Power Ranking the Top 25 Recruiting Classes Post High School All-America Games

Ian BergCorrespondent IJanuary 4, 2013

Power Ranking the Top 25 Recruiting Classes Post High School All-America Games

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    The All-American games are upon us for high school football as the best athletes in the country take to the field one last time before national signing day. This is a platform for these players to showcase what their teams have and to help them land the offers of their dreams. 

    So far, a number of these players have committed, creating a strong Top 25 heading into signing day. This is a look at the Top 25 recruiting classes after the All-American game announcements are made. 

    A number of teams will make moves in the final standings on signing day with big names still left on the board. Here is a look at where the teams stand today in the Top 25 for the 2013 recruiting class. 

No. 25: Mississippi State Bulldogs

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    Dan Mullen is looking to contend for titles in the SEC West, and with the commit list that he has put together for 2013, it is looking like that is an attainable goal. Justin Cox and Jeremy Chappelle are impact JUCO’s who have already enrolled and will be with the program this spring.

    Corey Smith is another receiver who could come in and become an instant threat for the Bulldogs offense.

    Jake Thomas is a big-bodied and athletic offensive tackle who has the skill to challenge for playing time early. He may not make the starting rotation out of the gate, but if he pulls a redshirt, it would be surprising.

    A number of needs were met along the offensive line and on the defense with this class, but an additional pure linebacker would have been a good grab and should be looked at before February hits.

    Chris Jones headlines this class as a defensive end. He is one of the best at his position in the country and will be able to help this Bulldogs pass rush immediately.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Up

No. 24: Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    The Cowboys made a splash landing defensive end Sam Wren in the early JUCO signing period this winter. He will be an immediate help for the Cowboys along the defensive line.

    This is a class that focuses on the line, but also puts a lot of focus on playmakers on offense.

    Corion Webster is a strong running back who could make plays for the offense from day one, and Vincent Taylor will attempt to join the starting defensive line rotation this season.

    Marcell Ateman has a huge frame, standing at 6’4”, 195 pounds. He could be the best deep threat for the Cowboys for the next few seasons. He needs to make it to campus and get developed, but his size makes him an immediate threat.

    Tre Flowers is a hidden talent at safety and should have the chance to step in and make a difference this fall. He is 6’3” and plays with a tenacious attitude that makes him dangerous for opposing receivers.

    This class is coming together well for the Cowboys and should make them one of the best classes in the Big 12 this February.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Level

No. 23: Baylor Bears

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    Baylor signed five early enrollees during the early signing period with Brian Nance headlining the group. He is a huge outside linebacker commit who will step in and play for the Bears immediately.

    Art Briles has made it fun to play for the Bears, and this recruiting class shows that. Robbie Rhodes and Quan Jones are two major receiving threats who will have the chance to step in and compete right away.

    The Bears also picked up help in the secondary with Alfred Pullom and Taion Sells-Warner leading the way at safety. Austin Jupe is a cornerback who could see time early after the disaster that was the passing defensive this fall in Waco.

    The defensive line was also a major emphasis in this game with Kevin Smith and Byron Bonds hoping for early looks once they make it to campus.

    This will be one of the better signing classes in recent history for the Bears and will keep them in the Big 12 chatter for the next few years.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Up

No. 22: South Carolina Gamecocks

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    The Gamecocks needed to reload on defense and find one big-time quarterback in this class. They have been able to fill both needs, so far, and there is still a little time before signing day.

    South Carolina has a number of defensive ends in this class with Alfy Hill being the most dangerous to make a name for himself in year one. Hill was once an Alabama enrollee, but later had to move to JUCO to qualify. He is a steal in this class for South Carolina.

    The Gamecocks have also already signed one JUCO with Ronnie Martin inking with South Carolina during the early signing period.

    Connor Mitch is a big quarterback prospect with one of the best arms in the 2013 class. Steve Spurrier loves to play multiple quarterbacks, and in two seasons, Mitch may get his shot.

    A name to watch who has slipped under the radar is Gerald Turner. He is a tough and sizable inside linebacker who could make a big impact down the road for this team.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Level

No. 21: Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Nebraska needs defensive help, and it needs it immediately. It shows in their commit list with a number of the top commits being defensive stars.

    Randy Gregory may be one of the best defensive ends in the 2013 class, and he has given his pledge to the Cornhuskers. With the issues that Nebraska has had defensively in the past few seasons, Gregory could be a leader on the Huskers squad from day one.

