap is so big that he couldn’t name a school behind Alabama and said he wasn’t sure how any of the other schools he’s considering could leapfrog Bama for the top spot.
The 4-star recruit made it one of his biggest goals to receive an offer from Alabama after not receiving one from the Tide last year. He eventually picked one up this summer and named Alabama his leader shortly after.
It’s very possible he could be the next recruit to commit to Alabama.
Major Tennison, 3-star TE, Bullard, Texas
Tennison was on commit watch this summer when he visited Tuscaloosa in July for Alabama’s invite-only cookout. He chose to not commit at the time because he had just de-committed from Texas a few days earlier.
Now that the months have passed, Tennison will be back on commit watch when he takes an official visit to Alabama on Oct. 22 for the Texas A&M game.
Since July, Tennison has gone silent with his recruitment, but Alabama still is in good position to land him when he makes his commitment.
The Tide already have a tight end commitment in the Class of 2017 in 3-star prospect Kedrick James, but the plan has been to sign two at the position. Tennison is the clear favorite for the second spot.
Phidarian Mathis, 4-star DT, Monroe, La.
Mathis recently told SEC Country that Alabama reaches out to him every single day, and that matters to him because it shows how badly the Crimson Tide want him.
He also said that each time he’s visited Tuscaloosa, it has felt like home. That’s important because Mathis said he’s looking for a place that reminds him of Monroe, La.
LSU is the biggest competition for Mathis, but the Tigers have other targets they are trying to get ahead of him. Because of that, I expect Alabama to sign Mathis when he makes his commitment after his high school season.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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