Nick Saban signs another top recruiting class for Alabama football

Brett Hudson
Tide Sports

Alabama football entered Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period, with the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation in the 247 Sports Composite and expected an overwhelming majority of that class to sign its paperwork on Wednesday. Things went as has been the norm under Nick Saban at Alabama, with the Crimson Tide class ranked No. 1 at the end of the day.

Here are capsules on each Alabama signee:

DL Anquin Barnes

Robert E. Lee (Montgomery)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 35 defensive tackle

Commit date: April 17

Twitter handle: @AnquinBarnes

The final word: Andrew Ivins of 247Sports noted Barnes was nimble for his 6-foot-5, 299-pound frame, winning one-on-one reps with more than sheer strength. A clear comparison would be 2020 signee Tim Smith, who came to UA at 320 pounds but impressed with his mobility while playing basketball in high school.

ILB Kendrick Blackshire

Duncanville, Texas

247 Composite: 4-star, No. 8 inside linebacker

Commit date: July 14

Twitter handle: @KendrickBlacks1

The final word: Gabe Brooks of 247Sports said Blackshire is already “a bulked-up specimen with virtually college-ready size at linebacker.” Pictures of him in his senior season at Duncanville went viral in the football community.

OL James Brockermeyer

All Saints Episcopal (Fort Worth, Texas)

247 Composite: 4-star, No. 1 center

Commit date: July 17

Twitter handle: @J_Brockermeyer

The final word: He is a little small, listed on 247Sports as 273 pounds, but Gabe Brooks said Brockermeyer has a “fairly lean build and wears his weight well, owns enough frame space to add needed bulk.”

OL Tommy Brockermeyer

All Saints Episcopal (Fort Worth, Texas)

247 Composite: 5-star, No. 2 offensive tackle

Commit date: July 17

Twitter handle: @TBrockermeyer

The final word: In some impressive showings by Brockermeyer at camps in between his sophomore and junior seasons, 247Sports’ Charles Power saw “a nasty disposition as a run blocker and dominates typically overmatched defensive linemen.”

WR Jacorey Brooks

IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)

247 Composite: 5-star, No. 2 wide receiver

Commit date: May 8

Twitter handle: @c7_brooks

The final word: 247Sports’ Andrew Ivins pointed to concerns in opening-burst speed, but ultimately concluded, “Should develop into a multi-year starter at the Power 5 level and has the chance to see meaningful snaps early on in his career given his size.”

ATH Kadarius Calloway

Philadelphia, Miss.

247 Composite: 4-star, No. 5 athlete

Commit date: July 8

Twitter handle: @KadriusC

The final word: His high school coach, David Frey, said of a game he saw Calloway play in eighth grade: “He looked like Mike Vick back there.”

WR Jojo Earle

Aledo (Aledo, Texas)

247 Composite: 4-star, No. 5 wide receiver 

Commit date: Wednesday

Twitter handle: @shelovezjojo

The final word: 247 Sports' Gabe Brooks said of Earle, at just under 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, "below-average size with limited frame, but compensates with outstanding functional on-field athleticism."

OL Terrence Ferguson

Peach County (Fort Valley, Ga.)

247 Composite: 4-star, No. 2 guard

Commit date: July 19

Twitter handle: @TjFerguson69

The final word: As is often the case for elite talents like Ferguson, he played mostly left tackle in high school, but Charles Power of 247Sports sees several offensive line positions that would fit him at the collegiate level.

DE Monkell Goodwine

Rock Creek Christian Academy (Upper Marlboro, Md.)

247 Composite: 4-star, No. 7 strong-side defensive end

Commit date: Aug. 15

Twitter handle: @MonkellGoodwine

The final word: While he’s unlikely to do so at UA, Goodwine has enough power to move inside to nose guard with some weight gain, according to Brian Dohn of 247Sports.

WR Agiye Hall

Bloomingdale (Valrico, Fla.)

247 Composite: 4-star, No. 7 wide receiver

Commit date: April 18

Twitter handle: @HallAgiye

The final word: Lakeland coach Bill Castle, before playing against Hall’s Bloomingdale early in the season, called Hall, “a Cadillac receiver.”

OLB Ian Jackson

Prattville

247 Composite: 4-star, No. 14 outside linebacker

Commit date: May 28

Twitter handle: @IJackson_3

The final word: 247Sports’ Barton Simmons saw enough sideline-to-sideline speed and a shifty nature to pass as a big safety, but ultimately determined an extra 20 or more pounds would show “developmental upside could allow for future playing inside or outside linebacker.”

