Five-star taking long look at Tide

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Alabama will host several players participating at Nike's The Opening for camp this coming weekend, but not many are rated higher than Scout's No. 7 overall prospect Kendall Sheffield. The cornerback details his plan to spend several days in Tuscaloosa, a unique relationship he has on the roster and more.

Once Texas A&M joined the SEC, there was a feeling that league programs like Alabama, LSU and others would have more success than previously in the Lone Star State in battling traditional powers like Texas and Oklahoma for recruits.

It has come to fruition, and with the Crimson Tide in particular, there has been a recent assault on Texan cornerbacks. Nick Saban and company landed one of the best in the 2013 class in Maurice Smith, and snagged the state's top overall player and cornerback Tony Brown in 2014.

In the current cycle, Kendall Sheffield holds the top spot, and the two previous Alabama signees from the state are two of the more familiar older prospects to the five-star.

“I know both of them, Maurice and Tony,” he said. “They say I can play both sports there, and Saban puts them (cornerbacks) in the league. We all run track.”

The next question was about which of the three was better at each sport, and naturally the 6-foot, 180-pounder out of Missouri City (Tex.) Marshall High had the same answer. “Me.”

Alabama sees similar in Scout’s No. 2 cornerback and No. 7 overall player in America, and it will get its shot to host him for just the second time this coming weekend.

“I’m taking a visit to Alabama on the 13th, and that’s about all for visits,” Sheffield said of his summer plans. “I’ll probably stay for the whole camp so I can see the full campus this time. I wasn’t able to do that during my first trip there.

“It’s been good with them, I’ve been talking to Coach Saban and Coach [Bo] Davis a lot. They like my size, speed and hips.”

The traits that make the rising-senior a special talent are similar to what the staff said of Brown beforehand, and perhaps ironically, the two have been in communication for some time since.

“I talk to Tony, even since he got to Alabama,” he said. “He recruits me a little bit, and he says he likes it up there. He says it was the best decision he’s made and that Coach Saban is a real strict coach, but a good coach, too.”

Despite the ties to UA, the in-state schools hot on his trail and national powers getting in with him of late, there is no top group for Sheffield. The two-time state hurdling champion from this past year, who has not yet participated while at The Opening because of a minor ankle injury, doesn’t have a concrete visit plan going forward.

Texas' No. 2 2015 talent will take his time with the process.

“I’m really not for sure, I have to get with my dad to see what other visits I’m going to take,” Sheffield said. “I just want to take my time, take all of my visits and see what schools have to offer. I’m going to make my decision at the Under Armour Game.”

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