How have the top-ranked football recruits from Alabama the last decade panned out?

Jerell Rushin
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama football landed top-ranked in-state 2022 recruit Jeremiah Alexander on Thursday, once again showing its dominance in the state.

Before that, the Crimson Tide had landed the top-ranked high school recruit in Alabama in seven of the past 10 classes.

Alexander is the No. 16-ranked prospect in the nation, according the 247Sports Composite.

Here is a look at the top-ranked in-state football recruits the last 10 years.

ALABAMA FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Alabama football lands top-ranked 2022 edge rusher Jeremiah Alexander from Thompson

ALABAMA FB RECRUITING: Two-sport star Riley Quick commits to Alabama, chooses baseball over football

Apr 17, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA;  White defensive back Ga'Quincy McKinstry (1) intercepts a pass intended for Crimson wide receiver Agiye Hall (17) during the Alabama A-Day game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports


Pinson Valley grad Ga'Quincy McKinstry, who has gone by Kool-Aid since birth, is the nation's top cornerback in the class and a freshman on this year's team.

McKinstry, at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, has a chance to see the field, likely as a reserve, after defensive backs Ronald Williams and Brandon Turnage transferred to Michigan State and Tennessee, respectively, in the spring.

Theodore linebacker Demouy Kennedy (Photo: Christopher Nee/247Sports)


Alabama linebacker Demouy Kennedy mainly saw action on the special teams during his first season. Entering his sophomore year, the 6-3 Theodore High product has competition to earn playing time on defense. Kennedy was the No. 3-ranked inside linebacker in the 2020 class.

Jan 1, 2021; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia wide receiver George Pickens (1) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of the Peach Bowl NCAA college football game between Georgia and Cincinnati at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta., on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2021. Joshua L. Jones-USA TODAY NETWORK/Athens Banner-Herald


Georgia landed the top two players in Alabama in the class of 2019 in wide receiver George Pickens and offensive lineman Clay Webb.

Pickens, the No. 1 in-state player, led Georgia as a freshman with 49 receptions and 727 yards and eight receiving touchdowns. The Thompson graduate capped off the season with a 12-reception, 175-yard performance in the Sugar Bowl. In eight games in 2020, Pickens had 36 receptions for 513 yards and six touchdowns.

Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross (8) scores by Notre Dame safety Jalen Elliott (21) for a 52-yard touchdown during the second quarter of the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Saturday, December 29, 2018.Clemson Notre Dame 1st Half


Phenix City's Justyn Ross, the nation's No. 45-ranked recruit in 2018, enters his fourth year at Clemson after missing last season because of a congenital fusion condition of his neck and spine, a condition he was born with.

In his first two seasons, Ross won a national championship and accumulated 112 receptions for 1,865 yards and 17 receiving touchdowns. It's not known if Ross has been cleared to play yet. If the 6-4 wide receiver is cleared, expect a different look — Ross will play some slot in 2021 after using his size and physicality outside to make plays.

SEC FOOTBALL: Ranking SEC's top 10 linebackers entering 2021 season: Four from Alabama, two from Auburn

FB RECRUITING:Walter Nolen, nation's No. 3 football prospect, has Alabama, Florida, Tennessee in top 5

10/10/20 MFB Alabama vs Ole Miss
Alabama defensive lineman LaBryan Ray (18)
Photo by Kent Gidley


LaBryan Ray of James Clemens High was a five-star recruit and the second-ranked strong-side defensive end in his class. When on the field, Ray has impressed and been disruptive for Alabama.

But Ray has played 10 games over the past two seasons because of injuries. He played in all 15 games during the 2018 season, when he finished with 39 tackles, 5.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks.

Alabama linebacker Ben Davis (1) rushes against Arkansas during Alabama's 48-7 win in Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]


Gordo High grad Ben Davis committed to Alabama as the nation's No. 10-ranked recruit, but he saw minimal playing time during five seasons with Alabama, compiling seven tackles in 24 games.

Davis transferred to Texas, coached by former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, this spring. He is also using the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 28: Da'Ron Payne #95 of the Washington Redskins reacts after sacking Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on October 28, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)


Former Alabama defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne was productive during his three seasons at Alabama, making an impact even as a freshman. Payne won two national championships and was named Defensive MVP of the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

The Shades Valley High five-star product was drafted 13th in 2018 by Washington, where he has started 41 games and has 10 sacks in three seasons.

ALABAMA FOOTBALL:How former NFL players say new Alabama football assistant Doug Marrone coaches blockers

ALABAMA FB RECRUITING: Alabama football lands four-star Anniston athlete Antonio Kite

Baltimore Ravens' Marlon Humphrey (44) during an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Philadelphia.


Baltimore Ravens star cornerback Marlon Humphrey has made an impact at every level, beginning at Hoover High before two seasons at Alabama after redshirting.

The former No. 11-ranked recruit was named to the Football Writers Association of America's first team in 2016 after two interceptions and forcing one fumble as a sophomore. Humphrey was selected 16th in the 2015 NFL Draft by Baltimore and was named a first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press for the 2020 season.

Considered by many a top-five talent, character concerns may cause Reuben Foster to slide.


The five highest-ranked in-state prospects, all top-100 in the nation, committed to Alabama in the class of 2013, but linebacker Reuben Foster was seen as No. 1, and No. 6 in the country. Foster won the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker, and was named a first-team All-American during his senior season.

Foster was drafted at 31 by the San Francisco 49ers in 2017 and made the Pro Football Writers Association’s All-Rookie team. He has played just 16 games in the NFL because of injuries and has not played a down since 2018. Foster had off-the-field issues during his two seasons and trouble finding his footing with Washington. He became a free agent in March.

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston stands with the Heisman Trophy on Dec. 14, 2013.


Hueytown High's Jameis Winston entered Florida State as a the nation's top-ranked high school quarterback and No. 16 overall. As a redshirt freshman, Winston won the Heisman Trophy and led Florida State to its last BCS national championship game.

He was selected No. 1 overall in the 2015 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he spent the first five seasons of his career. He has the chance to start for the New Orleans Saints in 2021 after Drew Brees retired.

Thompson's Jeremiah Alexander (7) eyes the Auburn offensive linemen. Auburn High and Thompson High faced off in the AHSAA 7A State Championship on Dec. 2 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. [Photo/Hannah Saad]

2022 and beyond

Alexander, at 6-2 and 235 pounds, is extremely athletic. Often times last season, defenders struggled to slow him down. Alabama now has three five-stars in the class with his commitment.

Thompson's Peter Woods (11) runs up to put pressure on the Auburn quarterback. Auburn High and Thompson High faced off in the AHSAA 7A State Championship on Dec. 2 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. [Photo/Hannah Saad]

Two of the nation's three highest-ranked recruits in the class of 2023 hail from Alabama: defensive linemen Peter Woods (Thompson) and James Smith (Montgomery Catholic). Woods is No. 2 and Smith is No. 3 in the country.

Follow Jerell Rushin on Twitter @JerellRushin_ and reach him at 205-400-6015 and