Alabama Football's Summer Enrollees Arrive in Tuscaloosa

The Crimson Tide's 13 remaining members of its 2021 signing class and three transfers made their way to the Capstone over the weekend in time for summer workouts
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Alabama football's highly anticipated 2021 recruiting class is finally all on campus. 

Fourteen members of the country's number one class, per Sports Illustrated All-American, made their way to Tuscaloosa back in December as early enrollees and the final 13 arrived on campus this past weekend in time for summer workouts, which started on Monday. 

Here's a look at how each newcomer might fit in with the Crimson Tide and how SIAA evaluated each player:

DE Dallas Turner (American Heritage - Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)

Turner could very well be the summer enrollee with the most hype coming in. Defensive end/outside linebacker is already a position group that's loaded for the Crimson Tide with the likes of Will Anderson and Christoper Allen but Turner could find himself a rotational role during his first season in a Crimson Tide uniform. 

SIAA Outlook: "With his snap quickness, flexibility and ability to bend, Turner has the potential to develop into a fine pass-rusher at the next level. He generates enough body force to take advantage of soft shoulders in the entry phase of a rush, plus he plays with great effort and hustle when pursuing the ball. While his athleticism offers a foundation to be developed as a coverage defender as a Jack ‘backer in a 3-4 base alignment, Turner currently fits best with his hand down as a single C-gap DE in a defensive scheme with a 4-man front with some gap reduction and exchange principles."

DB Terrion Arnold (John Paul II - Tallahassee, Fla.)

Like Ga'Quincy McKinstry, Arnold is set to be a two-sport star in Tuscaloosa on the hardwood. However, the priority is still the gridiron. At safety, the back end of Alabama's defense is filled with experienced players like Daniel Wright, DeMarrco Hellams and Jordan Battle, which means the ball-hawking Arnold has time to develop in year one.

SIAA Outlook: "Arnold deserves to be considered among the nation’s best safety prospects because he proves to be instinctive, powerful and dynamic athletically. He takes the proper angles, is relentless in pursuit of the ball-carrier, a big hitter and great at tracking the football once it’s in the air."

DT Damon Payne (Belleville - Belleville, Mich.)

Payne possesses the traits to be an every-down lineman and excels at both rushing the passer and filling in run gaps. With his quick-twitch ability and other-world athleticism, it will be hard to keep him off the field for too long in Tuscaloosa.

SIAA Outlook: "On the hoof, Payne initially appears to be an old-school nose tackle. However, there is far more to his game than that, as he has surprising athleticism and nimble feet for a big man. He’s versatile to factor in A and B gaps in various technique alignments across the defensive front. While he is still learning there are no limits to what he can do with his hands, Payne projects as a defensive tackle in a scheme that involves 2-gap principles with also some gap reduction concepts."

RB Camar Wheaton (Lakeview Centennial - Garland, Texas)

After a pandemic-shortened senior season that saw him carry the rock 71 times for 603 yards and eight touchdowns, the electric Wheaton is set to join a loaded running back room in Tuscaloosa. Similarly to how Jase McClellan flashed in 2020 during garbage time late in games, Wheaton could have the same opportunity in 2021. 

SIAA Outlook: "Wheaton is a home run threat at every opportunity, a game-breaker who should contend for carries the moment he steps on a college campus. The dynamic one-cut style combines with track star speed in any offense, reminiscent of LeSean McCoy at the same stage. With the tools to develop into a three-down back and factor into the passing game, there won't be much reason for Wheaton to sit at any level."

LB Kendrick Blackshire (Duncanville - Duncanville, Texas)

This fall, Blackshire will be two years removed from tearing his ACL that cost him his entire junior season. He bounced back nicely in 2020 and is versatile enough to either play inside or outside linebacker at Alabama. The 6-foot-2, 245 pond Blackshire could end up being one of the crown jewels of this signing class when it's all said and done.

SIAA Outlook: "Blackshire is a big, physical downhill linebacker prospect with a strong base built for contact. He is a decisive in the box performer with some natural skill retreating and playing laterally. His floor, however is among the best among run-stuffing ‘backers in the 2021 cycle."

RB/WR JoJo Earle (Aledo - Aledo, Texas)

Earle is one of the few summer enrollees that has a chance to see the field sooner rather than later given his position. He can play in the slot, line up out wide, or even carry the ball out of the backfield. After developing four first-round draft picks over the last two seasons at the position,  Alabama will have to find elusive play-makers very fast for quarterback Bryce Young and Earle's over-the-top speed will give him a great chance to make an early impact.

SIAA Outlook: "Earle was incredibly productive for Aledo, racking up 1,601 receiving yards, 429 rushing yards, 429 return yards and 26 total touchdowns in 2019. He's a highly intelligent pass catcher that is a threat vertically, horizontally, is dangerous against the zone and is dynamic with the ball in his hands."

