Nick Saban and the the Alabama Crimson Tide should not be feeling confident about their chances to keep 4-star tight end Josh McNeil committed, especially with the news breaking that he's planning on taking all five of his official visits.
According to Andrew Bone of TideSports.com, McNeil will be visiting four other major programs, as well as Alabama:
"I will finish all of my classes at prep school in November," McNeil said. "Once I finish I plan to take my visits. I plan on visiting Alabama, LSU, Florida, Georgia and Clemson.
"Everyone is still recruiting me very hard. Nobody has stopped recruiting me since my commitment to Alabama. I talk to all these schools at least three times a week. I am still 100-percent committed to Alabama. My parents just want me to take these visits to make sure I am making the best decision."
Is this bad news for the Crimson Tide? While they may not be an organization used to losing out, I dare say this is something they're going to have to worry about.
He's officially visiting four other schools, which means that there are four major opportunities for a flip, and each of those programs has a ton to offer to McNeil.
LSU and Georgia both experienced major losses this past weekend, but they are both still huge SEC programs that can compete with the likes of Alabama. Florida is 5-0 (4-0 SEC) after beating the aforementioned LSU, and Clemson should be a major factor in the ACC for years to come.
Still, Alabama should be the favorite, right? They are the current No. 1 team in the AP Poll and the defending National Champions.
While all of that is true, the Crimson Tide may be hurt by a player that's ironically one of the strength's of their 2013 class—5-star tight end O.J. Howard.
Howard checks in at 6'6'', 220 pounds and runs a 4.49 40-yard dash according to his Rivals.com profile, and he displays all the intangibles that would lead one to believe he can be a superstar at tight end for the Crimson Tide.
While McNeil is impressive himself at 6'5'', 235 pounds, he's nowhere near the caliber of Howard, and will find himself struggling to get playing time ahead of the 5-star recruit. Even though Alabama likes to use multiple tight ends as blockers, having a featured role for the Crimson Tide is going to be hard to come by for McNeil.
On the other hand, Florida, Georgia and Clemson don't have a 4-star tight end or higher committed to their classes, so Howard could flip to one of those programs and find a much better chance of playing time. LSU has two tight ends already committed, including 4-star tight end Desean Smith, but the Tigers will always be a draw for elite recruits.
Alabama has McNeil's commitment now, but will they still have it after he takes all of his official visits?
I'd be worried about the answer to that question if I'm a fan of the Crimson Tide.
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