Alabama continued their recruiting dominance Friday when two more ESPN Top 50 players pledged to the Crimson Tide. Top uncommitted prospect in the state of Alabama, Daron Payne, picked the Tide over Auburn. The 6’2″ 330 lb monster defensive tackle out of Birmingham (Shades Valley) is a gigantic get for Alabama and makes an already deep defensive line even stronger. Payne was thought to be Alabama’s to lose, but a late surge by Auburn made his announcement interesting. Mario Cristobal lands another big prospect, and could end up being National Recruiter of the Year. Payne was considered by many to be the top remaining target for the Crimson Tide. Alabama now owns commitments from three of the top five in-state players for 2015 (Payne, Lester Cotton, Desherrius Flowers).
A couple hours after Payne’s announcement, the good news kept coming for Alabama’s 2015 recruiting class when highly rated cornerback Kendall Sheffield also picked the Tide. Sheffield, the 5’11” 185 lb Missouri City, Texas (Fort Bend Marshall) native, selected Alabama over Texas A&M, LSU and Florida State. Adding Sheffield to an already abundant secondary class proves that Nick Saban is trying to fix problems in that area of the defense. Sheffield joins a deep 2015 secondary class which already includes: 5-star corner Minkah Fitzpatrick, 5-star safety – and fellow Texas native – Deionte Thompson, 4- star safeties Rico McGraw and Ronnie Harrison, and 3-star corner Montrell Custis. The amount of talent the Crimson Tide is accumulating in the secondary is remarkable and Sheffield is another huge piece.
The addition of Payne and Sheffield gives Alabama 24 commits for the 2015 cycle. Out of the 24, there are 19 ESPN Top 150 players and five 5-stars. The Tide looks to the tie the bow on another #1 recruiting class on National Signing Day, February 4th.