In a bit of a surprise move, 4-star DT Phidarian Mathis made a commitment Tuesday afternoon to the Crimson Tide.
In a ceremony at the grave site of his fallen friend, Tyrell Cameron, who died of injuries sustained in a 2015 football game, Mathis was surrounded by his mother, grandmother, and the parents of Cameron. In front of him laid an Alabama Peach Bowl hat, a TCU hat, and an LSU hat that looked like it was bought down at the corner gas station. Also, witnessing this event was well over 10,000 viewers on Facebook Live and many more on Periscope.
Mathis is that hybrid defensive lineman who can work at the three-technique or five-technique. He has a great frame with length and the ability to move up the field or laterally. He has a good first step and he is hard to push back. He plays with solid technique, firing off the ball low out of the four-point stance and using his hands. He plays at a great program in Neville, who produces many top prospects, so he is being coached up and prepared for college football daily. He can still develop as a pass rusher in terms of moves. He uses more power, quickness and bull rush right now. He is able to set the edge or collapse the pocket. He is a versatile defensive lineman with a lot to like.
Nick Saban keeps the Monroe pipeline running as Alabama snares the 6'4" 293 pounder. Alabama now has the three of the top six players out of Louisiana (Dylan Moses, Christopher Allen, and Mathis) with Devonta Smith and Todd Harris announcing on Wednesday. The only other Louisianan in the top 6 is LSU commit Tyler Shelvin.
So, what does this mean for the rest of the DL prospects? My guess is that Aubrey Solomon is heading elsewhere (I have long believed that he is a secret UGA commit that just wants to "surprise" everyone when he whips out a hat with a "G" on it at his presser). LaBryan Ray and Jarez Parks are still on the Bama big board but is there room for both of them? Stay Tuned.