Jalen Farmer no longer under the radar for Alabama
Jalen Farmer, three-star offensive guard from Eastside High School in Covington, Georgia, may have his head spinning after the last few months including the last 24 hours in his recruitment. Farmer committed to former Florida coach Dan Mullen in September. He stuck with his commitment to the Gators despite the coaching change.
He decided, however, to not sign in December. He kept his options on the table, needed to build a relationship/trust with the new Florida staff and may have also waited to see if any other top programs decided to offer late in the process.
Florida’s new head coach, Billy Napier, and his new staff in Gainesville decided it was in their best interest to continue pushing for Farmer to stay in the class. Other schools have also put in work to try and flip Farmer. He has taken official visits to Auburn, Florida and Kentucky. He will take an official visit to Alabama this weekend before announcing a final decision on Wednesday morning.
Alabama is brand new to the picture for the Peach State lineman. Eastside head coach, Jay Cawthon, received a phone on Wednesday from Crimson Tide offensive line coach, Doug Marrone, to inform him he will visit the school within a few hours.
"It really came out of nowhere," Coach Cawthon said. "Coach Marrone was recruiting in Tennessee that morning. He said that Coach Saban called him and told him to come here. Coach Marrone said when you get the call from Coach Saban that's where you go.
"Coach Marrone had not even seen his film until Wednesday night after he visited. He said he wanted to go ahead and offer him, but needed to wait on Coach Saban. He told me they were going to offer. He finally got the word from Coach Saban to offer him yesterday afternoon."
Farmer will listen to Alabama's last second pitch to see if there is a better opportunity in Tuscaloosa than in Gainesville or Auburn, or Lexington.
"He was pretty excited," his coach said regarding the offer from Alabama. "This will be his first visit to Alabama. They are Alabama, so he's excited. He is going to go over there with his mom, dad and grandma. They go on all the visits with him.
"He's flown under the radar. He's was fully committed to Florida, but after the coaching change he's opened things up a little bit and other schools have been able to come in and recruit him.
"He's a real quiet kid. He's been to Florida. He went to Auburn last week and has also been to Kentucky. He will make a final decision next Wednesday. I know he really likes Florida and the new staff with Coach Napier, Coach Sale and Coach Stapleton have been on him since they were hired."
More schools have taken notice of the diamond in the rough, 6-foot-6, 330-pound lineman. His coach believes he has a chance to become a great player in the SEC.
"He's a road grader, " Coach Cawthon said. "He's only 17 years old. He should be coming back to me next year. His upside is tremendous. He moves well. He's a slim 330. He's a project, but I think his best football is ahead of him.
"He's been a three year starter for us. He's changed his body in the last year. He also played on the defensive line. He played 85-90 snaps a game. That's what impressed me the most about him."