Consider this a follow-up to the earlier post as everything gets clarified on down the stretch. The class is all but finalized at this point, with only a few moving parts still left ahead. We are nine days from NSD and the board has narrowed dramatically, so a brief statement on where things stand:
There is still some possible attrition from within the current ranks of commitments, some obviously being more likely than others. Montrell Custis is seemingly entering T.D. Moton territory, where his de-commitment is effectively a given at this point. Custis has visited other schools in recent weeks, and took an official visit to Ole Miss this past weekend; at this point, I do not expect Custis to sign with Alabama. Rico McGraw also remains firmly in play, and there is probably almost as good of a chance that he signs with Georgia on NSD as Alabama. Minkah Fitzpatrick has been somewhat quite lately, but in general UA people seem to be catching their breaths here; very cautious and restrained optimism would probably be the best phrase right now. Auburn has been making a late push for Anfernee Jennings, but it's nothing of significant concern at the moment and unlikely to go anywhere.
Official visits from this past weekend all went very well. Although nearly all of those in town -- with one notable exception, addressed below -- were current commitments, Alabama did well in helping solidifying their standing as NSD approaches. Hale Hentges was in town and had a great visit, with things going so well that he re-affirmed his commitment to UA and cancelled his planned visit to Missouri. Kendall Sheffield was also in town along with his family, and the staff feels bullish about signing him even with all of A&M's overtures. Calvin Ridley was also in town with his mother and younger brother, and he is solid with no other visits planned for this upcoming weekend (qualifying academically is the bigger concern).
The big surprise over the weekend was the reception from Terry Godwin, the longtime UGA WR commitment. General thinking going in was that Godwin was just enjoying the process, but he came to Tuscaloosa with his entire family in tow and seemed to be giving UA some serious consideration. This has taken not only UA people by surprise, but also UGA people, who wake up this morning with concerns that Godwin may flip down the stretch. If I had to wager, I would still say odds are a good bit more likely that Godwin sticks with UGA than otherwise, but Alabama is suddenly a contender in the stretch run. He was told by the UA staff this weekend that they would have a spot for him, and an in-home visit is likely sometime this week. I wouldn't be surprised if Godwin re-affirms his UGA commitment at some point this week, but we've at least put some thoughts in his mind for NSD.
Godwin or not, do expect another WR to come into the class between now and NSD, and it's very possible that two receivers may be added. UA observers have been increasingly bullish about re-snagging Louisiana WR Daylon Charlot, and the growing thinking is that Alabama can get K.J. Hill if it wants him. A signature from Godwin, though, could shake up the board and leave one of those two out in the cold. Meanwhile, Lawrence Cager has re-affirmed his commitment to Miami, given the fact that it's unlikely that UA will have a spot for him, but the staff still believes he would flip late if given a definite spot int he class. Wouldn't expect anything to come of it, but it's worth noting.
At offensive tackle, Alabama would like to add another signee, but in all likelihood things end with the commitment of Maryland OT Isiah Prince, which was somewhat unexpected but by no means unwelcomed. Chidi Valentine-Okeke probably does not have a spot not with the commitment of Prince, and academics remain a concern there; I would expect him to sign with Auburn. Drew Richmond took his official visit to Ole Miss over the weekend, and the OM staff feels confident about keeping him in the fold. He has a visit planned to Tennessee this week, and is hoping to visit Alabama again as well. I do think the UA staff would take his commitment, but I don't think he is going to sign with UA. In all likelihood, Alabama is done at offensive tackle.