Alabama’s approach with in-state athlete different than every other school, but it’s not a good thing
Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. Today, we discuss the latest with in-state running back Harold Joiner.
Alabama doesn’t seem to be much of a factor with in-state athlete
MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. — Alabama wants Harold Joiner in its 2018 recruiting class, but it doesn’t seem like the Crimson Tide have much of a chance to land the versatile athlete.
Joiner, a 4-star prospect from Mountain Brook High School, is set on playing running back in college. Out of the 23 schools recruiting him, 22 of them want him at that position. Alabama is the only school recruiting him as an athlete.
Alabama has talked to him about potentially playing running back, wide receiver, tight end or even linebacker. Because of the Tide’s honesty with Joiner in not knowing which position he’ll play if he did commit to Alabama, the team isn’t a factor in his recruitment.
“They were the only school out of the 23 schools that said they were offering me as an athlete,” Joiner told SEC Country. “He [coach Nick Saban] told me tight end, running back, receiver and linebacker. I’m like, what?”
LSU has told Joiner he’s its top target at running back. That has the Tigers on top. How’d he react when Saban told him that he was going to offer as an athlete?
“I mean, you can’t react to Coach Saban,” Joiner said with a laugh. “I was like, ‘All right, yes sir,’ and we moved on.”
Joiner is in a very unique situation. He wants to play running back in college, but he’s 6-foot-3 and may continue to grow a few more inches. It’s not very likely he can play running back if he gets to 6-4 or 6-5. He’d be too big of a target for defenders to tackle at that size if he’s running through the line of scrimmage. Joiner would have to move outside to wide receiver or tight end if he grows.
In the case he grows, LSU wouldn’t be an option. Auburn, Clemson and Texas A&M would be his top choices, he said, if he went the wide receiver route. Could Alabama get in the mix if it offered as a wide receiver in the scenario that Joiner continues to grow?
“They have a ton of running backs,” Joiner said. “I look at the receivers, and they don’t have as many wide receivers as running backs.”
Joiner said if Alabama offered him as a running back down the road, it wouldn’t matter because he feels like early playing time, which is the most important factor in his recruitment, at the position in Tuscaloosa is nearly impossible. The Tide have the most loaded backfield in college football.
“They have like 7 running backs,” Joiner said. “I don’t see how a guy would want to come there and just wait.”
If Joiner is finished growing, he already knows which school he’ll be committing to.
“If I stay 6-3 until like October or November, then it’s going to be LSU,” he said.
It’s clear Alabama should look in other directions.
A-Day visitors list
Alabama will have its spring game this Saturday, which means the Crimson Tide will host some of the nation’s top prospects inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. A-Day is one of Alabama’s biggest recruiting weekends, and this one is no different.
The team is expected to host six recruits who have committed elsewhere, several 5-star prospects and some of its top overall targets in the Class of 2018 and 2019. Several of the team’s 2017 signees are also going to be in Tuscaloosa, too.
Get the full list here.
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