Just before 2017 National Signing Day arrived, the Alabama Crimson Tide received word that four-star defensive tackle Akial Byars would not be included in their group as a result of non-qualification. After signing with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, there was an expectation that Byars would be able to land in Tuscaloosa beginning in 2018 but that doesn’t appear to be happening.
The reason? Byars saw the writing on the wall and is headed to a different location in the SEC after committing to Missouri.
247Sports brings word as to why Byars and Alabama were not a match at this point:
Earlier Wednesday evening, BamaOnLine was told Byers, after signing with Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. with expectations to enroll at Alabama next January, made a high enough score on the February ACT that if he finishes his senior year strong in the classroom he’ll have the opportunity to play somewhere immediately in the fall. The only problem for the Crimson Tide, that fans saw with Jarez Parks on National Signing Day, there isn’t currently a spot at Alabama.
The only viable way Byers could have stayed with the Tide was still going the junior college route and enrolling at the Capstone next January, something he wasn’t wanting to do with qualifying test scores.
This makes sense on a number of levels, especially given Alabama’s overwhelming abundance of talent in the program. Still, it is always a bit odd to see a player languish in this fashion and Byars seems to have found a (very) nice landing spot at Missouri, where he can flourish in the future.