College Football Playoff update: Top 4 teams' recruiting priorities
The updated College Football Playoff Rankings were just released, and as we head into Thanksgiving and Rivalry Weekend in College Football, here is a look at the top remaining recruiting targets for the top four teams.
Defensive back is the top priority for Alabama in this recruiting class and Rivals100 defensive back Tyson Campbell is at the top of their wish list. Five-star teammate Patrick Surtain and four-star Miami commit Josh Jobe are also major Alabama targets. The Crimson Tide will have to fight off Miami for Campbell and try to wrestle Jobe away from the Canes, while LSU has a strong hold on the lead for Surtain.
Alabama’s front seven needs reloading, as well. Hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker Eyabi Anoma, a Rivals100 prospect out of Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances, and defensive tackle Christian Barmore could end up in Alabama’s class.
Quarterback is a position of strength for Alabama but the Tide want more depth. Their top quarterback target is five-star Ohio State commit Emory Jones, and he has visited Tuscaloosa for a few games already this season. If he opts to stay with the Buckeyes, look for the Crimson Tide to shift their focus towards Rivals100 Florida commit Matt Corral, who just took an official visit to Alabama this past weekend.
The Hurricanes are doing a great job on the recruiting trail, but still want to add a few major pieces to their recruiting class. The Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage trio of Tyson Campbell, Patrick Surtain and Andrew Chatfield are all being recruited by Miami, but it seems more likely that Campbell and Chatfield end up with the Hurriances than Surtain.
The defensive line is still a big priority for Miami and, along with Chatfield, the Canes are going after four-star Dennis Briggs, three-star Daniel Carson, three-star Florida State commit Patrick Joyner, and three-star Louisville commit Jared Goldwire. There is a good chance Chatfield ends up in Coral Gables, but Joyner could flip as we get closer to signing day.
Landing a quality quarterback is probably Miami’s biggest need right now. Former Kentucky commit Jarren Williams is at the top of Miami’s list, and there is a good chance he signs with the Canes. The four-star prospect took an official visit to Ohio State last weekend and was at Miami the weekend before that. A commitment could come very soon so Ohio State and Miami fans should be on the lookout.
There are only a couple spots left in Clemson’s recruiting class and the Tigers want five-stars Cade Mays, K.J. Henry, Justyn Ross, and Tyreke Johnson to take the remaining scholarships. Mays, a former Tennessee commit, just took his official visit to Clemson, and the Tigers are in a great spot, but Georgia is putting up a strong fight. Mays will visit Athens for an official visit the weekend of Dec. 15, but Clemson thinks Mays could end up filling the void at left tackle if Mitch Hyatt leaves for the NFL.
Clemson defensive ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant could also leave for the NFL, and the Tigers’ staff wants K.J. Henry to take one of their spots. Bringing in Henry alongside five-star Xavier Thomas is a very high priority for Clemson, but teams like Virginia Tech, Georgia and Alabama are pushing.
With Jim Mora out at UCLA, Tyreke Johnson’s recruitment is boiling down to the Tigers and Ohio State. The Buckeyes got Johnson for an official visit at the end of October, and Clemson had him on campus for an official visit this past weekend. With no additional visits planned, Johnson will likely end up picking between Clemson and Ohio State within the next few weeks.
Wide receiver Justyn Ross has a lot of interest in Clemson because of its history of producing NFL wide receivers. He has visited Clemson a number of times, but the Tigers will have to hold off Auburn and Alabama as Ross gets closer to announcing his commitment. It’s tough for any team outside of the state of Alabama to land a commitment from that state’s top-rated recruit.
The Sooners are almost finished with their 2018 recruiting class, but still have a few spots left to play with. Former Nebraska Rivals100 commit Brendan Radley-Hiles is at the top of Oklahoma’s wish list and the Sooners look like the favorite right now. Clemson just hosted him for an official visit, but doesn’t seem to be chasing after him very hard.
After Radley-Hiles, the Sooners look to be going after a few committed prospects. Rivals250 linebacker Ayodele Adeoye has been committed to Texas since June, but Oklahoma got him on campus for an official visit in late October. The Sooners haven’t let up, despite the fact that he recently reaffirmed his commitment to Texas.
Texas A&M linebacker commit DeShaun White is also high on Oklahoma’s wish list. White was in Norman for an official visit at the end of October, but the Longhorns are also pursuing the in-state prospect. Those teams will battle for White until he signs.
Rivals250 Ohio State commit Josh Proctor took a surprise official visit to Oklahoma in early October and has been back to the campus for an unofficial visit. The Sooners will not give up on Proctor, but it will be tough to pull him away from the Buckeyes.