In case you missed the game (and I’m sure most of you did, as there are few of us crazy enough to go watch high schoolers play a pointless game on a Thursday night), this will serve as your recap for highlighting the performances of each of the 6 Alabama commits playing tonight.
Stephon Wynn DE Anderson, SC (IMG) 6’5” 285 ****
The next man up out of IMG Academy, Wynn is a versatile interior lineman that can play either the 3T or 5T and excels at two-gap assignment football. As you’d expect from an IMG product, Wynn is well-schooled on his hand technique and understands how to stack a blocker and then shed to whichever side he needs to.
He’s listed anywhere in the 279-285 range, depending on what website you look at, but I think he showed up tonight closer to the 295-300 range, and it wasn’t a good look. He was slow and often gave minimal effort on pass rushes. He had a few good assignment football plays when he forced a running back to go another direction, but offset that by leaving a gaping hole between his left tackle and the left guard and then just stood there as the opposing QB scrambled through it.
He’s a smart player with good technique, but I think needs to lose some pounds to be effective.
Tommy Brown OL Santa Ana, CA 6’7” / 315 ****
Brown started out at right tackle for a few plays, then moved in to right guard for most of the game. He also swapped over to left guard for a series to show off his versatility. Unfortunately, he broke his finger in the 3rd quarter and missed the rest of the game.
There’s a chance I may have missed a play, but to my memory, Brown did not miss a single block. He absolutely stonewalled every defender in pass protection and generally moved his man further off the ball than any other lineman in run blocking. He displayed exceptional hand technique, punching defensive linemen in the chest and keeping them off balance all game, and once even stopped a defensive end dead in his tracks with one stiff arm while turning to help chip the defender who was attempting to get around the center.
I only saw two mistakes from him all night, both related to balance. Once on a screen play he tripped when coming off the line to go lead block on the edge, and once he stumbled when his QB was scrambling around and changed directions in the pocket a couple of times.
Other than that though, he was absolutely dominant.
Quay Walker OLB Cordele, GA 6’3”/218 ****
Walker was the lone Bama commit in this game who didn’t sign in the Early Signing Period. He’s also the only true off-the-ball linebacker in our class. He generally played the Will linebacker in his team’s base 4-3 defense, but would move to an inside linebacker in nickel/dime packages.
He was always quick to diagnose any running back dump-offs/screens and in the vicinity of most anything happening around the perimeter. But the opponent’s offensive strategy was mostly based around an outside passing game to the receivers, so Walker wasn’t involved in plays very often.
Xavier Williams WR Hollywood, FL 6’0” / 180 ****
The nation’s number 3 athlete has said that he is going to Alabama to play receiver, but is open to playing DB if the team needs it. In any case, he only played receiver tonight. He was usually in the slot, but occasionally bumped outside.
Williams’s first catch came on a 8 yard out route where he cut so quickly that the defensive back was already 5 yards down the field before he realized Williams had stopped. He then juked the same corner and slipped his way for the first down and a 13 yard gain.
He then disappeared for a while until the QB threw a slant pass to him into the dirt. Williams dove and nearly got the ball an inch from the ground, but couldn’t quite pull it in. His next shot was an a straight streak route. He had a couple of yards of separation on the two DBs trailing behind him, but the QB overthrew him just a little. He had to lay out horizontal on a dive to try and get it. It hit his hands and bounced out, but it was NOT an easy catch, and would have made the highlight reel in an NFL game if he had come down with it.
Late in the game, he stemmed to the outside then dropped a quick double move as soon as the DB turned his hips and flashed wide open down the seam for an easy 34 yard touchdown. His QB (an Auburn commit) nearly missed him anyway and he had to fall backwards over the wrong shoulder to haul it in.
Bama commit Xavier Williams with a TD catch! pic.twitter.com/SZVGmvKHiR— West Coast Tide Fans (@WCTideFans) January 5, 2018
Plus, he just seems like a genuinely funny guy.
Jordan Davis DE Memphis, TN 6’5” 225 ****
Davis was easily the biggest disappointment of the crew. He played on the edge as a DE/OLB hybrid. At the very beginning of the game he had a nice burst around the left tackle and just barely missed the sack as the QB stepped up into the pocket. After that, he was absolutely invisible.
He occasionally would get a step on the tackle on an outside rush, but never tried any moves other than that. In the run game, he was constantly either knocked backwards and overpowered or out of position and leaving wide open holes. He did generally give good effort in pursuit, but all for naught, as he ended up with 0 tackles and 4 whiffs to my count.
Eyabi Anoma DE Baltimore, MD 6’6’’ / 223 *****
So, a 6’6” freak of nature that’s only been playing football for three years signed with Alabama?
Truthfully, up to this point I’ve only watched videos from his junior year (his first year of football ever) and what I saw in them compared to what I saw tonight was night and day. He has raw acceleration, speed, and explosion that really has no comparison. On top of that, he’s added some inside counters and a fake-counter, outside-spin to his arsenal. I also saw him convert that explosion into power once too, as he hit a double team head-on and knocked them both back 2 yards.
He had 2 sacks and probably 6 QB hurries on the night. I’ll just leave you with a couple of highlights and let that do the rest of the talking. This guy is gonna be an absolute force.
(He’s number 9 lining up over the left tackle)