While most of America was spending Independence Day week at the lake or beach or maybe grilling out in the backyard, Nick Saban was probably in a dark room somewhere watching game film.
Saban was not the only person with Alabama football on his mind. The Tide picked up verbal commitments from three 4-star players for the Class of 2019.
Byron Young DE Laurel, MS 6’4”/279
The Fourth of July began with a bang for the Crimson Tide with the midnight commitment from this 4-star strongside defensive end. There are reports that say the Mississippi native made his pledge earlier than expected. [IMHO: I get the feeling this move was influenced by Saban. As we have reported, the Alabama coach is not messing around this year. It makes one wonder if Saban said something along the lines of commit or we are moving on to the next guy.]
247Sports Comp ranks Young as the No. 121 recruit in the nation. Rivals has him in the same ballpark at 129. Young chose the Tide over UGA and Missy State. Credit Pete Golding’s Magnolia State roots and position coach Craig Kuligowski for this get.
John Metchie WR Hagerstown, MD 6’0”/195
On Friday, the Crimson Tide finally nabbed their first pass-catcher for the Class of 2019. Metchie was born in Taiwan and has lived in Nigeria and Ghana before the family settled in the Toronto area. He enrolled in boarding school in Maryland in order to follow his dream of playing football, spending four years at that school. While still only 17 years old, the family felt another year would do him good. He will spend one post-graduate year at The Peddie School in Hightstown, NJ before moving on to Tuscaloosa next year.
247 Comp grades him No. 276 overall. Rivals is a little more bullish on him ranking him at No. 186. Metchie had 27 catches for 616 yards and 11 TDs in 2017. He is known as a very good route runner and a versatile receiver who can play wideout or in the slot. He has also logged time at running back, defensive back, and kick returner.
Once again, the tag team of Josh Gattis and Mike Locksley ventured into Big Ten territory for this commitment. Metchie picked Bama over Penn State with Michigan a distant third.
Jahleel Billingsley TE Chicago , IL 6’4”/216
Almost an hour after getting the Metchie announcement, the 20th commitment to the 2019 class was made from 247 Comp No. 294 (Rivals No. 206).
Billingsley caught 31 passes for 431 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior in 2017 for Phillips Academy, which won the Class 5A state championship. He has a good frame but need to put on some weight. [Just wait until Coach Cochran gets a hold of this kid.]
Dan Enos is credited with Billingsley’s commitment with an assist from Jeff Banks as well as Tide tight end Irv Smith who served as his host during his official visit June 15. Billingsley opted to roll with the Tide over the Florida Gators and basically the whole Big Ten.
The recruiting Dead Period ends July 24. Alabama will have another “invite-only” cookout on Friday, July 27. Most of the 2019 and 2020 commits who can make the trip are expected to be in attendance. For the attendees who are not committed, it should provide a better idea of where they stand with the Tide. Alabama has 20 commits, and are believed to be planning on signing somewhere between 26 to 28.