Alabama lands four-star receiver Jones-Bell
ANDREW BONE: What Jones-Bell to Alabama means
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Miami-based wide receiver Thaiu Jones-Bell chose Alabama over a long list of major programs. And while the four-star prospect’s Monday-night commitment stunned few, it frustrated some programs every bit as much as it pleased Alabama. Below, Rivals.com takes a look at how Jones-Bell’s pledge helps the Crimson Tide and hurts the teams that missed out.
HOW IT HELPS ALABAMA: On a macro level, Jones-Bell’s commitment is important because it continues the Crimson Tides’ pipeline to fertile Florida, a state where the Power Five programs are in different stages of rebuilding. The Sunshine State is an important area for Nick Saban, who extracted All-American wideout Jerry Jeudy from the state a few years back. In fact, Jeudy’s success in Tuscaloosa certainly played a role here.
When it comes to Jones-Bell as a prospect, The Tide are getting a hyper-explosive wideout in the mold of former Texas A&M wideout Christian Kirk. Like Kirk, Jones-Bell leaves the line of scrimmage as though he’s been fired from a cannon and gets up to speed in a hurry. What he lacks in length is made up for in hands and acceleration. The similarities between the two players are striking. Should Bell, who is a slighter than Kirk was at this stage, retain his explosiveness as he adds size, he could be in line for a move up the rankings.
HOW IT HURT THOSE THAT MISSED OUT: Miami was incredibly high on Jones-Bell, as were the other Florida-based programs. That said, keeping elite wideouts in state has been a tall order as of late. Elite prospects continue to choose schools such as Alabama, Clemson and Georgia over Florida-based programs, and that has paid attention has taken notice.anyone. The fact that Jones-Bell’s recruitment is the latest example in a trend is more alarming than that decision itself. Tennessee was a finalist as well, but the rebuilding Vols can’t be expected to win this sort of recruiting battle at moment.
Miami bears the brunt of the sting because the Hurricanes must now watch yet another star escape its backyard.