Alabama has locked in its first top-10 recruit of the 2018 recruiting cycle.
When Micah Parsons picked Penn State to kick off the early signing period’s high-profile commitments on Wednesday morning, it left Eyabi Anoma as the top-ranked uncommitted defensive end in the country. Later on Wednesday afternoon, Anoma announced he will play for Nick Saban at Alabama.
Although Anoma drew scholarship offers from Power 5 programs across the country, his decision came down to two programs, Alabama and Michigan. He took official visits to both Ann Arbor and Tuscaloosa, in addition to unofficial visits to other schools, but none of them were viewed as serious contenders in the lead-up to Anoma’s announcement. In the end, the Crimson Tide won out, and their feared defense will be better off because of it.
As a senior at St. Frances Academy in Baltimore this season, Anoma has racked up 98 tackles, 22 sacks and four forced fumbles, according to The Baltimore Sun. The 6' 5", 230-pound pass rusher is rated the No. 2 weakside defensive end (behind only Parsons) and No. 7 player in the class of 2018, according to the 247Sports Composite. The only player in the top eight who has yet to reveal his choice is American Heritage High cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr.
For the Crimson Tide, which have lagged behind many other college football bluebloods in the class rankings during the early months of this recruiting period, Anoma is doubtless the first of a steady stream of blue-chip prospects set to make their way to Tuscaloosa leading up to National Signing Day in early February. Alabama has made a habit of turning prospects of Anoma’s build into versatile defenders; he should help address the depth issues that have plagued Nick Saban’s front seven this fall.