The University of Alabama already has commitments from O.J. Howard and Josh McNeil, two of the top five tight ends in the country, but that hasn’t stopped the Crimson Tide from going after one more in this class.
On Monday, ESPN 150 tight end Greg Taboada visited Tuscaloosa for the second time this summer. He toured the campus, talked with people in the business department and met with the coaching staff.
“Coach [Chris] Rumph is my main recruiter, and after the first time I was there, he had been getting on me to just come back one more time, so he could set up the whole tour,” Taboada said. “They just wanted me to come back one more time and get a better idea of what they’re about and all that.”
When Taboada came down the first time in June, it was to compete at the Tide’s summer prospect camp. UA head coach Nick Saban originally liked him at linebacker, but when the 6-foot-5, 235-pound prospect expressed interest in playing tight end, they gave him a shot to perform there at the camp, and he didn’t disappoint. He went home with a scholarship offer.
On Monday, he and Bobby Williams, Alabama’s tight ends coach, went over some film from the first camp.
“We were just looking over some film from the camp, and he was just saying I have good feet and I have good position for blocking and all that,” Taboada said. “He was just showing me their games and some of the things their tight ends do.
“There’s points in the games when they have as many as three tight ends in there, doing a bunch of crossing routes or blocking. He definitely sees me there and thinks I have the ability to grow into one of those tight ends. He’s really excited to be able to work with me.”
The Tide’s tight end commitments, Howard and McNeil, are more known for their ability to run routes and catch the football. Taboada has the size, but Alabama is more interested in his ability to block, and he’s just fine with that.
“I know there are some tight ends out there who don’t really like to block, but where I come from, the tight ends are blocking 95 percent of the time,” he said. “I’m used to it, and I definitely don’t mind it.”
That’s the main reason Alabama is his top school, despite the depth they’re bringing in at the position.
“That would be a perfect situation for me,” Taboada said. “I’m looking to play tight end. I feel like that’s where I’m going to be able to do the most damage and be the most productive.”
The Tide stand alone at No. 1, but Taboada says he’s also considering Arkansas, Florida State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Virginia. He’s still hoping to pick up offers from Georgia and Stanford during the season.