    Johnny Stanton is a quarterback who has all the traits of Taylor Martinez. He is a nasty dual-threat attacker who has the size and speed to take on any defender. With Martinez running out of eligibility, the hope is that Stanton can come in and learn the system to become a playmaker early.

    Adam Taylor is a stud running-back talent whom the Cornhuskers will look to for rushing yards in his first season. Rex Burkhead will be gone, and Ameer Abdullah can’t carry the entire load on his own.

    This is a great haul for Bo Pelini and will help his team navigate to another 10-win year inside the Big Ten.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Level

No. 20: Ole Miss Rebels

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    Hugh Freeze wanted to make an immediate impact at Ole Miss when he landed in Oxford and a first-year blowout win over Mississippi State helped him do that. Now, the Rebels head coach is putting together one of the best recruiting classes in the SEC.

    The Rebels have already signed JUCO defensive tackle Lavon Hooks and have Jarran Reed and Jeremy Liggins in the fold as well along the defensive line.

    Offense has not been an issue for the Rebels, but they are looking to fix the defensive woes with this class.

    Pro-style quarterback Ryan Buchanan fits the quarterback mold well for the Freeze offense and should have the chance to jump start his career relatively early in Oxford.

    The Rebels staff has also done well filling out playmakers at running back and receiver in this class. Eugene Brazley is a speedster, but bruiser Peyton Barber may be the better of the two backs in the class.

    This will be the first of many big signing classes for Hugh Freeze and Co. This is a sign of great things to come for Ole Miss.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Level

No. 19: UCLA Bruins

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    The Bruins need offensive line help, and they are getting it in this class. Six of the top eight recruits on their commit list will play offensive line when they make it to L.A.

    Eldridge Massington is a receiver who is one of the top players in Texas. He is headed to UCLA and could fill a role on the offense this fall for the Bruins. There is a need for a deep threat in the passing game, and Massington fits the position well.

    Craig Lee is a very talented running back who is making his way to UCLA as well that is expected to make an early impact for the Bruins at running back.

    The Bruins are playing inspired defense this fall, but heading into 2013, they will need help at linebacker. Myles Jack is a player who could fill in immediately and be an impact player from an inside linebacker position.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Level

No. 18: North Carolina Tar Heels

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    Larry Fedora is not only winning football games at North Carolina, but he is winning battles on the recruiting trail. Fedora has the Tar Heels in the Top 20 in recruiting heading into signing day.

    The Tar Heels are stacked on the defensive side of the ball in this class with Greg Webb, Dajaun Drennon and Nazair Jones looking for immediate time along the North Carolina defensive line.

    Desmond Lawerence is another playmaker who could make a difference from day one at the cornerback position.

    Johnathan Howard is not the highest-rated player on the commit list, but the 6’5”, 200-pound receiver has the talent to be an impact player in the play-action game early for the Tar Heels.

    This is a strong class that is headlined by big needs on defense. North Carolina needed a class like this one. Fedora is building a winner in Chapel Hill.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Level

No. 17: Penn State Nittany Lions

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    For all the turmoil that this program has been through in the past year, it is sitting at a really good spot in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions are coming off an eight-win season and have retained one of the best coaches in the game.

    This recruiting class will help usher in a new era for Penn State as their senior seasons will be the first year free of sanctions.

    Christian Hackenberg is the leader for Penn State in this class, standing at 6’4”, 210 pounds. Hackenberg played in the Under Armour All-American game on the black team.

    DaeSean Hamilton and Adam Breneman will be big players for Hackenberg to throw to in the future.

    Garrett Sickels is another player who will look for early playing time for the Nittany Lions. A number of these players will have to meet the call early with the departure of players, and the scholarship limitations that will hit the program.

    This is another overachievement for Bill O’Brien and this coaching staff.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Up

No. 16: Florida State Seminoles

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    The Seminoles put together the No. 1 class in the country a year ago with this year trailing by a long shot. That isn’t to say that this commit list isn’t layered with talent, because it is one of the best in the country.

    Running back Ryan Green leads the class and could be an instant-impact type player for the Seminoles offense. Jeff Fisher has shown in the past that he is not afraid to employ young backs into the offense.

    Isaiah Jones is a receiver to watch this fall. He is 6’4” and will likely be over 200 pounds by the first snap of the 2013 season. He could be one of the most dangerous attacking receivers in the ACC next year.

    The Seminoles will also fill out the defense where a number of playmakers have departed for the NFL. E.J. Levenberry could make an impact immediately at linebacker, and Davin Bellamy will look to help at defensive end.

