Alabama Football News

Player-by-Player Breakdowns of Alabama’s #1 Recruiting Class

Another Signing Day has come and gone, and with it comes another top class for Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Many highly touted players make up the 2015 class, such as stand outs: Damien Harris, Blake Barnett, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Daron Payne. However, the entire 24 player class is special. Aimed at meeting the direct needs of the team, Saban has once again accumulated a diversely talented group of impact high school athletes.

Now introducing the Alabama Crimson Tide 2015 Recruiting Class:

KEATON ANDERSON – LB FLORENCE, AL (FLORENCE HS) 6’1″ 215 lbs

Rivals: 3-star
Scout: 3-star
ESPN: 3-star
247 Sports: 3-star
A linebacker that can play both inside and outside. A tough kid that’s quick on his feet with great pursuit, Anderson fits the mold of classic Alabama linebackers under Saban, even if he is a bit undersized. Plays higher than his consensus 3-star rating. Anderson picked the Tide over Tennessee.

BLAKE BARNETT – QB CORONA, CA (SANTIAGO HS) 6’5″ 200 lbs

Rivals: 4-star
Scout: 5-star
ESPN: 5-star
247 Sports: 5-star
Quite possibly the quarterback of the future, Barnett is the best athlete Saban has recruited to play under center in Tuscaloosa. With good size, a great arm and elusive moves, Blake Barnett is primed to be a starting quarterback at Alabama as early as 2016. If you watch his highlight reel, you immediately understand why Oregon was the team Barnett spurned when he picked the Crimson Tide. Barnett is already enrolled.

CHRISTIAN BELL – DE HOOVER, AL (HOOVER HS) 6’3″ 216 lbs

Rivals: 3-star
Scout: 3-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 3-star
Bell is a weak-side defensive end that possesses a good frame to put more weight on. He needs to develop a better first step off the edge but, if he does, he could be a steal as a 3-star player. The in-state DE decided to stay at home instead of going to Mississippi State.

MEKHI BROWN – DE COLUMBUS, GA (CARVER HS) 6’5″ 217 lbs
Rivals: 4-star
Scout: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 4-star
The long time Alabama commit Brown (he’s been committed for nearly 2 full years) could become a solid edge pass rusher for the Crimson Tide. The DE has great speed, size and already seems to have a good first step. Brown is another player that could end up rotating on the DL as early as 2016. He stuck with Alabama over Georgia and a late push by Louisville.

SHAWN BURGESS-BECKER – DB COCONUT CREEK, FL (MONARCH HS) 6’0″ 194 lbs

Rivals: 4-star
Scout: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 4-star
Burgess-Becker is a fantastic athlete in the secondary that also played running back in high school. He will line up at the safety position for Alabama and could even see playing time on special teams as early as 2015. He has good size, speed and is the hard hitting type player Nick Saban likes in his secondary. Burgess-Becker chose the Tide over Miami.

DAYLON CHARLOT – WR PATTERSON, LA (PATTERSON HS) 6’0″ 195 lbs
Rivals: 4-star
Scout: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 4-star
Charlot is a versitile receiver that can line up in the slot or on the outside. His speed and elusiveness makes him a lethal threat in the return game – a position where I believe he could play as early as 2015. He is a shifty, field flipping player that adds to a receiving corps which loses its top three receivers from a year ago. Charlot picked Alabama over in-state LSU.

LESTER COTTON – OG TUSCALOOSA, AL (CENTRAL HS) 6’4″ 321 lbs
Rivals: 4-star
Scout: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 4-star
Cotton is as good of an offensive guard you will see in high school. An absolute mauling guard that will be a mainstay on the offensive line at Alabama whenever he gets the chance. He has a massive frame, great strength and will excel at run blocking at the next level. Think Chance Warmack. Cotton has been an Alabama guy the entire recruiting process, but had interest from Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

MINKAH FITZPATRICK – DB JERSEY CITY, NJ (ST. PETERS PREP) 6’0″ 188 lbs
Rivals: 5-star
Scout: 5-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 5-star
Fitzpatrick is one of the nation’s top corners in the 2015 cycle. The New Jersey native has been pledged to the Tide for almost a year and never waivered. The big time cover corner has exceptional instints and length at the position and with the coaching from Saban. He has good acceleration and if he puts some weight on, could become a star in college. Fitzpatrick picked Alabama over Florida State and Boston College.

