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.
Collins has Michigan, Alabama and Georgia tied at the top?
Several readers asked me on Wednesday what I thought of 4-star wide receiver Nico Collins naming Alabama, Michigan and Georgia his tri-leaders in a recent interview with a recruiting website. In short, it’s not mind-blowing.
Last month at The Opening, Collins told me that Alabama was recruiting him harder than ever. The Crimson Tide have been on Collins ever since his 10th-grade year, so that’s definitely saying something.
“Right now, I think it’s getting crazier with them knowing my top group,” Collins said last month. “They’re still trying to get me, so they are bringing the heat. They’ve always been recruiting me hard ever since I was in the 10th grade, which is when they first offered me. Now, I guess they know they have competition — Michigan and Georgia — so they are coming at me harder.”
The state’s No. 3 prospect also said that Alabama was “right there” in his top group alongside Michigan and Georgia. He had declared Michigan his No. 1 school at the time, but the Wolverines’ lead was very slight.
He has also admitted to some recency bias. When I visited him at Clay-Chalkville’s spring game three months ago, he had just visited Ann Arbor.
“I just went there last week, so probably if I go somewhere else, things will change at that point,” Collins said at the time.
For most of his recruitment, the belief was the nation’s No. 13 wide receiver would stay in-state and commit to Alabama at some point. He admitted that the Crimson Tide did hold the lead at one point in his recruitment until he started visiting other places.
“Alabama was there at the top,” Collins said. “That was the only team that showed me the most love back then. They were the leader until I started going on all of these trips out of state and seeing what else was out there.”
The Tide are always going to be a factor for Collins until he ends up making his decision, which he is planning to do on National Signing Day. Make no mistake about it, Alabama would love to have Collins in the Class of 2017. Would it be a surprise to hear Collins name Alabama his leader at some point over the next five months? Absolutely not.
New safety target emerging?
Jeff Sentell of DawgNation caught up with 4-star Ohio State commit Isaiah Pryor Wednesday afternoon for a feature he’s working on about this weekend’s IMG Academy vs. Grayson game, which I’ll be attending. Pryor transferred from Archer High School (Lawenceville, Ga.) to IMG prior to his senior season.
Pryor told Sentell that Alabama is recruiting him as hard as it possibly can. The nation’s No. 4 safety said something similar when SEC Country was down in Bradenton, Fla. for IMG’s media day, but it seems like the Tide have turned up their efforts at flipping the Buckeyes commit.
There is one issue right now that would affect Alabama’s chances. Urban Meyer has a strict “no visit” policy for his commitments, and at this time, Pryor does not know if he’s going to take official visits other than to Ohio State for the Michigan game at the end of the season. If you recall, 5-star cornerback Shaun Wade, who Alabama is trying to flip, is going against Ohio State’s policy and will take official visits elsewhere. One to Alabama is currently being scheduled.
If Pryor follows Wade and takes visits elsewhere, this could get very interesting. Alabama is hoping to get a top-flight safety in this class after the de-commitment of 4-star prospect Xavier McKinney.
Other safety targets to keep an eye on include 4-star prospects Devon Hunter and Todd Harris. Hamsah Nasirildeen, who was a one-time target but did not have a commitable offer, committed to South Carolina last week.
I hope to have much more from Pryor this weekend at the IMG-Grayson game.
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.