    This may not be the most lauded class, so far, for Jimbo Fisher, but it is a talent-filled list of players.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Level

No. 15: Clemson Tigers

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    UA All-American Game Commits: Ebenezer Ogundeko (SDE, 6’4”, 238 lbs)

    The Clemson Tigers took a jump in the 2013 recruiting rankings on Saturday when Ebenezer Ogundeko committed to the Tigers program. (via Chris Hays of the Orlando Sentinel)

    Clemson has a class that is loaded with talent, with running back Tyshon Dye being a big contributor who can play early. Mike Williams is a receiver who has the intangibles to step in right away and make plays for this offense.

    With Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hokins returning, Williams will step into a great position to learn from two of the best in the game.

    Scott Pagano is a huge defensive tackle commitment who could make an impact along the line immediately. The Tigers have been shredded by running games in the middle in years past, so having a guy like Pagano step in will be clutch.

    Jordan Leggett is a big-bodied tight end who will also have the chance to make a major impact for the Clemson offense in the air and ground game.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Up

No. 14: Auburn Tigers

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    Auburn lost a number of key recruits with the firing of Gene Chizik, but the bulk of the talented class remains. The Tigers have 14 commitments, with four being ranked in the Top 150 of the 2013 class by nearly every recruiting site.

    The Tigers may still lose a few recruits to defection, but to this point, the class appears solid. Carl Lawson and Dee Liner are the current headliners for the class.

    Auburn is in the running for a number of big names and could close strong this year, finishing in the Top 10 before the class is finalized. One major name to follow is Reuben Foster as the Tigers try and pull him back into the fold after a decommitment following the coaching change.

    This class has already seen JUCO running back Cameron Artis-Payne and offensive guard Devonte Danzy enroll. They will be available this spring.

    The Tigers have immediate needs at linebacker and at safety, and met a need on Saturday when they landed the commitment of JUCO safety Brandon King.

    Look for the Tigers to continue to rise as the Malzahn staff was finalized on Saturday as well.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Up

No. 13: Oklahoma Sooners

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    The Sooners pulled one of the best defensive tackles in the JUCO ranks when Quincy Russell signed early with Oklahoma.

    Keith Ford is the best overall player in this Sooners class, coming in as one of the best running backs in the class. Ford will step into a stacked backfield, but he will be a big part of the future at Oklahoma.

    Cody Thomas stands the chance to be the next in line to be the star quarterback for the Sooners. He is a 6’5” pocket-passing specimen that has a live arm and is comfortable under pressure.

    The Sooners need someone who can stand tall in the pocket and make the throws the offense requires. Thomas is that guy and could challenge early for the job.

    Christian Daimler is a specimen at offensive tackle, but he will take time to work into the offense. Once he reaches his potential, he will be one of the best offensive linemen in the country.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Level

No. 12: Virginia Tech Hokies

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    The Hokies are trying hard to remain relevant in the ACC, and with this class, they are storming the front door of the conference. The Hokies need help on defense, and they fill a ton of needs with this class.

    Headlining the squad is cornerback Kendall Fuller. He is a rangy guy who will have the chance to make plays this fall.

    Bucky Hodges is a quarterback who has the skills that the Hokies are looking for with more accuracy than Logan Thomas. He is 6’6”, 225 pounds and will have an open door in the quarterback competition. He may not start, but he will challenge.

    Kyle Chung could be the unsung hero of the class at tight end; he is one of the premier pass-catching tight ends in this class. He also holds his own at the line of scrimmage in the running game as a blocker.

    The Hokies will be sitting with the best class in the ACC if they can finish out with the players on deck right now.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Level

No. 11: Washington Huskies

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    Army All-American Game Commitments: Joe Mathis (SDE, 6'3", 255)

    The Washington Huskies are quietly putting together one of the best classes in the Pac-12 this year. The Huskies are looking to find ways to compete in the conference and pulling talent like Troy Williams and Demorea Stringfellow will help them get there.

    There are a number of defenders in this class who can make an early impact for the Huskies, as well as a number of skill players who will see the field early out of necessity.

    Steve Sarkisian is putting together a great team at Washington with the defense being a surprising focus for his recruiting.

    Daeshon Hall and Marcus Farria are two big defensive ends who will have the chance to bring pain to quarterbacks from day one.

    The Huskies have relied on speedy pass-rushers in the Sarkisian years, and these guys fit the mold well. This is a dynasty in the making with this recruiting class.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Up

No. 10: Georgia Bulldogs

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    Georgia landed a huge class of early enrollees this fall, bringing in 13 players for spring football. Headlining that group is quarterback Brice Ramsey and safety Tray Matthews.

