You can’t win the regional or national recruiting battles without first winning your state. LaBryan Ray is the state of Alabama’s No. 1 overall recruit and a consensus 5-star defensive end in a draft year that has excellent d-linemen prospects.
Ray, a James Clemens teammate of Alabama DB early enrollee Kyriq McDonald, was long thought to be an Alabama lean. However, he remained mostly tight-lipped in a recruiting process that went down to the wire, taking his final OV to Florida a week before NSD. LaBryan had narrowed his finalists to Alabama, Florida, Ole Miss, and Tennessee — the latter had pursued him doggedly.
As his body has grown, Ray’s projections from the next level have change as well: He has gone from a weakside- to a strongside-DE, and there is speculation that at his size (6’4”, 260) he could very well be moved inside. A move inside may be the best for Ray, who, like A’Shawn Robinson, carries his strong frame explosively and devours the run, but is not a gifted pass rusher. His pure physical strength, consistently high effort, and ability to set the edge make him an instant contributor on standard downs.
Roll Tide, LaBryan