TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Although it had hoped to land another player or two, the University of Alabama football team added three players, including two more defensive linemen, to its top-ranked recruiting class on National Signing Day.
Two of the additions had already made verbal commitments to Alabama, defensive lineman Byron Young and running back Keilan Robinson. Ishmael Sopsher was considered LSU's top target after the early signing period, but, saying "“It’s nothing political” the defensive lineman from Amite, La. signed his letter of intent with the Crimson Tide.
All three players are considered consensus 4-star payers, with a lot of potential.
Overall, Alabama had 27 players in the Class of 2019, two more than the maximum of 25, but the Crimson Tide was able to add players beyond the limit after having extra spots following last year.
"We wanted to recruit a lot of linemen in this class, and to get five offensive linemen and six defensive linemen was probably a really good thing," Nick Saban said. "I felt like five defensive backs was a really good thing for us. A couple of running backs to replace the guys that we lost this year, a couple of quarterbacks that we’ll try to develop to see if they can create some competition at that position.
"So, there’s a lot of good things in this class.”
Listed as 6 foot 3, 334 pounds, Sopsher is rated the No. 5 defensive tackle and the No. 47 overall player in the country, per the 247Sports composite rankings.
The recruiting site called him him the nation’s top unsigned defensive lineman, with director of scouting Barton Simmons describing him as: “Densely built defender with a powerful lower-half and a thick upper-half who brings mass without a lot of bad weight. Has natural strength and punch and uses his hands effectively when he wants to. Can flash suddenness and get-off for a bigger defender and has demonstrated instances of good lateral quickness. Two-gap ability. Overpowering on the high school level.”
Along with Young, Alabama has added a monster group of defensive linemen, headed by Antonio Alfano. With the Crimson Tide losing numerous linemen to the NFL, including Quinnen Williams and Isaiah Buggs, restocking the depth chart was a top priority for the class.
Meanwhile, Robinson was Alabama's second running back in the class, the other being 5-star Trey Sanders.
2019 Alabama Complete Signing Class (27)
Name, Position, Height, Weight, Hometown/School
- Antonio Alfano DL 6-4 285 Colonia, N.J./Colonia
- Marcus Banks DB 6-0 170 Houston, Texas/Dekaney
- Jordan Battle DB 6-1 187 Fort Lauderdale, Fla. /St. Thomas Aquinas
- Jahleel Billingsley TE 6-4 216 Chicago, Ill./Phillips Academy
- Tanner Bowles OL 6-5 280 Glasgow, Ky./Glasgow
- Jeffery Carter DB 6-0 186 Mansfield, Texas/Mansfield Legacy
- Darrian Dalcourt OL 6-3 290 Baltimore, Md./St. Frances
- DJ Dale DL 6-3 323 Pinson, Ala./Clay-Chalkville
- Justin Eboigbe DL 6-5 263 Forest Park, Ga./Forest Park
- Christian Harris LB 6-2 239 Baton Rouge, La./University Lab
- Kevin Harris II LB 6-4 228 Loganville, Ga./Grayson
- DeMarcco Hellams DB 6-1 203 Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha Catholic
- Braylen Ingraham DL 6-4 260 Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas
- Amari Kight OL 6-7 307 Alabaster, Ala./Thompson
- Shane Lee LB 6-0 243 Baltimore, Md./St. Frances Academy
- John Metchie WR 6-0 195 Hightstown, N.J./The Peddie School
- King Mwikuta LB 6-5 240 West Point, Ga./Troup County
- Evan Neal OL 6-7 360 Okeechobee, Fla./IMG Academy
- Pierce Quick OL 6-5 285 Trussville, Ala./Hewitt-Trussville
- Will Reichard PK 6-1 185 Hoover, Ala./Hoover
- Keilan Robinson RB 5-9 184 St. John’s/Washington D.C.
- Trey Sanders RB 6-0 214 Bradenton, Fla./IMG Academy
- Ishmael Sopsher DL 6-4 334 Amite, La./Amite
- Taulia Tagovailoa QB 5-11 203 Alabaster, Ala./Thompson
- Brandon Turnage DB 6-1 185 Oxford, Miss./Lafayette
- Paul Tyson QB 6-5 217 Trussville, Ala./Hewitt-Trussville
- Byron Young DL 6-3 290 Laurel, Miss./West Jones
It's the eighth time in nine years the Crimson Tide topped the 247Sports ranking, with Georgia interrupting the streak last year.
Rivals.com had Georgia ahead of Alabama in its teams rankings even though the average grade for the Crimson Tide was higher.
Alabama went into National Signing Day hoping to land up to five players, with at least 10 still in the mix.
Here's where the others landed:
- DL Khris Bogle, Florida
- CB Christian Williams, Miami
- RB Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss
- DE Quashon Fuller, Florida State
- TE Brett Seither, Georgia
- OT Javonne Shepherd, Texas
- LB Henry To’oto’o, Tennessee
This story will be updated.