    Matthews is expected to be an immediate impact guy at safety with the departure of Bacarri Rambo after this season.

    Leonard Floyd and Shaq Wiggins are defensive players who will make a major difference for the Georgia defense. With the departure of two linebackers for Georgia, Floyd could step in from day one and make plays.

    DeAndre Johnson is one of the lesser-known recruits for Georgia, but his size should make him a candidate for playing time at defensive tackle this fall. He will have an open door with John Jenkins leaving for the draft.

    Shaquille Fluker is another defender who could earn time early. He is a JUCO player who will join the team in the summer, but he has the ability and experience to make the field from the start of fall camp.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Level

No. 9: Texas Longhorns

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    One of the biggest needs for the Longhorns has been along the offensive line. They look to fix that issue this year with a class loaded with top linemen prospects. The class is headlined by A’Shawn Robinson, an offensive tackle out of Ft. Worth.

    The Longhorns have three other linemen who are committed who are talented enough to walk into Austin and challenge for a starting job.

    Athletes Tyrone Swoopes and Jacorey Warrick will be able to step into offensive playmaker roles and make a difference immediately as well.

    This isn’t a big class, so far, for the Longhorns, but it has met needs with a fine precision, and it has been done with the best talent available. Mack Brown has continued his presence inside the Big 12 with the talent found in this class.

    Look for Jake Oliver out of Dallas to be an immediate challenger at receiver for the Longhorns as well. This will be a stacked team when it is finished in February.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Level

No. 8: Michigan Wolverines

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    The Wolverines have one of the best quarterbacks in the 2013 class committed with Shane Morris headlining this recruiting class.

    Michigan is also filling a lot of needs along the offensive line with seven of its top 10 recruits playing along the offensive front. The Wolverines are also bringing in two huge playmakers along the defensive line with Taco Charlton and Henry Poggi committed to the maize and blue.

    Brady Hoke is also looking for defensive playmakers in this class and has one of the best in the class with Dymonte Thomas coming in as a safety for the Wolverines.

    Michael McCray and Ben Gedeon are two others who will be able to come in and make a difference immediately on defense. The Wolverines lose a number of key playmakers from the defense this fall.

    Jaron Dukes is a rangy wide receiver who stands at 6’5”, 200 pounds. He will be able to make an immediate impact in the vertical game for the Michigan offense.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Level

No. 7: LSU Tigers

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    UA All-American Game Commits: Kendell Beckwith (WDE, 6’2”, 225)

    The LSU Tigers landed a huge commit (via Lyons Yellin of The Times-Picayune) in the first quarter of the Under Armour All-American game when Kendell Beckwith committed to play for the Tigers over Alabama.

    He will be a great fit for the Tigers along the defensive line and has the chance to be an immediate contributor.

    The Tigers also have the pledge of Greg Gilmore, Frank Herron and Christian LaCouture along the defensive front.

    Hayden Rettig is a huge quarterback prospect who has a huge arm. He may not play as a freshman, but given one season in the program, he may be called on as a redshirt freshman contributor.

    Jeremy Cutrer will look to step in at safety and compete for the positions left open by Therold Simon and Eric Reid in the Tigers secondary. He is a 6’3” hitter who will add weight to his frame in time.

    This is another reload class for the Tigers in Baton Rouge, proving that they will continue to be major contenders in the SEC West.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Up

No. 6: Texas A&M Aggies

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    Army All-American Game Commits: Tony Stevens (WR, 6'4",184)

    The Aggies are putting together a massive push in the SEC to battle the top programs in the country for the best athletes anywhere. Texas A&M has already signed nine JUCO players to letters of intent. One player who signed was JaQuay Williams, a receiver who headlined the Auburn class a year ago.

    The Aggies also have commitments from Ricky Seals-Jones and Derrick Griffin, two of the best receivers in the 2013 recruiting class. The addition of Tony Stevens to the class puts this Aggies squad among the best in the country on offense. 

    Texas A&M also fills out needs along the defensive front with commitments from defensive tackles Justin Manning and Isaiah Golden. Both can fill immediate needs in the defensive line rotation.

    The Aggies have a sleeper safety commit in Jonathan Wiggins who could make waves early. He has ideal size—he is 6’3”, 200 lbs—to step in immediately and play.

    This is one of the best classes that has come together in College Station. Kevin Sumlin has put together an impressive class that will be one of the best in the country this signing day.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Up


No. 5: Florida Gators

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    The Gators have always been a recruiting hotbed, but the recent success that saw the Gators finish in the BCS has helped this team bring in the best talent in years.

