The early signing period wrapped up Wednesday for the University of Alabama men’s basketball program, which announced the signing of three prospects: forward Juwan Gary (Charlotte, N.C/West Charlotte HS)and guards Jaylen Forbes (Florence, Miss./Florence HS) and Jaden Shackelford (Hesperia, Ca./Hesperia HS). All three are four-star prospects in the most recent 247 Sports rankings

“Our 2019 signing class is one that we are very optimistic about,” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said in a UA release. “Each one addresses an area of how we want to play and the style we desire to play on the court. They each have strong work ethic, ball-handling ability and will knock down open shots on a consistent basis. All three are high-level people who we believe will not only be successful on the court, but in the classroom as well.”

Johnson also offered individual comments on each signee.

“Juwan is a prospect that we fell in love with from the first moment we watched him,” Johnson said. “(He) has a high motor and plays with maximum energy on both sides of the floor. He’s a knock-down three-point shooter. Juwan has strong character and bounces back extremely well from adversity.

“Jaylen Forbes is a player who is from our footprint area of the Southeast,” Johnson said. “We feel Jaylen is one of the best pure shooters in the country. He is a knock-down 3-point shooter who is a threat as soon as he crosses half-court. We were very impressed with how strong he finished the AAU season and really showed his athleticism and ability to create plays off the dribble.

“Jaden Shackelford brings an explosiveness as a combo guard. He can get his shot off against anybody. He has a great body, is an outstanding defender and is a high-level ball handler who has great court vision.”

Drew Timme, a 6-foot-10 forward from Dallas, Texas, and a prospect that Alabama had recruited heavily, chose Gonzaga on Wednesday morning.

  The state of Alabama’s top prospect, 6-8 forward Trendon Watford of Mountain Brook, is not expected to sign in the early period. Watford is being recruited by Alabama, Memphis, Florida State, Indiana, LSU and others.

 Reach Cecil Hurt at or 205-722-0225.