Can Alabama football coaching staff make an impression on big recruiting weekend?

Mar 6, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Defensive coordinator Kane Wommack gives directions during
Mar 6, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Defensive coordinator Kane Wommack gives directions during / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA

With Alabama hosting three transfer portal targets this weekend, can the coaching staff make enough of an impression to land some key pieces?

Things have been fairly quiet on the transfer portal front as of late for Alabama. The Crimson Tide has gotten just two commitments since the expected return of Kadyn Proctor, and has missed on several potential cornerback prospects. 

That could change this weekend, with Wake Forest cornerback Dashawn Jones, South Alabama linebacker Khalil Jacobs, and Penn State safety King Mack all on campus for visits. 

Jones might be the most important visitor, as Alabama has a clear need at the cornerback position. Bama has had a hard time finding an experienced cornerback in the portal, perhaps due in part to its collective of talented freshmen. Zabien Brown, Zay Mincey, and Jaylen Mbakwe were all 5-star recruits in the class of 2024 and were on campus for spring ball. Brown in particular has been impressive, regularly playing with the first-team defense. 

Meanwhile, Alabama has looked to add experience to its cornerback room. This has proven to be a difficult task: Bama is looking for a player who, preferably, has starting experience at another school, and yet, the staff can’t promise these transfer targets a starting job. In many cases, they are being asked to leave a school where they are already the guy to come to Tuscaloosa, where they will have to compete with a super-talented freshman just to earn a starting nod.

Just last year, Bama brought in a sought-after transfer corner in Louisiana’s Trey Amos. While Amos was a good player who contributed in certain situations, he was unable to beat out an unproven young talent in redshirt sophomore Terrion Arnold. Of course, Arnold went on to be a first-round draft pick, but it speaks to the caliber of talent Bama has in-house. We will soon find out if Dashawn Jones has enough confidence in his own abilities to come to T-Town and compete.

Khalil Jacobs has been discussed extensively as an athletic linebacker who is very familiar with Kane Wommack and his system. With the Tide bringing back two elite inside linebackers, the staff will have to sell Jacobs on taking a niche role in the defense for at least one year. 

King Mack was a highly-rated recruit in the class of 2023 and a late addition to the transfer portal. Alabama appeared to be fairly solid at the safety position, but the late exits of Peyton Woodyard and Tony Mitchell subverted some of its quality depth.

The Tide already added Charlotte transfer Kameron Howard, and Mack would give it another good pickup. In terms of recruiting rankings, Mack would be a fair replacement for Woodyard or Mitchell, both of whom were also highly-regarded 4-star recruits.

Alabama has an opportunity to add significant depth to its defense this weekend. Can the new coaching staff deliver?