Pros and Cons of 5-Star CB Jalen Tabor's Top Schools
Jalen Tabor is a 5-star cornerback from Washington, D.C. who is one of the most coveted recruits in America. The 6'1", 188-pounder can cover receivers of all sizes due to his length, quickness and athleticism.
Tabor has offers from many prominent programs, but has narrowed his list and announced his five official visits. A quartet of programs are the focus, reports Brian Dohn of Scout.com (subscription required), while a pair of Pac-12 schools have joined the mix according to Tabor's official visit list, via 247Sports.
Tabor will have to weigh the pros and cons of each of his top schools.
University of Arizona
The Arizona Wildcats have an upstart feel to their program under head coach Rich Rodriguez, who is a proven winner. They play in the pass-happy Pac-12, so Tabor would get a ton of in-game reps to improve his skills and make plays.
The fans support the team during the season, facilities are being upgraded and Arizona always finds a way to get itself into a bowl game.
Early playing time also is a great possibility.
The Wildcats are not one of the top-shelf programs in the Pac-12. The desert heat can be punishing; plus, Tucson is far away from D.C..
University of Southern California
The USC Trojans are one of the elite programs in all of college football. They have a rich history of winning, great tradition and reside in the city of Los Angeles.
Without an NFL team, the city covers USC football extensively. Facilities have been upgraded impressively around campus, the fanbase is large and the alumni network is exceptional.
USC has solid academics, the weather is great, the team routinely fields a outstanding roster of talent and it's a program with national appeal. The cornerback depth chart at USC is also not exactly intimidating.
This is a team without a head coach right now, as Lane Kiffin has been fired, so no one knows the true direction of the program. Also, Tabor would be a long ways from home.
Vanderbilt Commodores head coach James Franklin oozes energy and enthusiasm. His players love him, and recruits have been impressed by his work ethic. He has built Vandy into a respectable SEC program.
Academics are excellent at Vanderbilt, as the school prides itself in this category. Tabor would be able to play in the mighty SEC, while also enjoying a challenge in the classroom. He also could compete for early playing time immediately with the Commodores.
Vanderbilt likely never will top Alabama, LSU, Florida or even Texas A&M in the SEC pecking order. Tabor will not win as much here as he would at other schools on his list.
Also, would Franklin be at Vanderbilt during Tabor's entire tenure?
University of Alabama
The Alabama Crimson Tide are the "it" program of college football. Head coach Nick Saban is regarded as the best coach in the country and a conduit to the NFL.
Alabama wins a lot of games, many of which are huge contests. Tabor would receive hands-on coaching directly from Saban, who is a defensive backs coach at heart.
The Crimson Tide's roster is full of elite talent, and recruiting is a well-oiled machine. The fanbase is intensely passionate, facilities are great and players are treated well in Tuscaloosa.
Early playing time may or may not be possible at Alabama. Also, the program has a distinguished feel and approach, so Tabor would need to decide if he's a good fit for the Tide's demanding environment.
University of Florida
The Florida Gators are one of the top programs in the SEC and in the country. The Gators have solid academics, a great fanbase and Will Muschamp is a defensive-minded head coach, which would work in Tabor's favor.
UF has terrific talent on its roster each season and, with incumbent cornerbacks Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson likely off to the NFL soon, Tabor would have a great chance to earn a starting job early in his career.
Tabor would win a ton of games, compete for SEC titles and be in a position to get to a national title game or prominent bowl if he ends up in Gainesville.
Not many cons would come with choosing Florida for Tabor. Gainesville could have a different cultural feel from D.C. for him.
University of Maryland
With the Maryland Terrapins, Tabor would have the chance to stay at home, play in front of his family and friends and become a legend in his city and region. He would get a chance to play with some of his friends on the team, likely get a ton of playing time as a true freshman and not have to endure much change.
With Maryland moving to the Big Ten, Tabor will get a chance to play in several big games for the Terps throughout his career. Plus, stemming from his hairstyle, Tabor likes fashion, so he would love wearing the unique uniforms Maryland showcases.
Maryland is not a powerhouse football program, and likely will not win a conference or national title anytime soon.
Also, Tabor may not be able to spread his wings and blaze his own path if he stays home.
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