The Alabama Crimson Tide currently holds the. No. 2 spot in the Scout team recruiting rankings and a big reason why is because of its haul along the offensive line. There has been some chatter that the group, currently at four prospects, could develop into perhaps the best offensive line haul in the modern recruiting era.
Numbers are a big part of that and BamaMag sources indicate there could be as many as six scholarship takes along the offensive line in the class of 2017.
Five-star Floridian Alex Leatherwood was the first to jump on board in this class and while his ranking has ascended, the pressure from other programs has only increased for the UA pledge. Auburn gets him on campus for an unofficial visit this weekend and he's already locked in an official visit to Michigan in two weeks. Florida, USC, Texas and others will compete for visits but 'Bama has him locked in to return for the Iron Bowl at the end of the season.
The other three offensive line pledges, four-star JUCO standout Elliot Baker, four-star in-stater Kendall Randolph and emerging Cullman (Ala.) center-projection Hunter Brannon are each rock solid in their commitment to Nick Saban and company. Neither has one visit planned elsewhere as of this writing.
However, many nationally-ranked and recruited targets remain on the board in what looks like a banner year at the offensive tackle position.
The only top-tier prospect challenging UA pledge Najee Harris for the top spot in the national rankings is offensive tackle Foster Sarell. With that type of talent, the Crimson Tide hasn't slowed in its pursuit for him despite him having never been to Tuscaloosa and likely leaning towards staying closer to home. However, the pursuit has resuted in an official visit being planned when Auburn comes to town for the Iron Bowl. He has already seen Nebraska officially, will be at Notre Dame next month and will likely again see in-state Washington and perceived favorite Stanford before all is said and done. Alabama isn't the likely land here but it remains in the game and Saban's track record tells us not to count UA out for anybody taking a late official visit.
Current BamaMag Projection: Stanford
Trey Smith is a five-star offensive lineman Alabama fans have been familiar with for several years. He has studied the Crimson Tide's offensive line for many years and has gone on record about being open to playing inside should he end up at a school like Alabama. He'll spend more time in Tuscaloosa this fall and guys like Leatherwood have long been on him, but will it be enough to overtake in-state Tennessee? Ole Miss feels comfortable here, too. But 'Bama remains in the hunt, heavily, for Smith. Long way to go before he ends the process, too.
Current BamaMag Projection: Tennessee
Do you know when Jedrick Wills is going to go public with his commitment? Does he know? That's the only real question with his recruitment right now and it has UA, UK and Notre Dame coaches keeping tabs on his every move. There's a certain notion that Alabama will be the pick no matter when it goes public, but the longer it is stretched out, can staying home or not playing in the SEC factor in more? I'm not sure. Kentucky isn't exactly humming right now and rumors are picking up on the "Fire Stoops" front. Again. So perhaps time isn't on the Cats' side, either. Many Tide pledges, including former UK commitment Mac Jones, has been heavy on Wills since the summer and it seems like it will soon pay off.
Current BamaMag Projection: Alabama
One of the most intriguing prospects in the country, let alone among offensive linemen, is Isaiah Wilson. The 6-foot-7, 350-or-so pound specimen looks like a five-year NFL veteran on the hoof and he has some natural skill to go along with it. Because of that, his recruitment has stretched from Brooklyn, New York to the West Coast and down South. Other than Michigan, SEC programs Alabama and Georgia have held the majority of the buzz over the last six months or so and it would seem like an upset if he landed anywhere but one of those three college towns. Alabama has gotten him on campus multiple times, unofficially, and he is scheduled to return for the Iron Bowl official visit weekend along with many other top talents. By the end of the process, among schools not in the region, Tuscaloosa could be his most frequented visit destination. Hard to imagine him ending up elsewhere if that turns out to be true. And it's tougher to imagine UA turning him down, no matter the OL numbers situation, with his upside.
Current BamaMag Projection: Alabama
Ohio four-star Thayer Munford surprised many this summer in camping and earning that Alabama scholarship offer. It made a big dent in his recruitment, as one would have expected, but what's the situation now? Scout projects him to Alabama in its latest trend meter so he is one to keep an eye on no matter what happens with these other top targets. Should Munford schedule and take an official visit as a return to Tuscaloosa, it will create even more intruigue on each side. But for now, it's too close to call for us.
Current BamaMag Projection: TBD