5-Star QB Ricky Town Decommits from Alabama, Reportedly Commits to USC

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2014


Updates from Saturday, Jan. 25

According to Fox Sports' Greg Biggins, 5-star QB Ricky Town has committed to USC after decommitting from Alabama:

--Original Text---


Nick Saban is still preparing his 2014 recruiting class, but the Alabama coach is suddenly down one quarterback in the Class of 2015 after 5-star recruit Ricky Town renounced his commitment on Saturday, Jan. 25.

Town announced the decision on Twitter, thanking Saban for the opportunity:

His decommitment comes a little more than five months after he initially said he was going to Alabama. A breakout star at St. Bonaventure in Ventura, Calif., Town's commitment in August seemingly gave stability to the Tide's quarterback situation after the departure of A.J. McCarron

It's unknown whether the Crimson Tide are still in the running for Town's services, though his message seemed to indicate some level of finality. With plenty of time remaining between now and the 2015 national signing day, it's possible that Saban and his staff could coax Town into reaffirming his commitment. It would be far from the first time something like that has happened.

Either way, the Tide won't have a shortage of competitors for the QB's services. As noted by 247 Sports, Town has no fewer than 10 offers on the table, including ones from USC, Florida State and Texas. The Southern Cal offer is particularly interesting, as Matt Scalici of AL.com noted Town and his family visited the Los Angeles campus just last week.

The Trojans have taken at least a temporary lead in his recruitment, per 247 Sports, as new head coach Steve Sarkisian seems to be making an early push on the recruiting trail. Town made no announcement in regard to his further recruitment, so any assumptions about USC would be premature, but ESPN.com's Derek Tyson reports that the Trojans have "made him a priority for their 2015 class."

Some have already pointed out that Lane Kiffin's arrival in Tuscaloosa coincides with Town's renewed interest in his former employer. Kiffin was hired as Alabama's offensive coordinator after Doug Nussmeier left the Tide to join Brady Hoke's staff at Michigan. Dan Wolken of USA Today wondered if Kiffin's presence played a factor in the decommitment:

Town said he spoke to Kiffin and, at the time, seemed excited about developing under the former Oakland Raiders coach, per BamaOnline (via Scalici): 

I asked him what they're going to do offensively and if anything will change. He told me that it's going to stay the same concept-wise and that they're still going to be running the pro-style offense, with a sped-up tempo. I like that- I think that's cool. We run an uptempo pro-style here at St. Bonaventure, as well.

While that's a diplomatic answer, it's clear something changed. Whether it was something Kiffin said during their conversation or Town was merely blown away by Sarkisian's staff at USC, the result is one of the best players in the Class of 2015 bolting.

The 6'4", 205-pound Town is ranked the No. 5 overall prospect and is the second-ranked pro-style quarterback in 247 Sports' composite rankings. His biggest competition for top billing is fellow California native Josh Rosen, whose recruitment has almost entirely been composed of West Coast schools.

It's unlikely any consolation to Tide fans that Town has slipped behind Rosen at this point. The biggest golden goose of their 2015 class is gone, and their new offensive coordinator could already be affecting recruiting classes. Town's decommitment alone dropped Alabama from second to sixth in 247 Sports' rankings for 2015.


Follow Tyler Conway on Twitter: