Alabama football can land these 2022 prospects to remain dominant in recruiting
After securing the No. 1 recruiting class for 2021 in the 247Sports Composite rankings, Alabama has now taken a top-two class in each of the last three seasons. As it always does, it can recruit in-state prospects to contribute to its success, but it will also have to find top prospects in other states if it wants to stay in that top two in 2022.
Here are five out-of-state prospects Alabama could land to stay at the top of the recruiting ranks for another year.
DT Walter Nolen
The No. 2 prospect in the class of 2022 plays at St. Benedict at Auburndale in Cordova, Tennessee. He played for Olive Branch High School in Mississippi through the 2019 season. His Mississippi roots coincide with those of UA defensive line coach Freddie Roach, previously of the Ole Miss staff, giving him a chance at more exposure to Nolen than most.
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UA is in good position for in-state defensive tackle Khurtiss Perry, and coming out on top of a competitive race for Nolen would give Alabama two of the nation’s top six defensive tackles in the class of 2022.
DE Shemar Stewart
The No. 5 overall prospect in the 2022 class comes at a critical position for UA. Its 2021 team will have upperclassmen in Phidarian Mathis, Justin Eboigbe, Byron Young and potentially LaBryan Ray, all of whom are viable candidates to exit after 2021 or 2022.
Securing Stewart — not an easy task, with Florida, LSU, Georgia and Miami also in on the race — would give the Crimson Tide one strong option in its next wave at the position. Stewart plays at Monsignor Pace in Opa Locka, Florida.
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ILB Shawn Murphy
UA already has an inside linebacker committed, Robert Woodyard of Mobile, but adding Murphy would give UA one of the top three inside linebackers in three straight recruiting classes. Murphy hails from Manassas, Virginia.
Murphy would give UA a wealth of options at its inside linebacker positions once Christian Harris, Ale Kaho and Jaylen Moody make their exits, but he would also give UA a prized five-star recruit heavily pursued by Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia and others.
WR C.J. Williams
Williams comes from a school Alabama has had recent success recruiting — Mater Dei in Santa Ana, California, where it recently pulled quarterback Bryce Young and offensive lineman Tommy Brown. The absence of former offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian may make Californian recruiting more challenging, but it has not impacted its pursuit of Williams.
If the Crimson Tide is to continue its recent string of successful recruitment of top wide receivers, Williams (the No. 4 receiver in the class) and Evan Stewart (No. 5) are the best places to start.
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OL Zach Rice
The recent commitment of Monroe, Louisiana, product Will Campbell to LSU gives UA a smaller window of opportunity to land a top tackle prospect in the 2022 class. Rice, a Lynchburg, Virginia, prospect who is the top-rated player at the position, may be that chance.
Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson