The Alabama Crimson Tide look to be in great position to make a lasting impression with 5-star defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes.
According to Greg Ostendorf of ESPN.com, Vanderdoes will be finishing off the recruiting process by taking three more official visits, after already taking one to UCLA and Washington respectively:
He’s expected to take his official visit to USC this weekend, and he's also set up trips to both Notre Dame (Jan. 25) and Alabama (Feb. 2).
Here's what Vanderdoes is hoping to get out of his visit to Alabama, per Ostendorf's report:
“The main thing, I want to be around the players to see how I fit in,” Vanderdoes said. “Obviously they have great facilities. I’d love to play for Coach Rumph. He’s a great guy. He’s my type of personality. He’s the kind of guy I’d love to be around for the four years that I’m there.
“I just really want to sit down with Coach [Nick] Saban and the rest of the staff and just talk and see how I fit in with everything, the plan they have for me, what I can bring to their university and what they can give back. That’s what I’m really looking for.”
The interest in Alabama is obviously there and the Crimson Tide have quickly become a major player in the recruiting race for Vanderdoes ever since he decommitted from USC.
As elite as Alabama and head coach Nick Saban are on the recruiting trail though, I wouldn't consider this a lock just yet. USC still has a good chance to re-gain Vanderdoes' commitment and Notre Dame is a major option as well. UCLA and Washington are also still in the running, so his recruitment will become very interesting as we draw closer to national signing day.
In fact, Vanderdoes is planning on making his decision on signing day, and he may even decide after, according to his quotes via Ostendorf's report.
With all that in mind, what does Alabama need to pitch to Vanderdoes to get his commitment?
The opportunity to win championships is always first on the list with 'Bama, and that opportunity is definitely there in the coming years as long as Saban and his staff keep recruiting like they are. Alabama is going to be a national championship contender for years to come, and Vanderdoes could be a big-time part of that.
As far as the defense is concerned, he obviously likes defensive line coach Chris Rumph and that's who he'd be working with at Alabama. Vanderdoes is big and strong enough to excel as a nose tackle in Alabama's 3-4 scheme, and he could even move over to 5-technique from time to time because he's so quick and explosive for his size. There's no doubt that nose tackle would be his best fit though at Alabama though.
Either way, he has the talent to be a featured defender on Alabama's defensive front of the future and he can be the program's next great defensive lineman. Having the chance to be an elite defender for a program like Alabama has to be a huge draw, and the Tide have all of that, plus the realistic chance to compete for championships to offer the 5-star defensive tackle.
As if 'Bama needed any more help, Vanderdoes' visit is scheduled to be the last one for him, which allows Saban and his staff to make one more final, lasting impression with the elite recruit.
Alabama's program can basically pitch itself, so Saban and his staff have to be feeling great about their chances of landing Vanderdoes' commitment when all is said and done.