With less than one month until the Early Signing Period, aka the de facto new National Signing Day, the Alabama Class of 2022 is starting to take form.
The ESP begins at the crack of dawn on December 15 and lasts until December 17. Most of the 19 players committed to the Crimson Tide are expected to sign on the 15th, but not all of them. More on that later.
It is still early but so far eight Tide commits are expected to enroll in January:
- EDGE Jeremiah Alexander
- QB Ty Simpson
- LB Shawn Murphy
- OL Tyler Booker
- CB Trequon Fegans
- TE Elijah Brown
- S Jake Pope
- DT Isaiah Hastings
BACK ON THE MARKET
The Guys. #WhatIf #WhatIf #ThatsAScaryDuo ⬇️ ⬇️ #SoFlo #SoCal #Connect #Interesting #Dec15th #IsTheDate #ENSD #EJr2 aka #TheSTANDARD #DJ1 pic.twitter.com/wn1KergJ56— Earl Little (@Earl20201) November 15, 2021
The big news this weekend was the decommitment of 5-star CB Domani Jackson from Southern Cal to whom he committed to in January. Since that time, the Trojans’ (4-5) season has gone in the dumpster and spontaneously combusted. Jackson had an Official Visit to Michigan September 11 and to Alabama on November 6 for the LSU game. A week later, he decommitted. Related? You be the judge.
“It’s the atmosphere out there,” Jackson said. “It’s just totally different from LA. I know LA can be like that but the Coliseum is barely packed. It’s like they don’t love football out here anymore. Bama is all day long, all morning long and the game atmosphere is crazy and they play against the top talent.”
Jackson is ranked the No. 6 overall player by 247sport composite rankings. He attends Mater Dei in Santa Ana, California, the same school that produced QB Bryce Young and OL Tommy Brown. He is expected to sign during the early signing period.
Fellow cornerback target Earl Little (#100) is not committed just yet but he appears to be a uranium heavy lean to Alabama. His above tweet is quite intriguing. Little is expectred to announce and sign during the ESP.
How does this affect Denver Harris, 5-star #13 overall, cornerback out of North Shore High School in Houston, TX? The Tide currently have three defensive backs committed: Tre’Quon Fegans, Antonio Kite and Jake Pope. There is not much reason to think any of those three do not sign with Alabama. Adding Jackson and Little would bring that total to five. Would Nick Saban use a sixth scholarship on Harris? You bet your sweet bippy. Bama will take all three.
Anthony Lucas, 4-star #60, Edge rusher, made a surprise second visit to Tuscaloosa this past weekend for the NMSU game all the way from Scottsdale, Arizona. He took his OV in June and had an unofficial with his family for the LSU game Nov. 6. He was hoping to keep this latest trip under wraps and not make a big deal about it. Apparently, he traveled with a friend and the friend’s family who have a sister/daughter who is on the Alabama dance team. It sounds like a “hey, we’re going to T-town. Wanna tag along?” kind of visit. However, Lucas did spend time with defensive line coach Freddie Roach and they watched some film together. This is by no means a slam-dunk but two trips in two weeks is promising.
The Tide staff will host two on OVs this weekend for the Arkansas game. One is a top in-state prospect. The other is already committed.
- Khurtiss Perry, 4-star #69, defensive line (Pike Road, AL). Alabama seems like the overwhelming favorite for this prospect. He has taken multiple trips to Tuscaloosa over the last few months.
- UPDATE: Reports have surfaced that 5-star WR Evan Stewart will also be in town for his OV. The Frisco, TX native is ranked the third best player in the nation. You may recall, Stewart decided not to play with his high school this fall after spat with coaches. [ED.NOTE: Don’t want him.]
- UPDATE: 4-star #47 IOL Earnest Greene from Bellflower, CA may be coming in but not confirmed. This is the first I have heard of his serious interest in the Tide. Check back later in the week to see if he follows through with the trip.
- 4-star linebacker Shawn Murphy will be down from Manassas, VA with his family. The 50th ranked prospect committed to the Crimson Tide back in July. He is projected to play inside linebacker.
- UPDATE: 4-star WR Kobe Prentice (Calera, AL) will also use this weekend as his one and only OV. Thus far, he has 58 receptions for 1,086 yards and 18 touchdowns in ten games.
UNOFFICIAL VISITOR OF NOTE
- UPDATE: 2023 quarterback Nicholaus “Nico” Iamaleava will take an unofficial visit to Alabama with his father and some teammates this weekend. The Downey (Calif.) junior is rated 5-stars and ranked the 17th overall player. This will be his second visited to Alabama following one over the summer. [ED.NOTE: Junior prospects cannot make OVs until after the previous class has their February National Signing Day.]
Alabama is expected to sign around 26-28 prospects to this class. With all the confusing one-year rules and waivers floating around, that number could fluctuate. The overall scholarship limit remains at 85.
The Tide currently have 19 committed. However, there is chatter that they may lose one or two. It has long been believed that DL Walter Bob may have some academic issues. If that holds true, he may be placed at a juco or he may try and find a school with lower entrance standards. There is also buzz around LB Robert Woodyard not being a part of this class. He is receiving a lot of attention from Auburn and word is Alabama would not put up much of a fight to keep him. So, don’t let Auburn fans tell you they stole him.
WHO MIGHT BAMA ADD?
- Defensive line (1 or 2) - In today’s football, it seems you can never have too many good ones. Alabama is working hard on Perry, Lucas, and Marvin Jones Jr. Jones feels like he ends up elsewhere. Enai White is a bit of a longshot at this point unless he returns to T-town for another visit.
- Defensive backs (2 or 3) - We pretty much covered this one. Bama will likely take two more, but a third is not out of the question.
- Linebackers (0 or 1) - With his decommitment from Florida, Shemar James is back in the Crimson Tide crosshairs. The Mobile resident’s original commitment to the Gators came as quite a surprise. Now he is looking at UGA along with the Tide. My gut tells me he simply does not want to be a part of this Alabama class. If I was a betting man, I’d put my money on the Bulldogs.
- Offensive line (0 or 1) - Bama appears to want to add a fourth OL to this class but won’t take another out of desperation. The Tide have been pushing hard for Kentucky commit Kiyaunta Goodwin but it doesn’t feel like he will flip. His southern Indiana hometown is about a 90 minute drive from Lexington and that seems to be important to him. Also under considerations are 5-star interior lineman Devon Campbell of Arlington, TX and 4-star IOL Julian Armella on Fort Lauderdale. Campbell’s mindset is a mystery right now. He is very quiet about the whole process. Armella OV’d to Tuscaloosa for the LSU game but there has not been much buzz.
- Wide receiver (1 or 2) - Boot-shaped state natives Shazz Preston and Kendrick Law are the main targets though there could be a “JoJo” wildcard out there. Florida commit Isaiah Bond could be that wildcard. He is a teammate of Jake Pope. Bama has backed off of Barion Brown. Evan Stewart likely stays within the confines of the Lone Star State (see UPDATE above).
- Running back (1) - Alabama is working hard on Texas commitment Jamarion Miller and uncommitted Jovantae Barnes to pair with 5-star Emmanuel Henderson. Miller made his pledge to the Longhorns before the season began. Barnes is from Las Vegas and distance might be an issue. I cannot recall a single prospect from Nevada to sign with UA.
- Quarterback, tight ends, specialists (0) - Bama has their QB of the future. It’s doubtful they would spring for another unless they can get a walk-on or find themselves with an open spot after the dust settles following A-Day, à la Layne Hatcher from a few years ago. No more tight ends needed. No kickers or long snappers will be getting a full-ride this time around.