The Alabama Crimson Tide reload their pool of elite student-athletes better than anywhere in the country. Once again, head coach Nick Saban is bringing in college football’s top-ranked class for the 2019 recruiting cycle, but they weren’t even close to being done yet when National Signing Day rolled around on February 6.
On signing day, Alabama inked another commitment from Byron Young, the No. 8 defensive tackle in the country. Later in the afternoon, they scored again when No. 5 defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher announced live on ESPNU that he chose Alabama over LSU for “the next three or four years,” eluding to the likelihood that he’ll join the long list of ‘Bama defensive linemen who moved onto careers in the NFL.
Four-star defensive lineman Byron Young signed his National Letter of Intent at West Jones High School in Laurel (MS). After committing to the Crimson Tide back in July, Young waited until signing day to make his decision. He ultimately passed on offers from Florida, LSU, Mississippi State and Ole Miss to wear crimson and white in 2019.
Young posted double-digit sacks in three-straight seasons playing for head coach Scott Pierson at West Jones, but his team lost the MHSAA Class 5A State Championship in his final year of high school football. At 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds, SEC schools tried to lure him away from Tuscaloosa, but in the end, Alabama is just too good to pass up.
If one elite defender wasn’t enough to bookend this class, the Alabama football program grabbed another Under Armour All-American defensive tackle, just in case.
Four-star defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher passed on offers from LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Oregon to join the Crimson Tide. The Amite High School (LA) star announced his decision just moments after his teammate, wide receiver Devonta Lee, committed to stay home and play for the LSU Tigers. Together, Sopsher and Lee helped the Amite Warriors finish 15-1 and capture the Louisiana Class 2A State Championship in 2018.
As a senior, Sopsher logged 78 tackles, 12 sacks, and eight forced fumbles in a dominating final high school football season when he was named First-Team All-State for the third-straight year.
Need more proof that “Defensive Lineman U” resides in Tuscaloosa? Here are the rest of the elite defensive lineman signed as part of the Crimson Tide’s recruiting class for 2019. All rankings are according to 247Sports:
– Antonio Alfano, No. 1 Strong-Side DE
– Justin Eboigbe, No. 5 SDE
– Kevin Harris, No. 5 Weak-Side DE
– King Mwikuta, No. 9 WDE
– Braylen Ingraham, No. 10 SDE
– DJ Dale, No. 18 Defensive Tackle