One of the top defensive linemen in the country has committed to Alabama, settling a year-long SEC West recruiting battle in his home state. Four-star defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher, a native of Amite (La.) High School near the Louisiana/Mississippi border, will leave the state after electing to play for Nick Saban on Wednesday afternoon.
Listed at 6'3.5" and 334 pounds, Sopsher is the 25th four-star in Alabama's class of 2019. Sopsher made the 2018 First Team All-USA Louisiana Football Team and was a standout in Amite's run to the Louisiana 2A State Championship, along with high school teammate and wide receiver Devonta Lee, who committed to LSU.
Sopsher was heavily recruited by both Nick Saban and Ed Orgeron as part of a long-running recruiting war between LSU and Alabama. Ole Miss and Texas A&M also made offers to Sopsher. The Amite product had made official visits to both schools in the weeks leading up to his decision.
Nick Saban has poached yet another top recruit from the state of Louisiana, following in pattern set by Landon Collins, Eddie Lacy and others. Alabama had already secured seven defensive line commits before Sopsher's decision.
"They’re the guys we’ve got to chase. We’ve got to stay on the attack. We’ve got to beat them. We’ve got to beat them in recruiting and got to beat them on the football field. We comin’," Orgeron told Sports Illustrated in 2018, in regards to Sopsher's recruitment and the wider LSU/Alabama recruiting battle.
Sopsher had even drawn the attention of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who said: "I’m encouraging him, not directly, to stay in-state, and if he does that, in all likelihood, it means LSU.”
Despite the in-state pressure, Sopsher has chosen the Crimson Tide. Alabama is set to once again have the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.