DESHERRIUS FLOWERS – RB PRICHARD, AL (VIGOR HS) 6’0″ 212 lbs
Rivals: 4-star
Scout: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 4-star
I believe Desherrius Flowers is one of the most underrated players in this 2015 class. The in-state running back has all the tools to be a big time college back. Flowers has the power and size to be a force at the next level. He is also a good blocker out of the backfield and has good hands. Not the fastest guy, but fast enough to get the job done. Surprisingly, Alabama was the only school Flowers had on his radar. Flowers enrolled in January.

DAMIEN HARRIS – RB BEREA, KY (5’11” 205 lbs)
Rivals: 5-star
Scout: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 5-star
Harris is one of the highest rated players in the nation for 2015. The running back could be the next name in a long line of star backs under Saban. He hits the hole hard, is very explosive, and is a threat to take it the distance every time he touches the ball. He is a perfect mix of power and speed, which makes him a prototypical Nick Saban running back. Harris spurned the home school Kentucky and Ohio State when he went with the Crimson Tide.

RONNIE HARRISON – S TALLAHASSEE, FL (FLORIDA ST. UNIV. SCHOOL) 6’3″ 205 lbs
Rivals: 4-star
Scout: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 4-star
Harrison possess great size and physicality to be a safety for Alabama as early as 2015. He was also a quarterback in high school so he is a very good runner and an exceptional athlete. Harrison is already enrolled at Alabama and with the departure of Landon Collins (whom which he is roughly the same size), could push for playing time as a true freshman. Harrison picked Alabama over North Carolina and Florida State.

HALE HENTGES – TE JEFFERSON CITY, MO (HELIAS HS) 6’4″ 228 lbs
Rivals: 3-star
Scout: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 4-star
A solid tight end prospect out of Missouri, Hentges has the size and hands that a tight end must have to play for Nick Saban. He also is a reliable blocker, which is something that a tight end must excel in at Alabama too. Hentges has surprising speed for a guy his size as well. He stuck with the Crimson Tide over Missouri and Ohio State.

ANFERNEE JENNINGS – DE DADEVILLE, AL (DADEVILLE HS) 6’3″ 260 lbs

Rivals: 4-star
Scout: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 4-star
Jennings has good size and a frame to put even more weight on. He is a superb athlete off the edge at weak-side defensive end. Even though he is still a little raw, his ceiling could be really high. A redshirt is possible for Jennings, but he could be a contributor down the road. Jennings stayed with Alabama over a push by Mississippi State.

BRANDON KENNEDY – OL WETUMPKA, AL (WETUMPKA HS) 6’2″ 295 lbs
Rivals: 4-star
Scout: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 4-star
Brandon Kennedy is one of the nation’s best centers for the 2015 cycle. He is a kid that has good strength and decent size. Some time in the weight room and Kennedy could develop into a monster in the middle of Alabama’s offensive line. The signing adds depth to an abundance of offensive line Saban’s and the Tide have been accumulating. Kennedy is already enrolled and picked Alabama over a late push by Auburn.

JOSHUA MCMILLON – LB MEMPHIS, TN (WHITEHAVEN HS) 6’3″ 246 lbs
Rivals: 4-star
Scout: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 4-star
Josh McMillon already has the size to be a college inside linebacker. While he looks the part, he is still lacking in pass coverage and is not the fastest player. However, McMillon has the skills to be a classic run-stuffing linebacker Alabama fans are used to seeing. Physically he is there, but with time McMillon could become a household name. He stayed with the Tide over Tennessee and Georgia.

DARON PAYNE – DT BIRMINGHAM, AL (SHADES VALLEY HS) 6’2″ 325 lbs

Rivals: 5-star
Scout: 5-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 5-star
One of the biggest names in the 2015 class, Payne was considered a must-get for Saban and the Tide. The monster defensive tackle can plug the middle of the defense and demand a double team, much like great DTs of the recent past under Saban. His pass rushing skills aren’t honed quite yet, but if he gets that down, Payne could be an game changer on the defensive line. He also has exceptional feet and lateral movement. Payne picked Alabama over Auburn.

