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RECRUITING UPDATE: Official Visits, Reclassification to 2024, Bowl Practice

After a State Championship game against Jaylen Mbakwe, dynamic 5-star receiver Ryan Williams announces he will join the Crimson Tide a year earlier.

2LiveQ

Julian Sayin to Ryan Williams... TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA!

Get use to hearing that refrain.

Late last week, news broke that 2025 5-star wide receiver Ryan Williams was going to make a big announcement on Monday. Many of the Auburn fans were convinced that he was going to flip to the Tigers. But more level heads were able to figure it out. Monday morning, Williams announced that he would graduate from high school early and reclassify to the class of 2024.

Williams played for Saraland High School just north of Mobile. He is a consensus 5-star and top 20 recruit according to the big four recruiting sites. His high school team lost in the state championship to powerhouse Clay-Chalkville 31-28 with the game ending at the CCHS 1-yard line. The defeat certainly did not come without maximum effort from Williams. The star receiver tallied 11 catches, 232 yards, 2 rec TDs, 1 rush TD, and an 86-yard kick return for a touchdown in the title game.

On the season, Williams had 72 catches for 1,324 yards and 26 total touchdowns. He has racked up 5,000+ all-purpose yards and 80 total touchdowns in his three year high school career. He was named Mr. Football & Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year in 2022 and may have a repeat when those awards are announced in the coming days.

This guy is electric. He is fast and elusive. Williams can play outside or in the slot and has frequently found success as a ball carrier in the wildcat or in jet sweeps. He runs a sub-10.5 100-meter and also competes in the high jump with a high of 6-8 [To give you an idea of what that means, he could jump over Kadyn Proctor]. His route running is crisp and he explodes out of cuts that seem to defy physics.

If there is any concern, it might be that he will need to add a little bulk. But that should not be a problem once he gets on campus. Williams is listed at 6-0 and anywhere from 150 to 165 pounds.


[Side note: Tim Watts of On3.com says Williams is currently 16 years old. He will join the team in the summer.]

OFFICIAL VISITS

Official visitors and their families all had dinner with most of the coaching staff on Friday night. Much of Saturday was spent in the facilities and meeting with academic advisors before heading to Nick Saban’s lake house for a party. On Sunday, they returned to Saban’s home for more reindeer games.

  • One of the biggest under-the-radar recruits is Favour Edwin. He is an intriguing prospect in that he is relatively new to football. The offensive tackle is rated 3-stars, but stay with me here for a minute. He moved to the US (McDonough, GA) a few years ago as a basketball player, though his family still lives in Nigeria. At 6-6.5 and 300 lbs, it was clear that he probably did not have a future on the basketball court. Edwin was ruled ineligible as a junior, so this was his first year playing high school football. This past summer, he camped at Alabama and had a really good showing which resulted in one of those early offers that is not firm. The Tide staff still needed to evaluate him as a senior. After seeing his performance this season, they were sold and solidified the offer. He is still a year or two away from being a major contributor, but that can be said for a lot of highly ranked linemen. Auburn, Florida, Clemson, and Georgia Tech are also on his radar.
  • DE Steve Mboumoua visited from Quebec City, Canada with his parents along with a few coaches. He reportedly had a great time. He is a solid 6-3.5, 275-pounds and built like a tank. The crootin sites all predict him as a Bama commit. There will be some time to adjust to SEC football but the staff loves his potential.
  • Texas A&M LB commit Tristan Jernigan (Tupelo, MS) also OV’d. I may be wrong but my gut tells me he isn’t flipping.

FINAL OV WEEKEND FOR EARLY SIGNERS

  • Bama is looking to add a running back to this class. Arkansas commit Jadan Baugh (Decatur, GA) is scheduled to OV this coming weekend. If the Tide puts the full court press on him, it’s going to be difficult to see Arky hang on to him. Kewan Lacey (Lancaster, TX) is also a RB candidate.
  • Texas A&M EDGE/DL LT Overton is in the Transfer Portal and is planning a visit this weekend.
  • Tide safety commit Red Morgan, amazingly pulled out of Phenix City, will be taking his OV. He was flipped from Florida State in August. TE commit Jay Lindsey (Butler, AL) will also be on campus.

OTHER STUFF

  • Playing QB in the State Championship, Alabama commit Jaylen Mbakwe had 282 total yards and four TDs for Clay-Chalkville’s win at Bryant-Denny Stadium. He was named the game’s MVP. He begins bowl practice as a cornerback with the Crimson Tide this month.
  • Others expected to participate in bowl practice: QB Julian Sayin, TE Caleb Odom, LB Sterling Dixon, LB Cayden Jones, LB Justin Okoronkwo, OL Joseph Ionata, OL Casey Poe, DB Zabien Brown, DB Peyton Woodyard, DB Jameer Grimsley, DB Red Morgan, DL Isaia Faga, DL Jeremiah Beaman, DB Dre Kirkpatrick Jr, and OL William Sanders.
  • WR Amari Jefferson finished the season with 74 receptions for 1,401 yards and 20 total scores. The Chattanooga native was named Mr. Football in Tennessee. He originally committed to the Vols to play baseball.
  • On the season, WR Rico Scott totaled 86 grabs for 1,353 yards, and tallied 25 total TDs. It looks like Alabama will have a good collection of receivers to add to the team.
  • Nick Saban is on the Left Coast on Monday for in-home visits with QB Julian Sayin (Carlsbad), S Peyton Woodyard (Bellflower) and CB Zabien Brown (Santa Ana).
  • Other recruits to keep an eye on are 4-star EDGE Solomon Williams (Tampa, FL) and Top 100 CB/S Zay Mincey (Daytona Beach).
  • And finally, it would not be crootin season if not for some drama and intrigue. There have been some rumors floating around that Foley, AL resident and Auburn commit Perry Thompson may or may have not been in Tuscaloosa this weekend, more specifically hanging around with Ryan Williams. The high 4-star receiver originally committed to Alabama but then flipped to the Tigers over the summer. Either way, he has been incommunicado with everyone for several weeks now. Even so, it feels like the Alabama staff has moved on from him. Normally in these situations, Bama coaches will still be in contact, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in this instance. There may be some kind of issue that has made them back off. But then again, crazier things have happened. He may have asked everyone to keep quiet to cut down on the mayhem that would come with a “back-flip”.
  • WR Ryan Williams, WR Amari Jefferson, WR Rico Scott, and TE Jay Lindsey will not enroll early. Scott and Jefferson can’t enroll early because their schools don’t not allow early graduation.

CROOTIN CALENDAR

Dec 16: Last day of contact period
Dec 17: Quiet period
Dec 18-Jan 11: Dead period
Dec 20-22: Signing Day
Jan 12-Feb 3: New contact period begins
Feb 4: Quiet period
Feb 5-Mar 3 Dead Period
Feb 7-Apr 1: Second Signing Day

#RollTide #NSD2024