DL Tim Keenan

Ramsey (Birmingham, Ala.)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 24 defensive tackle

Commit date: Aug. 29, 2020

Twitter handle: @tim_keenan3

The final word: Has the potential to develop into a productive player based on hand quickness and ability to engage blocks, but as Barton Simmons of 247 Sports noted, "conditioning and body structure will be a focus at the college level."

Defensive end Keanu Koht announces his commitment to the University of Alabama football program during the Early National Signing Day ceremony in the Performing Arts Center at Vero Beach High School on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in Vero Beach. “If you talk to anybody that’s been to Alabama or goes to Alabama, they know that Alabama is everything that you could dream of,” said Koht.

DE/OLB Keanu Koht

Vero Beach (Vero Beach, Florida)

247 Composite: 4-star, No. 12 weakside defensive end

Commit date: Wednesday

Twitter handle: @KeanuKoht

The final word: Unsurprisingly for someone who performs well in track and field in Florida, Koht has a knack for, according to Charles Power of 247 Sports, "closing quickly to make plays behind the line of scrimmage both as a pass rusher and in pursuit."

READ: Alabama flips 4-star Koht from LSU on signing day

OL JC Latham

IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)

247 Composite: 5-star, No. 1 offensive tackle

Commit date: June 12,

Twitter handle: @TKJaayy

The final word: 247Sports’ Charles Power sees Latham as “ready-made from a size and bulk standpoint with little bad weight” with a basketball background to promote quick movement.

LB Deontae Lawson

Mobile Christian

247 Composite: 4-star, No. 3 inside linebacker

Commit date: Dec. 27, 2019

Twitter handle: @deontae_8

The final word: For all of his exploits as an inside and outside linebacker in college, Lawson also showed 247Sports’ Charles Power “athleticism as a direct snap quarterback on offense.”

WR Christian Leary

Edgewater High School (Orlando, Fla.)

247 Composite: 4-star, No. 9 wide receiver

Commit date: June 16

Twitter handle: @ChristianLeary4

The final word: Leary has become known as “one of the fastest prospects in the class of 2021,” according to Andrew Ivins of 247Sports.

Alabama All-Stars' Ga'Quincy McKinstry (1) of Pinson Valley catches a long pass over Mississippi All-Stars' Tony McCray Jr. (24) of Lake Cormorant at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. Alabama All-Stars lead Mississippi All-Stars 10-0 at halftime.

CB Ga’Quincy McKinstry

Pinson Valley

247 Composite: 5-star, No. 1 cornerback

Commit date: Oct. 25

Twitter handle: @GaQMcK1

The final word: McKinstry is clearly an impressive athlete, on pace to play football and basketball at Alabama, but that athleticism applies to multiple tasks on the football field, too. 247Sports’ Charles Power said McKinstry “would also be a top prospect as a receiver if he wanted.”

QB Jalen Milroe

Tompkins (Katy, Texas)

247 Composite: 4-star, No. 4 dual-threat quarterback

Commit date: Aug. 17

Twitter handle: @JalenMilroe

The final word: According to Gabe Brooks of 247Sports, this is not a run-first quarterback. “True dual-threat with necessary tools as a passer and runner.”

TE Robbie Ouzts

Rock Hill, S.C.

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 29 tight end

Commit date: Sept. 8

Twitter handle: @robbie_ouzts

The final word: Rock Hill used Ouzts in the backfield, as an H-Back, an inline tight end and a receiver, giving him a background of positional flexibility that could prove useful for UA.

DL Damon Payne

Belleville, Mich.

247 Composite: 5-star, No. 3 defensive tackle

Commit date: July 26

Twitter handle: @DamonPayne2021

The final word: He could be another college-ready body coming into Alabama’s line positions, as Charles Power of 247Sports said he “doesn’t carry much bad weight on his frame despite already being around 300 pounds.”

CB Devonta Smith

La Salle (Cincinnati)

247 Composite: 4-star, No. 25 cornerback

Commit date: June 29

Twitter handle: @Prince_Tay_

The final word: Stood out for his track speed early in his high school career, then developed safety size to go with it. Many project him to play corner at UA, but Smith has said he could see himself fitting at safety, as well.

OLB Dallas Turner

St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

247 Composite: 5-star, No. 1 weak side defensive end

Commit date: July 1

Twitter handle: @UnoErra

The final word: Andrew Ivins of 247Sports did not mince words. “One of the most productive pass rushers to come out of South Florida in recent cycles.”

S Kaine Williams

John Ehret (Marrero, La.)

247 Composite: 4-star, No. 10 safety

Commit date: May 15

Twitter handle: @kwilliams5_

The final word: Gabe Brooks of 247Sports saw a rangy player in the back end, especially one for his size, but also a “willing participant against the run with encouraging pursuit ability and closing speed, generally delivers some pop upon arrival.”

Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or bhudson@tuscaloosanews.com or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson

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