RICHIE PETITBON – OG WASHINGTON, D.C. (GONZAGA HS) 6’3″ 309 lbs
Rivals: 4-star
Scout: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 4-star
Petitbon is one of the top guard prospects in the nation for 2015. He possess elite size and impeccable strength for an offensive lineman. His physicality and explosiveness makes him the perfect guard in Saban’s downhill running offense, but also has the ability to pass block too. This kid could be an anchor down the line for the Tide. Petitbon chose Alabama over Penn State and Maryland.

CALVIN RIDLEY – WR COCONUT CREEK, FL (MONARCH HS) 6’0″ 170 lbs
Rivals: 5-star
Scout: 5-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 5-star
Ridley is the top wide receiver in America on some recruiting sites – and for good reason. With Amari Cooper gone, Saban looks to find their next #1 receiver, and Ridley could be that guy. He is a long, rangy receiver that plays bigger than his height. A true downfield threat that could be an immediate game changer. When he adds strength and works on his blocking, the sky is the limit for Ridley. He picked Alabama over Miami.

KENDALL SHEFFIELD – DB MISSOURI CITY, TX (FORT BEND MARSHALL HS) 6’0″181 lbs
Rivals: 4-star
Scout: 5-star
ESPN: 5-star
247 Sports: 5-star
Alabama goes into Texas and snags a top corner for the second straight year. Sheffield has elite speed (4.36 40 time), good size, and skills to become a lockdown college cornerback. Adding more weight and strength will make him more a physical all-around player. Sheffield could become a true island in the next few years for Alabama’s secondary. He decided on the Crimson Tide over Texas A&M and LSU.

JONATHAN TAYLOR – DT WESSON, MS (COPIAH-LINCOLN CC) 6’5″ 335 lbs

Rivals: 3-star
Scout: 3-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 3-star
Taylor is the only junior college player Alabama signed in 2015 – and he is a controversial one at that. The former Georgia player was dismissed from the team after a domestic violence arrest. Saban gives him another chance and – if Taylor doesn’t let him down – could become a huge get for the 2015 class. He has the ability to step right in and compete for playing time on a deep defensive line rotation. Taylor’s size, strength and experience gives him a head start to see significant playing time in 2015.

ADONIS THOMAS – LB LAWRENCEVILLE, GA (CENTRAL GWINNETT HS) 6’3″ 229 lbs
Rivals: 4-star
Scout: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 4-star
Thomas is a hugely important signing for Alabama in 2015. A long, athletic linebacker that could line up at jack linebacker when its all said and done. His strong suit is pass rush, but his lateral movement is solid. While he seems a bit thin, Thomas will add more weight incresing his size as a true outside/jack linebacker for the Crimson Tide. Once a Florida commit, Thomas decided on Alabama.

DEIONTE THOMPSON – DB ORANGE, TX (WEST ORANGE-STARK HS) 6’2″ 181 lbs
Rivals: 4-star
Scout: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 4-star
Thompson is already enrolled at Alabama and could compete for playing time at the safety postition in 2015. I believe we will at least see a lot of him on special teams this upcoming season. He has good speed, great range and is a hard hitter. When Thompson bulks up some, watch out. He is a wonderful athlete that also returned kicks in high school and wasn’t too shabby at it either. Thompson was a long time Alabama commit and never came close to flipping.

DALLAS WARMACK – OG ATLANTA, GA (MAYS HS) 6’2″ 306 lbs

Rivals: 4-star
Scout: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star
247 Sports: 4-star
As the younger brother of Crimson Tide beast, Chance Warmack, Dallas is another massive guard prospect out of Georgia. He mostly played tackle in high school, but projects as a college guard. More of a run blocker than a pass blocker, he will have to develop in that aspect. Warmack likes to get his nose dirty and finish blocks, which will put him in good company at Alabama. He was a Tide commit for a long time, and is an early enrollee.

MATT WOMACK – OT SENATOBIA, MS (MAGNOLIA HEIGHTS HS) 6’7″ 330 lbs

Rivals: 3-star
Scout: 3-star
ESPN: 3-star
247 Sports: 3-star
Womack is the only true offensive tackle in the 2015 class. He is projected to be a right tackle in college. A specimen at 6’7″, Womack is a big, strong boy. He doesn’t have the best feet and he is not the most athletic player, but he has size and is agressive to be a force at the tackle position. Womack flipped his commitment from LSU to Alabama.

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