Montrell Custis committed to Kentucky before the conclusion of his junior season, but offers have continued to come for the Georgia defensive back. Alabama, who joined the pursuit in late February, swiped him away from the Wildcats on Monday:
The 6'0", 175-pound playmaker from Lovejoy High School (Hampton, Ga.) becomes the 10th member of Alabama's 2015 recruiting class. The group rates second nationally in 247Sports' composite team rankings.
Custis, a 3-star prospect, picked up an offer from Alabama on Feb. 25. He attended a junior day on campus one week later.
With confidence in his commitment to the Wildcats waning, Custis chose to visit the Crimson Tide again this past weekend. The trip affirmed growing thoughts that he belongs in Tuscaloosa.
"I think Coach [Nick] Saban kind of knew that I was going to commit to Alabama before the visit ended Saturday," he told Scout.com reporter John Garcia Jr. "I did not commit before I left, but I gave Coach Saban a call (Monday) and made my commitment to Alabama official."
Custis, rated No. 58 nationally among cornerbacks in 247Sports' composite rankings, leaves Kentucky with five 2015 commits. He was the earliest pledge in the group before his decision to bail, committing to head coach Mark Stoops in November.
The Wildcats, a two-win team in 2013, were unable to beat out the opportunity presented to Custis by Alabama, a program with three national championships in the past five seasons.
"I want to be the best that I can be, so to be the best, you have to compete against the best, play with the best and play against the best - and you get all that at Alabama," he told Scout.
Stoops was able to win a pivotal recruiting showdown with Saban during the final stretch of the 2014 cycle, securing a commitment from 4-star in-state defensive tackle Matt Elam. This time, however, the edge went to Alabama.
Kentucky lost at home to the Tide 48-7 last fall during Stoops' first season at the helm. The Wildcats have enjoyed a rise in recruiting success under the former Florida State defensive coordinator, but the loss of a longtime pledge will undoubtedly sting in Lexington.
"The Kentucky coaches took it well, they understood it was a business decision," Custis told Clayton News Daily reporter Derrick Mahone.
Alabama moves forward with two talented defensive backs in its class. Texas safety Deionte Thompson committed to the Tide during his sophomore year.
Expect Saban to stay active in his efforts to address defensive secondary depth. Cornerbacks Minkah Fitzpatrick (New Jersey) and Kendall Sheffield (Texas)—both 5-star recruits—remain in the crosshairs.
Aside from Alabama and Kentucky, Custis also holds offers from Auburn, Tennessee, Clemson and Oregon.