What five-star quarterback Ty Simpson's commitment means for Alabama football

Brett Hudson
The Tuscaloosa News

In Ty Simpson, Alabama is getting more than a five-star quarterback for its 2022 class. Among the most important aspects, it is getting some early returns on a new staff member, threading a small needle (that puts a recruiting rival in a tough situation) and started its path to the top of the recruiting rankings once again.

Simpson, from Martin, Tennessee, chose Alabama over Clemson, Tennessee and others in announcing his choice.

Here is what Simpson's Friday commitment to UA means for the Crimson Tide.

Bill O'Brien's first recruiting win

While O'Brien wasn't officially announced as UA's offensive coordinator until Jan. 21, he was actively recruiting for Alabama several days prior. Simpson, naturally, was the top priority; it was an uphill battle, given O'Brien and the offensive staff compiling around him had to beat out Clemson, which maintained continuity in retaining offensive coordinator Tony Elliott at a salary of more than $2 million.

The four offensive staffers UA lost in the offseason — Steve Sarkisian, Kyle Flood, Jeff Banks and Charles Huff — were all valuable recruiters. While adding Simpson does not clear UA of concern for the near future in recruiting, it is a promising early return for a coach who has not recruited collegiately since leaving Penn State in 2013.

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The last 5-star quarterback available 

Simpson was the last to commit of the top six quarterbacks in the class, according to the 247Sports Composite; the other five committed to Ohio State, Georgia, LSU, Texas and Texas A&M. Securing Simpson ensures UA will have a top quarterback in the class, considering UA had not done much in terms of recruiting other quarterback prospects in the top 100.

Now, instead of UA searching for a second-choice quarterback in the 2022 class, it is Clemson, a consistent threat to UA at the top of the recruiting rankings. 

Westview junior quarterback Ty Simpson announces his college football commitment to Alabama next to his father, Jason Simpson, at Westview High School in Martin, Tenn., Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. Simpson, a five-star prospect for the Class of 2022, is the No. 3 rated pro-style quarterback in the country according to the 247Sports Composite.

Beginning Bama's push to the top

UA entered Friday 22nd in the 247Sports Composite recruiting rankings for the class of 2022, largely limited by just three commitments entering the day.

Simpson will shoot UA up the rankings and open it up to further advancement given the highly-rated prospects it is after: five-star defensive tackle Walter Nolen (like Simpson, from Tennessee), edge defender Jeremiah Alexander (a former UA commit), inside linebacker Shawn Murphy and safety Kamari Wilson are just a selection of the five-star prospects UA is in the running for.

Simpson may not be the top-rated prospect in Alabama's 2022 class, as quarterback Bryce Young was in 2020, but if UA is to finish on top of the recruiting rankings once again, he will be the one that started its momentum in that direction.

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