On paper, 2018 three-star quarterback Jamarye Joiner is committed to the Arizona Wildcats, but that could change soon.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound dual-threat quarterback from Vail (Cienega HS) is scheduled to visit four schools within a month and one of them is the UA ... the University of Alabama.
According to Joiner, Crimson Tide co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi has been in contact with the Tucson product over the last few weeks. Lupoi specializes on recruiting the west coast, and put together an official visit in Tuscaloosa for Joiner from Feb. 3-5.
"[Alabama] messaged me mid-December showing interest and I spoke on the phone with Tosh Lupoi and he wanted to get me down there," Joiner told the Arizona Daily Star. "They plan on offering me when I go down there for my visit."
For Joiner, receiving an offer from one of the college football behemoths would be a dream come true, especially because he grew up idolizing Julio Jones and Mark Ingram — products of the Crimson Tide.
"It'd be amazing. Growing up, Alabama was a school that I dreamed of playing for," Joiner said.
Of course, meeting the man who's brought four national titles to Alabama in Nick Saban is one part of the trip that Joiner is looking forward to the most. Joiner especially admires the legendary coach's attitude and composure.
"Usually you see coaches either get too crazy or be too relaxed on the sidelines, Saban is the perfect amount. He's a real composed coach and I'd love to play for a coach like him," Joiner said.
A substantial reason why Alabama should be taken seriously: The Tide plan on recruiting Joiner as a quarterback, which played a huge factor in Arizona landing a verbal commitment from him. Joiner has made it clear that he wants to be under center in college, although many have speculated that he should play either wide receiver or defensive back.
It sounds farfetched, but he has the potential to thrive in Alabama's system.
In year's past, the Crimson Tide have usually produced pro-style quarterbacks, such as Greg McElroy, A.J. McCarron and Blake Sims. But recently, Saban has thrived on utilizing dual-threat quarterbacks that can open up the playbook. The Crimson Tide's current quarterback Jalen Hurts has thrown for 630 yards, but rushed for 1,762 yards in two seasons as the starter.
Joiner threw for 3,909 yards and rushed for 2,161 in two seasons, so his game is similar to Hurts as well as current Alabama backup quarterback Tua Tagovaiola — who is a true freshman that was a five-star prospect in 2017.
"They're a team that develops you more into a passer when you're more of a running quarterback and that's why they're one of the best in the country every year," Joiner said.
With the UA firing Rich Rodriguez following claims of running a hostile workplace and sexually harassing a former employee, the future of the program is murky. Joiner told the Star the two coaches he would like to see replace Rodriguez are former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin or ex-LSU head coach Les Miles.
Regardless, the Wildcats could be in jeopardy of losing their lone quarterback commit of the 2018 class, which could be crucial since Donavan Tate left the team for personal reasons. And with the futures of Brandon Dawkins and Rhett Rodriguez, son of Rich, up in the air, that leaves K'Hari Lane as the likely backup to Khalil Tate.
Arizona signed 16 recruits in the early signing period and although the Wildcats haven't inked Joiner, he still appears to be strongly committed to playing in his hometown.
Sporting a UA jersey and helmet on campus in mid December, Joiner tweeted "Been reppin my city since I was young why not do it in college 🐻tf⬇️‼️"
It's not just Alabama sparking late interest in the Cienega quarterback. Just last week, Joiner received his first Big 10 offer from incoming Nebraska head coach Scott Frost, although the Cornhuskers signed 2018 four-star dual-threat quarterback Adrian Martinez from Fresno, California. However, Joiner still plans on taking an official visit to Nebraska from Jan. 19-21.
He is keeping Nebraska close after evaluating Frost's two-year tenure with Central Florida, leading the Knights to a 13-0 record and beating Auburn in the Peach Bowl this season.
It should be an interesting month in Joiner's recruitment, as he currently holds offers from the UA, Nebraska, Arizona State and Utah, with Alabama on the horizon. Here's Joiner's upcoming cross-country visit schedule:
Arizona: Jan. 12-14
Nebraska: Jan. 19-21
Baylor: Jan. 26-28
Alabama: Feb. 3-5