Alabama wrapped up its 2018 recruiting class with 19 signees, which was the seventh-ranked class in the country and second-best in the SEC, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Full attention now turns to the 2019 class. Over the course of the next two weeks, SEC Country will look at each position group on offense and defense for the Class of 2019. Here, we start with quarterbacks.
Current depth chart: Tua Tagovailoa (sophomore), Jalen Hurts (junior), Mac Jones (redshirt freshman).
Potential departures before or after 2018 season: Hurts.
How many commits at position: 0.
How many more Alabama plans to take: 2.
Importance of more blue-chip additions (1-10): 10
The breakdown: Alabama didn’t have the luxury of having a couple of elite quarterback prospects within its state borders in the 2018 class, but that changes in the 2019 class.
The Crimson Tide didn’t sign a quarterback in the last recruiting cycle, which wasn’t too surprising when you look at the current depth chart at the position. The team is currently recruiting East Carolina grad transfer quarterback Gardner Minshew, who visited Tuscaloosa this past weekend. Minshew would count against the 2018 class if he did sign with the Tide.
That brings us to the team’s top 2019 targets in Taulia Tagovailoa, a 4-star prospect from Thompson High School (Alabaster, Ala.) and Paul Tyson, a 4-star prospect from Hewitt-Trussville (Trussville, Ala.).
Taulia is Tua’s little brother, while Tyson is the great-grandson of Bear Bryant. The expectations both players will have from the fan base, and possibly themselves, if they do choose Alabama will be quite enormous, and it does allow the possibility of one or both quarterbacks choosing other schools.
In Taulia’s case, he didn’t attend the same high school as his brother when the family lived in Hawaii. That was so Taulia could have the possibility to start elsewhere while Tua started for his school.
I’ve had several conversations with the family over the past year that would suggest that Taulia automatically following his brother to Alabama is not the slam dunk that fans may think it is. Yes, the family moved to Alabama, but, no, it doesn’t guarantee Taulia’s already sealed with the Tide. This recruitment is open.
I do think Alabama has a better chance at signing Tyson as of now. He has been to games at Bryant-Denny his entire life. His great-grandfather’s statue is right outside of the stadium that is partly named after him. He also has a teammate in 5-star tackle Pierce Quick who’s committed to the Tide.
Tyson has taken visits elsewhere but I think the family’s history is going to be too much for him to go anywhere other than Alabama.
So, why hasn’t either one committed already? Well, Alabama normally waits to take a quarterback until the summer. The Tide usually brings in numerous quarterbacks to one of their first summer camp sessions in June where they put the signal-callers through various drills and test their knowledge on the whiteboard by drawing up plays and dissecting schemes. We’ll see if that’s what Alabama does this year in a unique situation with Tagovailoa and Tyson on the board.
What if Alabama misses on one or both prospects? Alabama has offered verbal scholarships to the following 4-star prospects: Oklahoma commit Spencer Rattler, Grant Gunnell, Sam Howell, Wisconsin commit Graham Mertz, Jayden Daniels, Michael Johnson Jr. and 3-star prospects Jacob Conover, Colorado commit Ty Evans, Lance LeGendre, Jalon Jones, Garrett Schrader and John Rhys Plumlee.
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