    Two JUCO players have already signed with the Gators, Trenton Brown and Darious Cummings, and a number of big names remain on the commit list.

    The Gators have filled needs at receiver with Ahmad Fulwood and Alvin Bailey, as well as sleeper Chris Thompson from Gainesville.

    Will Muschamp has his team reaching the top of college football on the field, and now, he has them touching the sky in the recruiting game. Kelvin Taylor is a name to watch at running back, as he has the skills and body to show up and start from day one.

    Marcell Harris is another true freshman to watch as a need at safety is apparent after the early departure of Matt Elam.

    This could be the best class of the Muschamp era.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Up

No. 4: Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Army All-American Game Commits: Mike Mitchell (OLB, 6'4", 216 lbs)

    UA All-American Game Commits: Trey Johnson (ILB, 6'1", 215 lbs) (via Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

    The Buckeyes went undefeated in Urban Meyer’s first season, but there were glaring holes that need to be filled in the 2013 class. So far, this class has matched top talent with top needs, and the Buckeyes are leading the Big Ten because of it.

    Meyer has met his need at corner with two of the best in the country as Cameron Burrows and Eli Woodard are expected to ink with the Buckeyes in February. Michael Hill and Billy Price are both big interior defensive linemen who could also help the defense from day one.

    With a young offense returning, defense is the primary need and focus in this class. It shows from the talent found up and down the commitment list.

    One sleeper in the class is Darron Lee, a 6’3”, 205-pound athlete. Lee was a quarterback in high school, but he has the ability to move to defense or receiver in college. His tweener status is what has kept his ratings low.

    The Buckeyes have the chance to move around the rankings a bit before the close of this class, but to this point, a Top-Five finish is very impressive.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Up

No. 3: USC Trojans

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    UA All-American Game Commits: Leon McQuay III (S/ATH, 6’2”, 183 lbs)

    The USC Trojans are putting together the best class in the country with limited numbers this winter. With only 14 commitments on board, they have accumulated fits for every need, and they have done it with the best talent in the country.

    The Trojans missed out on Max Redfield during the game, but they earned the commitment  of Leon McQuay III which helped ease the pain. (via Brian McLaughlin of Sporting News)

    Max Browne and Kenny Bigelow headline a class that is full of star-studded talent. With a number of key recruits left on the Trojans big board, this class has nowhere to go but up.

    Browne is expected to be an early enrollee which would make him a part of the 2013 quarterback race.

    Lane Kiffin may not be lauded for his on-field coaching decisions, but his recruiting abilities are impossible to ignore. He consistently grabs top classes in L.A.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Level

No. 2: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    UA All-American Game Commits: Max Redfield (S/ATH, 6’2”, 181lbs)

    The Fighting Irish have been on the hunt on the recruiting trail, under Brian Kelly, bringing in a number of top prospects in the past few seasons.

    This year, the Irish have the third-best class in the country heading into late January, with big needs being filled throughout the class. Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston are headliners at the running back position and will have the chance to step in and play immediately.

    Max Redfield made the choice to jump to Notre Dame from USC (via Derek Tyson of ESPN), giving the Irish a major edge in the recruiting game during the contest. 

    The Irish have filled out the offensive line in this class as well as the linebacker position. Notre Dame has also picked up two sleeper receivers in James Onwualu and Will Fuller.

    This team will lose a number of key playmakers on the outside this season, and both of those guys will have the chance to step in and perform early.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Up

No. 1: Alabama Crimson Tide

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    The Crimson Tide are once again reloading their roster with this year’s signing class, already bringing in two JUCO offensive linemen in the JUCO signing period.

    The Tide have commitments from O.J. Howard and Robert Foster to headline the pass-catching needs on offense, and they have Altee Tenpenny and Tyren Jones as guys who could come in and run right away.

    Cooper Bateman is a tall and rangy quarterback with a live arm that will fit the Tide’s needs in their pro-style offense perfectly. He will fit well in the Alabama play-action role.

    To fill in on defense, the Tide will bring in highly touted defensive tackle Darius Paige and outside linebacker Jonathan Allen. Both could see playing time from day one.

    Kendall Beckwith was expected to commit to Alabama in the Under Armour All-American game, but instead, he picked the LSU Tigers.

    Leading into signing day, the 21 players on Alabama’s commit list make up the top recruiting class in the country.

    Stock Report After Army All-America Game: Down