To many Alabama fans, the position of cornerback has been one of great concern in recent seasons. On Saturday, the Crimson Tide received a verbal commitment from top-tier cover man Minkah Fitzpatrick. Add him in with the 2014 additions of Tony Brown and Marlon Humphrey and the corner situation is looking quite a bit rosier.
Fitzpatrick has been rated both four and five stars by the top recruiting services but everyone agrees that he is among the top four cornerbacks for the Class of 2015.
At 6-0 and 180 pounds, he seems to fit that Nick Saban mold of a defensive back. He has great quickness and mobility to stay on top of the fastest of receivers.His ability to backpedal and changing directions make him an elite cover corner. If there is one knock on him, it might be that he needs to work on his strength. But fear not, Alabama has a cure for that.
In 2012, Fitzpatrick had 21 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 12 pass break-ups. As a junior last season, he improved to 62 tackles, 4 INTs, and 21 PBUs.
The Jersey City, New Jersey product is no stranger to Alabama as he mentioned in a recent interview:
"I've got a lot of family in Alabama – my father's side is from there – so that's a big plus," Fitzpatrick told Rivals' Mike Farrell during a Rivals Camp Series event in New Jersey, where he received an invitation to the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in Baltimore. "Coach (Nick) Saban is one of the greatest defensive back coaches and one of the greatest coaches of all time. Getting to learn from him for three or four years would be a great experience and I felt like I'd become the best player I could be there."
Fitzpatrick chose Alabama over FSU and Ohio State.
We have a commitments!
4-star wide receiver Calvin Ridley (6-2/170) of Monarch High School in Pompano Beach, FL has just Tweeted his commitment:
I am now committing to the university of Alabama pic.twitter.com/mgrhK7qnX3— c.o.r boyz (@ridley_calvin) April 19, 2014
Ridley caught 41 passes in 2013 for 1,131 yards and 12 touchdowns. Rivals ranks him 5-stars and as the #1 overall WR. 247 and ESPN have him at #3 WR with 4 stars.
Monarch HS teammate and good friend 4-star wide receiver/safety Shawn Burgess-Becker has committed as well. He caught 20 passes for 518 yards and 5 TDs. On defense, he recorded 72 tackles and 5 interceptions. He is the nation's #5 Athlete.
Leo Lewis (6-3/225) 4-star linebacker from Brookhaven, Mississippi had 100 tackles, 5 sacks, 4 caused fumbles, 7 QB hurries, 1 INT in 2013. He is the top prospect from the Magnolia state.
UPDATE: Jovon Durante was reported as the fifth commitment of the day but this is not the case as of yet. The 4-star WR from Miami committed to West Virginia in July 2013. Durante scored 13 total touchdowns as a sophomore and nine touchdowns in his first eight games of 2013. He hails from the same high school as another Tide WR you may have heard of - some guy named Amari Cooper. We will report back when we hear more.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, Calvin Ridley, Shawn Burgess-Becker, and Jovon Durante were all recruited by Alabama OL coach Mario Cristobal.
Could the nation's top running back 5-star Damien Harris be next?