Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. Today, we talk the latest with Alabama’s chances of flipping an Ohio State quarterback commitment.
Emory Jones still talking to Alabama
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. — Alabama is still searching for its Class of 2018 quarterback. Emory Jones, the nation’s No. 3 dual-threat prospect from Heard County High School (Franklin, Ga.), appears to be the likeliest top quarterback in the current recruiting class to choose the Tide, even though he’s saying he’s 100 percent committed to Ohio State.
“Everything is all good [with Ohio State],” Jones told SEC Country after his team lost to Saraland (Ala.) High School, 14-10, on Saturday. “I talk to them every day. Our relationship has grown so much more over the last year. I’m good with them right now.”
Though Jones is saying all of the right things to the media regarding his commitment to OSU, there is some reason for the Buckeyes to be concerned. Jones took a secret visit to Tuscaloosa last month without telling the Ohio State staff in advance, which raised eyebrows. If Jones wanted to visit Georgia Southern or Georgia State, I’m sure there would be no worries from Ohio State, but it’s Alabama we’re talking about. The Crimson Tide have shown over the years that they can get almost any recruit they want to sign with them.
Shortly after secretly visiting Alabama, Jones flew to Columbus to attend Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights camp, where the trip to Tuscaloosa was a popular topic of conversation between he and the Buckeyes’ staff.
“They didn’t like [the visit to ‘Bama],” Jones said. “They said they were disappointed in me and wanted me to talk to them about everything I do. They want me to shut it down, to be their quarterback for the class, but I might take some [visits]. I’ve not decided yet.”
Jones did confirm that he will be in attendance at Alabama’s opener against Florida State. If you missed SEC Country’s list of recruits who are expected to be at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this Saturday, check it out here. Besides that visit, Jones is planning to attend Ohio State’s game against Penn State on Oct. 28. That trip to Columbus is the only official visit he has planned thus far.
Expect Alabama to get an official visit at some point this fall, too.
“Alabama … it’s the only school I’m still talking to,” Jones said. “They check on me every week. They just want me to get back up there and spend more time with them. I don’t have that good of a relationship with them.”
What makes Alabama an appealing option for Jones if he were to decide to back off his pledge to Ohio State?
“I like the way they play Jalen Hurts,” Jones said. “I just want to see how they do this year. [Brian] Daboll is saying they’re probably going to put more NFL, more pro-style stuff [in the offense]. That’s a good thing.”
From talking with Land of 10’s Jeremy Birmingham, who covers Ohio State recruiting for our sister site, there’s little concern on the Buckeyes’ end on Jones actually de-committing.
He’s been committed to Ohio State for more than a year now.
“I think it’s a matter of a kid who wants to experience some of the things that the recruiting process has to offer,” Birmingham told SEC Country. “I don’t think he’s genuinely interested in attending another school, though. There are certainly programs out there, Alabama being one of them, that Ohio State isn’t going to be thrilled about him visiting.”
There is some buzz out there that several of Jones’ family members want him to stay close to home for college, which would be a good thing for the Tide’s chances of flipping him. But, again, Jones seems like he’s locked in with the Buckeyes.
“I’ll probably go on visits and stuff like that,” Jones said. “But it’d take a lot for me to de-commit from Ohio State. It’s my dream school. It’s what I’ve dreamed [of doing] for so long and I’ve got that opportunity.”
Other than Jones, Tanner McKee, the nation’s No. 2 pro-style quarterback, remains an option for Alabama. He will take an official visit to Tuscaloosa in November for the LSU game. McKee won’t play college football until 2020, though. He will go on a two-year Mormon mission after graduating from high school. If the Tide don’t land Jones or McKee, there aren’t any other major quarterback targets out there that Alabama is pursuing.
It’ll be interesting to see what the team does if McKee or Jones don’t wind up in crimson.
Terrace Marshall includes Alabama in top 5
The nation’s No. 1 wide receiver in the 2018 class released an updated top 5 late Sunday night, and Alabama made the cut.
Top 5 Schools
Alabama, Texas A&M, Texas Longhorns, LSU & Florida State.
Please respect my decision. #M2B
— Terrace Marshall Jr. (@Terracemjr) August 28, 2017
Terrace Marshall, a 5-star prospect from Parkway High School (Bossier City, La.), wasn’t considering the Crimson Tide earlier this summer, mainly because of his former high school coach.
David Feaster, a noted LSU fan, was fired after his comments on a Louisiana radio station about not allowing Alabama coaches at the school because of its recruitment of former Parkway quarterback Brandon Harris.
Marshall is now considering Alabama once again. He’s expected to take an official visit to Tuscaloosa this fall. Don’t be surprised if he visits for the LSU game. The Tigers remain the favorite to land Marshall, but it’s surely interesting how Alabama has worked its way back in the mix here.
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