Alabama Crimson Tide Recruiting Class 2016

The rest of the SEC might as well throw in the towel as long as Nick Saban is still around. Alabama already has more and better talent than anyone else and the 2016 recruiting class just added more fuel to the fire that is burning brightly in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Ole Miss, LSU, Auburn and Georgia also recruited well, but they are all going to still be playing catch up with the Crimson Tide.

Quarterback:

What a brave young man Jalen Hurts from Channelview, Texas must be signing up to play Quarterback at  Alabama with all of the guys already there. He is the 13th rated Dual Threat

Quarterback on ESPN’s list and a 4 star prospect. He has a very odd throwing motion, but mechanics can be fixed. What can’t be coached is speed and extreme athletic ability and Hurts has that by the bucket load. With so many Quarterbacks on the roster at Alabama, Hurts will have to wait his turn.


Running Back: 

BJ Emmons is a RB from Morgantown, North Carolina.

Listed as 5-11, 220 and 4.4 in the 40. I don’t feel like high school football was much of a challenge for him. He was just too big and strong and fast for his opponents. He is a big guy that runs like a much smaller guy and is very elusive as well as being very powerful. Alabama opponents may regret very much the day that the tide signed Mr Emmons. He looks like just another RB star. He runs just as well inside or outside and is very hard to bring down. He is the top ranked RB in this class according to ESPN and who am I to argue with that? He is a talent, another talent at Alabama. Scary good.

The Tide also signed Joshua Jacobs from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is only the 36th rated Running Back in the country, but the top rated guy in the state of Oklahoma. He is a burner with excellent moves, just 5-10, 200. He will have a hard time earning playing time, probably, but he is talented and that’s not my decision.

Wide Receiver:

 

T.J. Simmons is one of the lowest rated recruits that Alabama signed. Frankly, I am not sure why he is  rated so low. The Pinson, Alabama native is 6-2, 190 and was All State 2 seasons in a row. He is a good sized receiver, obviously, with more than adequate speed. He looks to have good hands and leaping ability and he might could even play Safety if necessary. ESPN has him as a 3 star and Rivals as a 4 and I am more inclined to agree with Rivals.com.

Tight End:

 

The Crimson Tide signed 2 Tight Ends in this class, Irvin Smith and Miller Forristall. Smith is a 4 star prospect out of New Orleans Brother Martin High School. The school had 2 major college recruits at Tight End and Smith was the better receiver of the two. He is listed at 6-4, 230 and has the speed to take a short pass the distance. 

Forristall is basically a 6-6, 210 Wide Receiver but should grow into the position. His Cartersville, Georgia coaches played him at WR, Tight End and Defensive End. Forristall is equally talented at every position.

Offensive Tackle:

Jonah Williams from Folsom, California signed with Alabama.

The Offensive Line is maybe the hardest to gauge as high school players and how they will translate to the next level. For one thing, they aren’t often challenged in high school by similar talents. I judge them on looks, athletic ability and aggressiveness, plus their feet. Williams is an outstanding run blocker. He is very, very aggressive and almost never just settles for one block but goes after another guy and then even another. He can move really well so is good in the screen game, he is listed as 4.8 40 and at 6-5, 290 that is hard to believe at his size. He is rated the 3rd best OT behind Gregory Little of Allen, Texas and Willie Allen of New Orleans. All 3 are signed to play in the SEC. Little with Ole Miss and Allen with LSU.

If I were Saban I would either play Williams at RT as a freshman, or have him back up Cam Robinson at LT and season him to take over in 2017. He could also move inside to guard. Uses his hands well and is very well coached. He’s already in Tuscaloosa and will go through spring drills and I will be surprised if he’s not a starter as a true freshman. Another beast of a man.

Charles Baldwin was an Offensive Tackle at  Windsor Community College and is supposed to be 6-5, 300. He is the top rated Junior College Offensive Tackle in America. Baldwin is lean and mean and if he makes contact with a defender he is hard to escape from. He just crushed people on the Junior College level. Baldwin is really deadly in the open field in the screen pass. He played Right Tackle at Windsor and the Crimson Tide just happens to have an open position at Right Tackle. I am believing that Baldwin starts at Right Tackle next year for Alabama.

Scott Lashley is a 6-6, 305 Offensive Tackle out of West Point High School in Mississippi. ESPN has him rated as the 15th best Tackle prospect in America. Lashley is maybe not on the level with some of the other Tackles on this list but he is really quick for his size and has almost unlimited potential. He’s a bit rough around the edges, but he does have all of the athletic ability needed to become a quality Offensive Lineman.

Offensive Guards:

Chris Owens was an Offensive Guard from Arlington, Texas. 6-3, 315 and the 3rd ranked Offensive Guard in the country, Owens just buried defenders in high school. He is huge and moves well for his size and he is very aggressive. Course, that is against high school boys and will he be able to

dominate at the college level? I am betting yes, but it’s going to take some time in the weight room and lose some baby fat. He played Right Tackle and some Guard in high school but he is a definite Guard in college. Owens moved to Arlington from New Orleans after Katrina.

Deonte Brown is a huge 6-3, 340 Guard out of Decatur, Alabama. He’s the 7th rated Offensive Guard in the country. At 340 pounds I wanted not to like Brown when I watched him, but I found myself being impressed with him. He played Left Tackle in high school and he was adequate against that level of talent, but he is clearly a Guard. He does have excellent quickness and strength and he looks like he enjoys destroying his opponents.

Defensive End:

Terrell Hall played Defensive End in Washington DC and is listed as 6-6, 255.

