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.
Buggs talks Alabama
Isaiah Buggs hasn’t visited Tuscaloosa yet, but he remains highly interested in Alabama. That’s a good thing for the Crimson Tide’s chances because if he does end up taking an official visit, which he is expected to, Alabama could become a probable college choice for him.
Buggs, a 4-star defensive end from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, told SEC Country’s Sam Spiegelman that he sees a big need for defensive linemen in the Class of 2017.
“They’re losing everyone on the defensive line over there, so it would be a great opportunity for me if I go there,” Buggs said.
He remains a top priority for the Alabama staff but expecting him to sign with the Tide at this time wouldn’t be a wise prediction because he hasn’t visited once. He’s visited his other top schools (Auburn, LSU and Ole Miss) before but still hasn’t made his way to Tuscaloosa.
The 6-foot-5, 280-pound prospect hears from Alabama often and was nothing but complimentary of the Tide staff.
“Alabama is a great school,” Buggs said. “They got a great head coach and a great coaching staff over there. The coaches there … man it’s a good program over there.”
LSU was considered the favorite for his commitment before Les Miles was fired by the school. Buggs, who is originally from Ruston, La., tweeted shortly after the news broke that Miles had been fired that he needed to start “looking at things differently.”
The Tigers staff wasted no time reaching out to one of their top recruiting targets.
“They got in touch with me and told me to stay focused and continue to be the guy that I am,” Buggs said. “They just want me to leave it on the field every time. Coach (Ed) Orgeron, Coach (Bradley Dale) Peveto — they called me and told me to stay focused and stay humble, that’s all. I’m one of their top recruits, so they find a way to get in touch with me. I just stay strong and believe that God will lead me in the right direction.”
In addition to Buggs, Alabama is targeting 4-star prospects LaBryan Ray, Aubrey Solomon, Phidarian Mathis, Elijah Conliffe and Ryan Johnson on the defensive line in this recruiting class.
Johnson breaks school record
Alabama linebacker commit Gary Johnson, a 4-star prospect from Dodge City (Kan.) Community College, broke that school’s tackle record this weekend, according to his linebackers coach Michael Starkey.
The previous record at the school was 176 and Johnson has 179 tackles in his career. How impressive of a stat is that? Consider the fact that Johnson broke the record in just 18 games.
Johnson remains a priority for the Alabama staff, but he previously told SEC Country that he’s only 70 percent committed to the Tide. It’s odd, though, because he has also said that Alabama is his dream school.
Johnson is expected to take official visits elsewhere, but he hasn’t scheduled any yet. His recruitment is currently a mystery.
If Johnson did decide to reopen his recruitment, expect Alabama to put the full-court press on 4-star prospect Jacob Phillips, who took an official visit to Tuscaloosa this past weekend.
— Michael Starkey (@DC3CoachStarkey) October 4, 2016
Benton receives Under Armour jersey
Markail Benton, a 4-star linebacker from Central High School (Phenix City, Ala.), showed up to his Under Armour All-American jersey ceremony wearing a white, collared Alabama polo, showing everyone in attendance he’s still firmly committed to the Crimson Tide.
Benton, who committed to Alabama this summer, will be one of several Crimson Tide commits/targets playing in the prestigious all-star game on New Year’s Day. Alabama commits Alex Leatherwood, Dylan Moses and Jerry Jeudy will play alongside Benton, while top targets Isaiah Wilson, DeAngelo Gibbs, Tyler Shelvin, Phidarian Mathis, LaBryan Ray, Anthony McFarland, Todd Harris, Jedrick Wills, Chris Allen and Ryan Johnson will also play.
Benton is one of four linebackers committed to Alabama in the Class of 2017, as Moses, Johnson and VanDarius Cowan are the others. Benton is scheduled to enroll at Alabama in May.
— All-America Game (@AllAmericaGame) October 4, 2016
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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