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 the nation’s No. 3 safety in the 2019 class.
Jaylen McCollough still high on Alabama
Alabama, Georgia and Florida State. That’s who Jaylen McCollough is strongly focusing on at this time, but it’s the Crimson Tide who seem to have more momentum than the other two schools at this time.
McCollough, a 4-star safety from Hillgrove High School (Powder Springs, Ga.), attended Alabama’s opener against Florida State at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, where he got a close-up look at two of his top schools.
“For Alabama, Minkah [Fitzpatrick] and Ronnie Harrison really impressed me with how they played,” McCollough told SEC Country. “Defensively, Alabama never fails to impress me with just how they fly around and get to the ball as a team. Coach [Nick] Saban and coach [Jeremy] Pruitt have always had a strong defense, and that stands out to me.”
The nation’s No. 3 safety in the 2019 class hasn’t decided if he’ll be at Alabama’s home opener this weekend against Fresno State, but the fact that he’s even thinking about making the drive to Tuscaloosa when it’s clearly not going to be a competitive game shows just how much he’s feeling the Tide right now.
He even made two trips to Tuscaloosa in a span of five days over the summer when he traveled for a camp and then came back for the Champions Cookout days later.
“It’s just a fun place to be, and I love going there,” McCollough said. “The atmosphere and the people are great. It’s just a different feeling once you get down to Tuscaloosa.”
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound prospect said Alabama “might” be the school that’s recruiting him the hardest. It’s either ‘Bama or Ohio State, he said. Both of those schools are in daily communication with him. He said with Alabama, the coaching staff is constantly inviting him to campus for events, and he obliged, for the most part, over the summer.
McCollough speaks frequently with Pruitt; offensive line coach Brent Key, his primary recruiter; and defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley. Ansley already has a plan for McCollough if he decided to commit to the Tide.
“Talking to Coach Ansley, he says I’m a big aspect of what they are trying to do in the future,” McCollough said. “He has already told me he wants me at a certain weight [210 pounds] and positions I’ll play at, so the depth chart really does play a factor into whatever school I commit to.”
Heading into next season, the depth chart he speaks of will be thin, especially at cornerback with Anthony Averett and Levi Wallace exhausting eligibility. McCollough isn’t being recruited primarily at safety by Alabama. The coaching staff believes he has the versatility to play anywhere in the secondary, much like Fitzpatrick.
That’s what makes McCollough a very appealing prospect for the top college football teams in the country. So, what can Alabama do at this point to separate itself from Florida State and Georgia?
“Just continue to be Alabama and do what they do,” McCollough said. “Alabama is a really great program. Just looking at what they have done in the past — they win. They produce NFL talent and their players always have success.”
McCollough said he’s planning on making his commitment at some point between December 2017 and July 2018. As of now, I fully expect him to choose Alabama when he makes his commitment.
Nadab Joseph committing soon?
Nadab Joseph, a 4-star cornerback from Miami Norland High School (Miami Gardens, Fla.), was one of the numerous elite recruits who visited Atlanta for Alabama’s season opener against Florida State. He also is one of several prospects who are strongly considering both schools.
Ever since Joseph de-committed from LSU a month ago, Alabama has been viewed as the favorite to land his next commitment. The Crimson Tide’s performance inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium impressed the elite recruit.
“From the beginning to the end, man, that game was lit,” Joseph said. “Alabama is definitely in a good position with me.”
So, this tweet should be good news for Alabama if he’s committing soon:
Will be making my decision soon. I'll keep y'all posted on date
— Nadab Joseph (@nadabjoseph) September 7, 2017
It honestly was surprising that Joseph didn’t just flip to Alabama when he de-committed from LSU. But, the nation’s No. 21 cornerback isn’t saying Alabama is on top right now.
“Right now, it’s really a three-way tie between Alabama, LSU and Georgia,” Joseph said. “I just want to wait until I get on each school’s campus for my official visit.”
Joseph, who will use that official visit on Nov. 4 to see Alabama host LSU, is one of the team’s top cornerback targets along with Tyson Campbell, Patrick Surtain Jr., Josh Jobe, Kyler McMichael and Alabama cornerback commit Jalyn Armour-Davis.
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