Another beast man in this class, Hall played Wide Receiver, Tight End, Linebacker, Defensive Tackle and Defensive End in high school. Hall has the athletic ability to play there now, but he is going to be huge when he fills out. He is a terror to opposing Quarterbacks coming off the edge at Defensive End which is where he is projected to play in college. He could develop into a Tackle. Watching him block as a Tight End is pure joy for a football fan and demonstrates not only his athletic ability but his aggressiveness as well.

Quinnen Williams is the 31st ranked Defensive End in the country out of Birmingham. The 6-4, 260 4 star played inside in high school and like so many tends to play a little high. But, that’s easily correctable and he is super quick and he doesn’t seem to give up on plays.  Just one more Alabama recruit with enormous untapped potential.

From Alabama powerhouse Hoover High comes Christian Bell. He didn’t qualify last year and he went to a prep school. Bell will be that pass rushing Outside Linebacker type at Bama because he is super, super quick coming off the edge. He could even possibly play Inside Linebacker.

Bama also signed Junior College Defensive End Jamar King from Detroit, Michigan. King is a talent and although he is only the 8th ranked Defensive End prospect in JUCO football, he is scary quick and he hits like a freight train. He has a tremendously quick first step and just gets faster from there. It’s hard to believe, with his speed, that he is a 270 pound lineman.

Defensive Tackle:

 

Kendall Jones, otherwise known as the Hulk, is a giant Defensive Lineman from Killeen, Texas. The 6-5, 360 15th rated Tackle is a run stopper extraordinaire. At 300 pounds, he supposedly ran in 4.9 range, but he has put on a lot of weight. He’s the perfect size to plug the middle, but I don’t know if he will ever be much of a pass rusher. Stopping the run is the most important thing to beat the LSU offenses of the SEC, so the Hulk is perfect for that.

Raekwon Davis is a giant 6-8, 320 monster from Meridian, Mississippi. He is listed as possessing 5.4 speed in the 40 yard dash which is pretty much irrelevant for a guy his size. He’s going to be another run stuffing Defensive Lineman to keep the Tide on top.

Linebacker:

Inside Linebacker Ben Davis from Gordo, Alabama is really impressive.

The man is a beast. I am not sure he couldn’t play both ways in college as a Tight End or as an Inside backer. For him to play linebacker in high school was almost like a criminal act. He was way too good for his opponents and I wouldn’t be surprised if he maimed somebody for life. 6-4, 237 was his listed size, and he may grow into a down lineman. The guy can run with the ball in his hands and just mash people as a tight end. Or, he can line up as an inside backer and destroy Running backs. He’s an animal, very impressive. He’s got a mean streak. listed as 4.77 40, but appears much quicker with the ball in his hands.

Mack Wilson is an Outside Linebacker prospect out of  Montgomery, Alabama and is listed at 6-2, 235. Wilson is supposed to be the 5th best Outside Linebacker in the country. This guy is another man beast that is simply vicious at LB. But, he’s also athletic enough to play just about any position on the field and it appears as if he did in high school. He played QB, LB, and he punted some. He returned kicks and he was awesome in punt coverage. His speed was listed at 4.65 or so, but he looks even faster. He should play on special teams from day one at least at Alabama.

Cornerback:

Nigel Knott is a Cornerback from Madison, Mississippi 5-11, 175.

Knott is a freakish athlete that ran a 4.3 at a camp. Bama has a lot of young talent at Cornerback so he may not see the field early, but this kid can run and he has some serious hops as well. He is a ball hawk with a great nose for it when it’s in the air and he is especially talented with his quickness at blocking punts or kicks off of the corner. If Knott picks off the ball and there’s open field he is going to be hard to run down for most any body. He was the 5th rated CB in the country, but his team also used him at Wide Receiver and he was a killer on reverses. Even with a lot of talent it’s going to be hard to keep Knott off of the field.

Shyheim Carter is another talented Corner from Kentwood, Louisiana 6-0, 180

Smooth and graceful athlete with a tremendous burst and almost impossible to be caught from behind. Carter played mostly Quarterback in high school and was a threat to score just any time the ball was in his hands. On defense, he mostly played Safety and was a ball hawk. Carter is projected as a Cornerback in college and is rated the 6th best in the country. But, you will be hard pressed to find a better athlete out there than Carter. He is right up there with Nigel Knott and maybe even better.

As if the Crimson Tide didn’t have enough talent at Cornerback, they also signed 17th ranked Jared Mayden from Sachse, Texas.  Mayden is another big Corner at 6-1, 200 with excellent cover skills. He has really long arms for his size and is hard to beat deep. He is quick and athletic enough to return punts.

Safety:

 

Shawn Jennings is one of the lowest rated players in this class for Alabama and that’s baffling. The 6-1, 215 Safety is pretty big, strong and talented. His Dadeville, Alabama coaches played him at numerous positions including Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Cornerback and Safety, at least. He is very physical and could turn out to be a great player. 

Athlete:

Trevon Diggs is from Gaithersburg, Maryland and is supposed to be 6-2, 180.

Diggs was rated as the 6th best Athlete in the country which just means he could wind up at numerous positions. Diggs played mostly Wide Receiver and Cornerback or Safety in Maryland. He is a talented athlete with great speed and leaping ability. I would guess he winds up at Safety at Alabama, or he could be a Wide Receiver.

I don’t know why 6-1, 180 Aaron Robinson is listed as an athlete. The 4 star Robinson mostly played Cornerback in high school at Deerfield, Florida the guy was absolutely fabulous at the position. To me, he looks like a natural Corner and another one with excellent size and speed.

Some services rank Alabama’s class as the best in the country and I would not have a problem with that at all. This is a very, very talented class and will keep Bama at the top of the college football food chain for the next few years. Talk of the Alabama dynasty last being over last season was laughable at best. The talking heads should be ashamed. Also, the SEC homer that claimed Alabama would pistol whip Clemson was off, too.

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