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.
Most important visitor
One of the biggest needs in the Class of 2017 is safety, and one intriguing prospect at the position will be taking an official visit to Alabama this weekend.
Daniel Wright, a 4-star safety from Boyd Anderson High School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), is committed to Florida State, but his interest in Alabama is high. In fact, Wright said Alabama is his No. 2 school behind Florida State.
He hasn’t been talked about much here at SEC Country because his name hasn’t been floated around until recently, when he expressed a desire to keep his options open. A lot of commits do this now with all of the changes that happen on coaching staffs.
The one positive Alabama has when it comes to Wright’s recruitment is that offensive line coach Mario Cristobal is his recruiter, and he’s one of the best in college football when it comes to getting the players he wants on his team. Cristobal has a strong influence in South Florida, and that should not be understated here.
There are several other candidates in the Class of 2017 to play safety, including 5-star LSU commit JaCoby Stevens; 4-star prospects such as DeAngelo Gibbs, Devon Hunter, Todd Harris and Xavier McKinney; and junior college prospect Johnathan Abram, but none of those players have outwardly expressed that Alabama is their favorite.
Wright will enroll early at his school of choice, so this may be the only chance he has to visit Alabama before the dead period begins on Dec. 12.
Other expected visitors
- Trey Smith, 5-star offensive tackle, Jackson, Tenn. (official visit)
- Jerry Jeudy, Alabama 5-star wide receiver commit, Pompano Beach, Fla. (official visit)
- Tarik Black, 4-star wide receiver, Cheshire, Conn. (official visit)
- Chadarius Townsend, Alabama 4-star athlete commit, Tanner, Ala. (official visit)
- Justin Thomas, LSU 3-star defensive end commit, Spanish Fort, Ala. (official visit)
- Kendall Randolph, Alabama 4-star offensive guard commit, Madison, Ala.
- Brian Robinson, Alabama 4-star running back commit, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
- Kyriq McDonald, Alabama 3-star defensive back commit, Madison, Ala.
- Hunter Brannon, Alabama 3-star center commit, Cullman, Ala.
- Ryan Johnson, 4-star defensive end, Mobile, Ala.
- KJ Henry, 2018 5-star defensive end, Clemmons, N.C.
- Seth Williams, 4-star wide receiver, Cottondale, Ala.
- Amari Gainer, 2018 3-star defensive end, Tallahassee, Fla.
Alabama 2017 class snapshot
Alabama has a good chance to have the nation’s No. 1 class for the seventh straight year, but it’s going to be tough. Ohio State is in the running for several more 5-star prospects, while Alabama is not. However, on paper, this might actually be Alabama’s best class because it has commitments from a top-class running back, two future play-making quarterbacks, a bookend left tackle and more.
Where it ranks?
Alabama’s 2017 class ranks second overall and first in the SEC. It trails only Ohio State for the top spot.
For context purposes, the Tide have 21 pledges, including four 5-star recruits (Najee Harris, Alex Leatherwood, Dylan Moses and Jerry Jeudy), 10 4-star prospects and seven 3-star talents.
As is standard in the Nick Saban era, the majority of Alabama’s commitments are of the blue-chip variety, meaning they are either rated 4- or 5-star prospects. Here’s a look at the top Alabama commits:
- Najee Harris, 5-star RB (Antioch, Calif.)
- Alex Leatherwood, 5-star OT (Pensacola, Fla.)
- Dylan Moses, 5-star LB (Bradenton, Fla.)
- Jerry Jeudy, 5-star WR (Pompano Beach, Fla.)
- Tua Tagovailoa, 4-star QB (Honolulu)
- VanDarius Cowan, 4-star LB (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.)
There’s still plenty of time to go until National Signing Day, but most of Alabama’s class is already full.
Alabama’s newest commitment is 3-star tight end Major Tennison. He took an official visit to Tuscaloosa for the Texas A&M game and ended up committing the day after the Tide rolled over the Aggies. His recruitment is over, as he is no longer taking visits elsewhere.
Who could be next? Two defensive linemen could be Alabama’s next commits as 4-star defensive tackle Elijah Conliffe could decide to announce his decision this month and 4-star defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis is expected to make his decision at some point after his high school season.
The rest of the top targets Alabama is seeking are expected to either make a decision in January or on National Signing Day.
Breakdown by position
QB: 2 of 2
RB: 2 of 2
WR: 2 of 4
TE: 2 of 2
OL: 4 of 4 OR 5
DL: 1 of 4
LB: 3 of 3
JACK: 0 of 1 OR 2
CB: 2 of 2 OR 3
S: 0 of 1
ATH: 1 of 1
K: 1 of 1
LS: 1 of 1
Florida (6): Leatherwood, Moses, Jeudy, Cowan, Jones, Fletcher
Alabama (6): Benton, Robinson, Randolph, Townsend, McDonald, Brannon
Texas (4): Shavers, Tennison, James, Dean
California (2): Harris, Baker
Hawaii (1): Tagovailoa
Arkansas (1): Byers
Arizona (1): Ruiz
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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