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Ranking 10 likeliest commitments for Alabama football in 2019 class
Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. In this edition, we talk the latest with the 10 likeliest commitments for Alabama.
The likeliest commitments for Alabama in 2019 class
Alabama has 12 commitments and the nation’s No. 1 class for the 2019 recruiting cycle. I expect the Crimson Tide to have the No. 1 class come February when National Signing Day is over.
These are the players I am most confident in picking the Tide when they make their decisions (from most likely to least likely).
If you read SEC Country’s feature story on Will Reichard last Friday, you’ll understand why family is so important to him. Because of Alabama’s proximity to his home, the Crimson Tide should land Reichard’s commitment when he makes his decision before May 24. He also doesn’t care about Joseph Bulovas’ excellent performance during the A-Day game, so that is something to note, too.
He thinks Jeff Banks is the best special teams coordinator in college football. When you add all that up, Reichard is a clear pick to choose the Tide.
Antonio Alfano is set to announce his commitment this Friday. Alfano is down to Alabama, Georgia and Penn State. This recruitment has been trending the Tide’s way since his visit to Tuscaloosa last month.
One of the biggest questions Alfano had about Alabama on that trip was whether he had a chance to play early. The coaching staff broke down the depth chart to him and reminded him that the Tide failed to sign a true defensive end in the 2018 class. Tevita Musika is strictly a nose guard and Stephon Wynn and Christian Barmore are defensive tackles. Isaiah Buggs and Johnny Dwight will exhaust their eligibility after this season and Raekwon Davis is a likely candidate to declare early for the NFL draft. Playing time for a 2019 defensive lineman is there.
He also has close relationships with Alabama assistants Josh Gattis, Tosh Lupoi and Craig Kuligowski. I think the biggest thing with the Tide’s chances with Alfano is he told me that he knows if he went there, the staff will turn him into a “monster” and likely a top draft pick.
If nothing changes before Friday, the Tide should land his commitment.
Clay Webb, 5-star C, Oxford (Ala.)
Clay Webb has been trending toward Alabama for more than a year, but he has never named the Crimson Tide his leader. I just think Webb is different from a lot of other recruits. I’ve talked to Webb numerous times and I know that he can’t care any less about stories written on him, his ranking or what the buzz is on his recruitment.
But two major things Alabama has going for itself with Webb is his relationship with 5-star tackle Pierce Quick and offensive line coach Brent Key. Quick is one of Webb’s best friends, and of all the coaches he communicates with, he’s closest to Key.
Quick is locked in with his commitment and if Key doesn’t leave for a different job, I think Webb is going to end up choosing Alabama.
Christian Harris, 4-star ILB, University Lab (Baton Rouge, La.)
Christian Harris is one of Alabama’s top inside linebacker targets in the 2019 class. Each time Harris has visited Tuscaloosa this year he has been close to committing. Alabama publicly led for Harris at one point and now he is hesitant to name a leader.
Whether he says it, Alabama is clearly the favorite here. LSU was the school he grew up wanting to play for, but the Tigers want him on offense and he recently told SEC Country that he was leaning toward playing defense.
Jaylen McCollough, 4-star S, Hillgrove (Powder Springs, Ga.)
Jaylen McCollough has visited Tuscaloosa about 10 times, which is more than any other school he has been to. Alabama at one point was in his public top 3 along with Georgia and Ohio State. He has since added more schools, but Alabama should be the team to beat.
The coaching staff has gone back and forth with McCollough about whether he can commit. He can. With as many trips as he’s taken to Tuscaloosa, I have a hard time not picturing this class without McCollough in it.
Byron Young, 4-star DE, West Jones (Miss.)
Byron Young has gone back and forth with naming Alabama his leader. The Crimson Tide led earlier this year then he backed off his comments, only to now say they lead once again.
Young is very close with his primary recruiter, Pete Golding. Golding has some excellent connections in Mississippi, and they should pay off for the Tide with at least one of the Mississippi defensive linemen.
Devonta Lee, 4-star WR, Amite (La.)
Devonta Lee’s recruitment likely will come down to Alabama or LSU. He is expected to announce his commitment on National Signing Day. Lee is very close with sophomore-to-be wide receiver DeVonta Smith. Lee looks at Smith as an older brother.
Lee told SEC Country that Alabama is recruiting him as an athlete, as he’s also a talented safety. I think he’ll end up at receiver if he does choose the Tide.
Devonta Lee’s teammate, Ishmael Sopsher, also is a top priority for Alabama. Sopsher and Lee took numerous trips to Tuscaloosa when DeVonta Smith was going through his recruitment, so both players are familiar with Tuscaloosa.
Sopsher’s interest level in the Crimson Tide fell off last year because of undisclosed reasons with former defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. Now that Pruitt is gone, Sopsher is back to highly considering Alabama. He visited for the A-Day game last month and should be back on campus before the end of summer.
Sopsher won’t make his college decision until National Signing Day, and this recruitment should also turn out to be an Alabama-LSU battle. The one thing that could make Sopsher’s recruitment interesting is if a school offers a scholarship to his older brother, Rodney, a junior college defensive lineman. The brothers want to attend the same school. Rodney currently has no offers.
Jaren Handy, 4-star DE, Perry Central (New Augusta, Miss.)
Jaren Handy is one of those recruits who falls in love with a school every time he visits, and he has realized that. That’s why he has held off on naming a leader recently because he would always change it.
Alabama is in good shape with Handy, though. He grew up a Crimson Tide fan and calls the school his dream university. Raekwon Davis is his role model, and he got a chance to meet him when he was on campus last month. Handy believes he can fill in for Davis if he ends up declaring for the NFL draft after this season.
Darnell Wright, 5-star T, Huntington (W.V.)
Darnell Wright has visited Alabama three times. His last visit came last month for A-Day. Two sources told SEC Country after that visit that they felt like Alabama was the team to beat.
Wright isn’t planning on making a commitment until January, but, much like Webb, his relationship with offensive line coach Key is what has the Tide in good position here.
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