The class of 2019 in the state of Alabama is looking deeper and deeper.
247Sports updated the Top247 portion of the rankings for the current junior class of late and the state of Alabama has double-digit prospects within it. In all, 11 Yellowhammer State prospects made the latest cut, released by the network just before the 2018 class made things official on national signing day.
Oxford (Ala.) offensive lineman Clay Webb remains the top prospect in the state, checking in as a four-star and the No. 35 overall prospect in America. He is the second-highest ranked interior offensive line prospect in the entire class, trailing only Louisiana’s Kardell Thomas. Thomas is an LSU commitment with a 96 rating, while Webb is just behind at 95. Alabama, Auburn and Georgia are the programs at the top of the list for the 6-foot-3, 297-pound Webb. He remains a five-star prospect in the industry-generated 247Sports Composite.
It’s not just Webb, as offensive line is the strongest position in Alabama early on in the cycle, and a big mover up the list was Trussville (Ala.) Hewitt-Trussville offensive tackle and new Composite 5-star Pierce Quick. The longtime Alabama commitment vaults from outside the top 100 overall into the top 50. He is rated a 95, just as Webb is, coming off of a junior campaign in which he protected the blindside of fellow Top247 member Paul Tyson en route to the Huskies’ perfect regular season and deep playoff run within Alabama’s highest classification. Tyson, who also jumps from three stars to four, was offered by Michigan on Wednesday to go along with previous extensions from Alabama, Notre Dame, USC and several others, is rated a 91 as a the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the class.
Another offensive lineman, Amari Kight, made a large jump in the rankings. The Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson tackle moves from No. 179 all the way inside the top 100 at No. 91 overall. Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Oklahoma and recently Michigan, among many others, are already represented on his offer list. Thompson High had arguably the top offense in Alabama in 2017, led by the towering 6-foot-7 prospect and his nationally-known quarterback, Taulia Tagovailoa. The younger brother of Alabama title game hero Tua Tagovailoa is the fourth Yellowhammer State prospect in the top 100, edging in at No. 100 overall. The junior, who unlike his brother is right handed, threw for a gaudy 3,823 yards and 35 touchdowns as a junior. The numbers helped Thompson to an undefeated regular season and a berth in the state semifinals, propelling Tagovailoa as a Mr. Football finalist. Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, NC State and several other programs have offered.
If offensive line somehow isn’t the strength of the group early on, quarterback is. The only committed prospect at the position there has been in the Top247 since its inception. State champion game MVP Bo Nix, who committed to Auburn publicly on January 10, checks in as the No. 7 dual-threat arm in the class and No. 172 overall following an impressive showing at the Future 50 event (video above) just before he committed to the in-state Tigers.
Speaking of Auburn, Auburn High School’s top prospect in 2019 has been a mainstay in the Top247 as well. Long and lean edge rusher Mohamoud Diabate remains a top 125 overall prospect and continues to add scholarship offers, with the latest coming in from Florida, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Ole Miss and Wake Forest since the New Year began.
Several prospects from the state made the Top247 for the first time, led by Daphne (Ala.) defensive back Christian Williams. The 6-foot-1, 177-pound prospect, who makes an impact on offense as well, has been among the hottest juniors in the state, racking up offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU, South Carolina, Mississippi State and others since December.
Another Auburn commitment makes his debut in the Top247 following another state championship to his name. 6-foot-5, 190-pound George Pickens picked the Tigers in the summertime but continues to add scholarship offers since helping lead the Hoover (Ala.) Bucs to another state crown. Georgia is the latest to jump in for one of the biggest risers in the state, who moved from three stars up to four.
Rounding out the Yellowhammer State talents for this update are a pair of red-hot front-seven defenders. Pinson (Ala.) Clay-Chalkville defensive tackle DJ Dale and Birmingham (Ala.) Jackson-Olin linebacker Vonta Bentley have each picked up coveted in-state offers from both Alabama and Auburn while several out-of-state programs have jumped into the mix for their services as well. Dale has been busy on the visit trail since, checking out Alabama and Georgia Tech in late January, while Bentley has kicked off his 2018 visits with an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa before checking out Auburn, UAB and others. The Tide now holds the early lead for the hard-hitter’s services, the latest chapter in one of the steadiest rises in recent memory. In a span of just over two weeks, Bentley went from one offer, from Alcorn State, to a dozen, including Clemson, LSU, Florida, Oregon and others in addition to the Iron Bowl rivals.
Just two prospects from the state fell out of the Top247, Birmingham (Ala.) Fultondale linebacker Ja’Len Sims and Spanish Fort (Ala.) defensive back DJ James. The evaluation process is only in the initial stages in 2019 and with the state of Alabama set for its deepest cycle in recent memory, plenty of twists and turns remain. Stay locked on 247Sports for all the latest.