Alabama has already signed 28 players in this year’s class and is unlikely to bring in anyone else by National Signing Day on February 1st. However, there is still plenty of news around the recruiting trajectory as the Crimson Tide looks to add to its class of 2024 and beyond.
Wednesday also saw the first transfer gate window close, giving Alabama a sense of who will be on the team in the spring. With all of that in mind, here are some of the stories that have come true over the past week.
Lots of work in the portal
Thursday night continued a busy week in the transfer gate as Alabama received its second transfer commitment from Georgia linebacker Tresman Marshall. Last month, Alabama added Maryland tight end CJ Dipper.
Marshall played in 35 games over four seasons at Georgia, recording a career-high 31 stops. Over 14 games last season, the 6-foot-1, 230-pound defenseman recorded 19 tackles, including 4.5 for loss and 1 sack with an interception.
Marshall’s addition comes two days after Alabama inside linebacker Demoy Kennedy entered the transfer window. The Crimson Tide will also be without two major starters in Henry To’oTo and Jaylen Moody next season. Redshirt sophomore Deontae Lawson is expected to fill one of those starting spots. Marshall, a junior college senior, will compete with junior college transferee Justin Jefferson as well as Kendrick Blackshire, Jihad Campbell and Shaun Murphy for the other opener.
Alabama saw another departure this past weekend as receiver Tyler Harrell walked into the gate. The former Louisville receiver’s explosive numbers didn’t carry over to last season. Instead, due to an injury, Harrell was limited to just six games in his only season in Tuscaloosa. Now he will seek a new destination and possibly a fresh start in another uniform for his final year of eligibility.
That opens the door for early affiliate Malik Benson to display some of the same traits that Crimson Tide faithful have come to expect from Harrell. A nationally best junior college catcher, Benson had over 2,100 yards and 21 touchdowns in two seasons at JUCO at Kansas.
“He’s matured a lot,” Alabama wide receiver Jakory Brooks said in the run-up to last month’s Sugar Bowl presentation. “I’ve seen he has a lot of quick agility. I like his style of play.”
Benson worked with the team in the run-up to the Sugar Bowl, and thus has experience in collegiate practice. This, along with his skill set, gives him the opportunity to start quickly in a key position and make an immediate impact in 2023.
Julian Sign is still “All Crimson Tide” after a great show
Ohio State fired its best shot at future Alabama five-star quarterback, but Julian Signe doesn’t budge on his commitment to the Crimson Tide.
Ohio State offered Sign on Wednesday after visiting him at his school. Despite sharing a close relationship with Buckeyes head coach Corey Dennis, the Carlsbad, California native politely passed on Ohio State’s lead.
“I answer the coaches with whom I built respectful relationships and I met Coach Denise when I was a student,” Sign explained to Rivals. “But it’s all Crimson Tide here.”
Sign committed to Alabama in early November. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound passer was rated the No. 2 professional quarterback and No. 4 in the upcoming year class. He threw for 2,708 yards and 27 touchdowns with four interceptions during last year’s junior season.
McClain finally moves to Colorado
Alabama fans hold their breath at the prospect of five-star Crimson Tide cornerback Cormani McClain can exhale reluctantly. McClain had already flipped his commitment from Miami on Thursday night, but picked Colorado and first-year head coach Deion Sanders over Nick Saban and Alabama.
Colorado was one of three teams vying for McClain’s heart as Alabama and Florida were also vying for his services. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound defender was rated the best cornerback and the No. 3 player in this year’s class and would have been a nice late addition to the top-rated Crimson Tide class.
However, Alabama was able to hold its secondary stock in this year’s class. The Crimson Tide have added two five-star defensive backs, including Caleb Downs, the top safety in the country, and Desmond Ricks, who ranks just behind McClain for the No. 2 quarterback in this year’s class. In addition to those two, Alabama also added a pair of in-state Rivals100 members in Jahlil Hurley and Tony Mitchell as well as four-star Mississippi native Brayson Hubbard.
Beginners Day Yield Deals
This past weekend’s Freshman Day was a fruitful one for Alabama as it hosted some up and coming talent. Crimson Tide ended up stretching three shows during the festivities.
Linebacker D’Angelo Barber is an Alabama native in the class of 2024 who plays for Clay-Chalkville High School. The Crimson Tide show is his second Power Five show.
Defensive end Terrence Hepler Jr., a 2024 product from Holmes County High School in Mississippi, now has offers from both Alabama and Auburn to go with several more from his home state.
– Class of 2025 athlete Naim Auford can now add Alabama to a list of bids that also includes UAB, Auburn, Alabama State, and more. He played two ways at Parker High School in 2022.
Alabama commits to in-state visits
Class of 2024 tight end Martavious Collins paid a visit east to the Auburn Tigers this past weekend. He has been committed to Alabama since the summer of 2022. The four-star Rome native, Ga. He is the 22nd-ranked recruit in the state. Collins plays for Rome High School and last visited Alabama in June. His SEC bids include Alabama, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Arkansas, LSU, and Georgia.
Nick Saban makes his rounds
The Crimson Tide coaching staff visited high schools across the country this week. Alabama head coach Nick Saban has stopped by the following locations since January 17:
– Lancaster, Texas
– DeSoto, Texas
– Westlake, Georgia
– Parkview, Georgia