Photo by Jason Caldwell

BamaMag tracks the latest developments with Alabama's recruitment of the wide receiver position in the 2017 class

Alabama has a pair of blue-chip wide receivers committed in the class of 2017 but recent developments in the search for more has a lot of big names still on the board at the position. BamaMag members get an updated look at who to know and why.

The Alabama Crimson Tide currently holds the No. 2 spot in the Scout team recruiting rankings and part of the reason is for its stellar wide receiver haul, gaining verbal commitments from two of the top 109 overall senior prospects in four-stars Jerry Jeudy and Tyrell Shavers over the last two months. In-state blue-chip talent Chadarius Townsend is being looked at as either a wide receiver or defensive back, though he most recently said defense is looking like the stronger possibility at the next level.  

Either way, the final wide receiver group will be much bigger, per BamaMag sources. 

Some of the names to monitor among undeclared prospects have changed of late and more-known commodities have had developments within their own recruitment, potentially affecting the numbers and who will ink with Nick Saban's program come national signing day 2017. The latest total tally, as projected every week, for the position sits at four true wideouts (exluding Townsend's pledge).

Committed

http://www.scout.com/player/190983-jerry-jeudy?s=14

http://www.scout.com/player/199971-tyrell-shavers?s=14

Targets

http://www.scout.com/player/198193-devonta-smith?s=14

BamaMag sources have long indicated that five-star Devonta Smith, along with the aforementioned Jeudy, has sat atop the program's wide receiver board for quite some time. Similar sources, as well as additional Scout sources, have also long felt the Crimson Tide was in pole position for the top prospect in Louisiana, who was originally set to commit on August 15. He pushed his decision back, though an additional source said the pick had already been made privately, because of the flooding in his home state. Smith was back on the field Saturday before dropping a bombshell in the recruiting world, detailing plans to make a commitment on February 1 instead. LSU, which has made a large push of late, as well as Miami (Fl), which is led by the coach he once made a verbal commitment to in Mark Richt, remain finalists for his signature. Tennessee was mentioned and many other programs now have ample time to look to make up ground on UA. 

Current BamaMag Projection: Alabama

http://www.scout.com/player/203871-henry-ruggs?s=14

In-state, two-sport star Henry Ruggs continues to be among the most talked about prospects in Alabama. Like Smith, he had an August commitment date set and then backed off. He said he needed more time and while he isn't going to push it all the way to February, he is wanting to take official visits before pulling the trigger. With a current top five of UA, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Penn State, Ruggs has seen each campus and will likely return to some before ending the process. He's been to Tuscaloosa well more than any other campus followed by fellow in-state SEC power Auburn, which should still be considered the program's top threat.

Current BamaMag Projection: Alabama

http://www.scout.com/player/195464-nico-collins?s=14

The only pass-catcher in the Yellowhammer State with more eyes on him than Ruggs is Nico Collins. The Clay-Chalkville star has had a dozen programs among his standouts at different times, something few have discussed, but the current group is headed by Michigan with Georgia on its heels. Alabama comes in somewhere after that, which has been a major topic in the state, though Collins maintains the program remains in consistent contact and in consideration. The best news for any program not coached by Jim Harbaugh in this case is that a commitment isn't expected before the New Year. Collins has admitted fluctuation his list in the past, with Auburn, Clemson, Florida State at or near the top at different times but his family ties to Michigan make the Wolverines seem like a solid bet to be in pole position all the way through the process.

Current BamaMag Projection: Michigan

http://www.scout.com/player/193382-joseph-lewis?s=14

The wildcard among stars in this feature is easily Joseph Lewis. The top wide receiver in America took his first-ever trip to Tuscaloosa last month, only in town for a few hours, but the brief visit was enogh to impact his recruitment. Scout sources say Alabama will also make much more of a push for Lewis now that he's seen campus with positive returns. Should he return to Alabama for an official visit -- perhaps with family at his side, combined with the Lane Kiffin push -- then he would be a prospect for 'Bama fans to keep a much closer eye on that originally considered. Lewis is expected to stay on the West Coast at this point, but his recruitment is also expected to span as long as many of the names previously listed.

Current BamaMag Projection: TBD

http://www.scout.com/player/193659-mark-webb?s=14

If Lewis is the theoretical wildcard, Mark Webb would be the tangibile one. He's mentioned Alabama as his leader as recently as last month, but also maintains he's still a package deal with running back D'Andre Swift, who is set to commit next week. UA expected Smith to visit in late July, but it didn't materialize, seemingly eliminating the Crimson Tide from contention. SEC rival Georgia is the perceived favorite at this stage of the game, a program which has led for Webb at different times, too. While the numbers and timing of the four-star's decision will be interesting to track, it may be as simple as whether or not the package deal with Swift stands after the Philly back comes off the board September 1. 

Current BamaMag Projection: Georgia

http://www.scout.com/player/196495-jaylen-harris?s=14

Before Monday, semi-local Ohio State target Jaylen Harris seemed like staying home would be an easy projection. However, the Buckeyes landed two top wideout commitments in the morning, making the easy-looking pick a bit more questionable from a numbers standpoint. Harris, who has Alabama in his top five in which he detailed over the weekend, wants to take visits before a potential fall decision.  Tennessee, Michigan State and Penn State round out his top group.

Current BamaMag Projection: TBD

http://www.scout.com/player/185026-jeff-thomas?s=14

The prospect who has been in and out of BamaMag's projections the most among the names listed here is Jeff Thomas. Perhaps the top slot receiver prospect in the country, he seemed poised to commit to the Crimson Tide at multiple times already and now appears to be in no rush to make a public decision. Illinois and Missouri have also recently hosted him for an unofficial visits and each semi-local program has long prioritized the top 50 prospect. Of the two, the Tigers seem in best position to land Thomas, especially the longer it draws out. It has Thomas' current quarterback, Reyondous Estes, on the commitment list already.

Current BamaMag Projection: Missouri

Other Names to Know: 4-star Omar Manning, who has UA in top group. 4-stars Tarik BlackRuss YeastTyjon Lindsey and James Robinson each have visited over the last few weeks. Lindsey committed to Ohio State Monday but recently said he's open to taking official visits elsewhere. 


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