Running back B.J. Emmons ended a seven-month commitment to the Georgia Bulldogs on Wednesday. The 4-star prospect elected to reopen his recruitment in the aftermath of increased interest from fellow SEC programs, per Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Emmons, rated fourth nationally among players at the position in 247Sports' composite rankings, initially pledged to Georgia in December.
He joined a class that already included No. 1 overall quarterback recruit Jacob Eason, though that decision occurred when Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo still served as the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator.
The 5'10", 230-pound playmaker is considered among the premier rising high school seniors in North Carolina, where he attends Freedom High School.
"I think that he just wanted to be fair enough to say ‘Hey look, I want to open things up and see what else is out there.’ He wants to make sure that he’s going to the right school," Freedom head coach Brandon Allen told Carvell.
It's an understandable stance for Emmons, who continues to see his collegiate opportunities expand.
His latest head-turning scholarship offer arrived in late May from Alabama:
It's no surprise to see the Crimson Tide claim attention from a running back. The team boasts a bevy of blue-chip offensive linemen and a strong history of putting rushers in position to reach the NFL as high draft picks under Nick Saban (Eddie Lacy, Trent Richardson, T.J. Yeldon and Mark Ingram among them).
Alabama signed 5-star rusher Damien Harris last signing day, continuing a long line of prospects to arrive in that backfield with high expectations in place.
Searching for a sixth straight top-rated recruiting class, the Crimson Tide are still in need of a 2016 running back.
"Alabama is known for their power-running game. They always want a tailback that they can put back there who can run between the tackles and be a physical presence," Allen told Carvell. "I certainly think that BJ can do those things."
For Saban, the next step in this courtship is to arrange another on-campus visit with Emmons.
The back already journeyed to Knoxville twice this spring for a close look at the Tennessee Volunteers.
Head coach Butch Jones hosted Emmons for a junior day in March, and he recently returned. Emmons also attended a Volunteers game in 2014, shortly after receiving an offer from the team in August.
Jones has used a pair of top-10 classes to revitalize his roster, putting Tennessee in the mix as a possible SEC East contender this season. The Volunteers are trending heavily right now in 247Sports' Crystal Ball, carrying 100 percent of the signing-day predictions on Emmons' profile.
Tennessee already holds 2016 pledges from an elite quarterback talent in Jarrett Guarantano and several wide receiver recruits. With Emmons in the equation, Jones could further bolster a burgeoning offensive attack.
Among programs yet to offer Emmons, Carvell notes the running back is keeping a close eye on a pair of SEC alternatives—LSU and Texas A&M. Florida also figures to play a factor now that things are wide open.
Coach Allen also believes Georgia shouldn't be forgotten just yet. There's still a chance for reconciliation in Athens.
“He spoke with Coach (Mark) Richt, and he said that the conversation went well,” Allen said. "I certainly don’t think he has ruled Georgia out."
Emmons erupted for 2,348 yards and 38 touchdowns as a junior, per Paul Schenkel of the Morganton News Herald. He averaged 12 yards per carry in the process.
Recruit ratings and information courtesy of 247Sports.