Alabama Football News

Alabama commits, Latham and Story, helping change narrative around small school football recruiting

Jah-Marien Latham / Photo Credit: Justin Smith- Touchdown Alabama Magazine

There is no secret the state of Alabama has produced some great football talent in the past and this trend has continued as the state has boasted multiple 5-Star recruits over the last couple of recruiting cycles.

This talent comes from all over the state but rarely do it come from schools in lower classifications, and especially not from the lowest classification of them all, 1-A. Do not get it wrong, 1-A football in Alabama is highly competitive and some great athletes are produced within their ranks, but they often face challenges when it comes to getting their players to the next level. However, the 1-A classification is represented pretty well in the 2020 recruiting class as they have two 4-Star recruits, who have both committed to SEC power, Alabama.

Kristian Story and Jah-Marien Latham are both verbally committed to the Tide.

Story is a product of Lanett High School in Lanett, Alabama. The Panthers have produced Division one talent in the past. Oregon defensive back, Trikweze Bridges, lined up for Lanett last season. The success of guys like Bridges and Story’s commitment to the Tide is helping to continue to shine a light on the talent in 1-A football, but Story knows all too well what it is like trying to get the attention of a big-time college program playing at a small high school.

“You are often overlooked,” Story said.  “It seems like you are the underdog because people think you do not play against competition and are not as talented or developed as players from bigger schools.”

The senior defensive back and quarterback has pushed through that doubt and gotten the attention of multiple power 5 schools. Before committing to the Tide, Story had a top 5 of LSU, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Alabama. It was the family atmosphere Story felt from Alabama that led him to choose the Tide.

“I am very comfortable there and I feel like their my family,” Story said.

RELATED: Alabama feels like family to 4-Star commit, Kristian Story 

Latham plays for Pickens County High School in Reform, Alabama. Pickens County is another school, who has produced Division one talent before. Former Alabama tight end and Pickens County head coach, Michael Williams, is a product of Pickens County High School.

Similar to Story, Latham said many people told him, he could not make it coming from a small school, but he feels it was his faith, that help push through it.

“It means a lot, to be honest,” Latham said. “A lot of people did not think I could do it because of the size of my school. But I put in a lot of work to be in the position that I am in and I just thank the man above for all the blessings that he has given me.”

Both Story and Latham are living proof the yellowhammer state is producing talent across the state at big and small schools. In-state powers, Alabama and Auburn, should not expect the rush of Power 5 schools to get talent out the state to slow down anytime soon.

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Justin Smith is a Scouting/Recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via @Jdsmith31Smith

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