DB Kaine Williams (John Ehret - Marrero, La.)

Williams is a little taller but his body type and play-style could remind fans of former Crimson Tide standout Mark Barron, who excelled as a safety in college but then transitioned to linebacker.

SIAA Outlook: "Williams looks like an instant-impact secondary prospect with the potential to play any position within the middle of the defense. His combination of technique, instincts and ball-hawking mentality could make for strong deep safety, in-the-box defender or even a nickel or ‘STAR’ in certain schemes. As his body physically matures, there could be a hybrid linebacker-defensive back position waiting for him in the SEC."

DB Kadarius Calloway (Philadelphia - Philadelphia, Miss.)

Calloway saw action on both sides of the ball during high school in the Magnolia State but projects in the defensive backfield at Alabama. He could end up being a Swiss-Army-Knife type player that plays every position in the secondary at some point during his time at Alabama.

SIAA Outlook: "Calloway has solid all-around athleticism and can play with a good linear burst. His ball skills allow him to factor in coverage, where he turns into a receiver to play the ball. While he needs to refine some subtle nuances of the safety position, Calloway has the skill set to work in the defensive seams in college from either the field or in the boundary."

DT Tim Keenan (Ramsay - Birmingham, Ala.)

A knee injury last fall cost Keenan the final months of his senior season so he arrives in Tuscaloosa with the focus on returning to 100 percent health again. He's an old-school defensive tackle that will command double teams and create enough negative plays to be a nightmare for opposing offenses.

SIAA Outlook: "Keenan is a classic 0-technique/1-technique nose tackle who will fit in a 2-gap scheme. He is a natural space-eater with strength, vision and deceptive quickness to close and finish. He won’t generate an abundance of pass-rush production, yet he will be a valuable contributor on early downs to a defensive front."

OL Jaeden Roberts (North Shore - Houston, Texas)

The 6-foot-5, 340-pound Roberts is an elite mauler, physical at the point of attack and freakishly athletic to where he could compete for an interior offensive line position during his freshman season. 

SIAA Outlook: "Roberts has old-school interior offensive guard prospect DNA in his build, immense strength and grit in the trenches. He is a phone booth dominator with great success as a run blocker along with the tools to vastly improve his pass protection. As he trims and works to gain agility, has a chance to potentially play more than one position down the line."

DT Anquin Barnes (Robert E. Lee - Montgomery, Ala.)

His frame is impressive, 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, but what's even more impressive are his long arms, how quick he can move at that size and shed ability. Barnes and Keenan are two summer enrollees that could benefit from the new sports science staff the most. The Montgomery, Ala. could be primed for a redshirt season.

SIAA Outlook: "Barnes is a local prospect, but it’s safe to say the Crimson Tide would have come calling regardless. Possesses ideal size for defensive tackle, with frame to play at 320-plus pounds, plus rare combination of power and agility. Potential multi-year starter for Alabama, with NFL upside."

DB Khyree Jackson (East Mississippi Community College)

At 6-foot-3, Jackson may be the tallest cornerback Nick Saban has coached at Alabama. Normally, as a junior college transfer, the expectation would be to be game-ready right away but Jackson hasn't played in a game since 2019 due to the pandemic. However, he will have the chance to compete with Jayln Armour-Davis at the boundary cornerback spot opposite of Josh Jobe.

DB Devonta Smith (La Salle - Cincinnati, Ohio)

One DeVonta Smith is out and another is in. However, this Smith will make his name known on the defensive end of the ball and his 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame, broad shoulders and long arms make him one of the more unique prospects in this class.

SIAA Outlook: "Smith has the chance to outperform expectation coming out of high school. Alabama recruits nationally but Smith’s commitment has far more to do with his impressive collection of physical and mental tools. Flew up the rankings his senior year, and could eventually emerge as a starter in Tuscaloosa – at the very least."

Transfers

LB Henry To'oTo'o (Tennessee)

Although some are already penciling To'oTo'o in as a starter alongside Christian Harris at inside linebacker, the former Tennessee standout will likely be behind senior Jaylen Moody when fall camp begins. Nothing is just handed out at Alabama, everything is earned and To'o To'o will find that out.

WR Jameson Williams (Ohio State)

Saban says speed kills at the wide receiver position and that's what the Crimson Tide is getting with Williams — top-line speed and quickness. After averaging nearly 18 yards a catch with the Buckeyes and being a former track star, Williams is ready to be a key contributor from day one. 

P Jack Martin (Troy)

Consistency at punter hasn't been exactly what the Crimson Tide has gotten over the last two seasons. Martin will immediately be in the mix to win the starting job after averaging 46.1 yards a punt, with a long boot of 66, with the Trojans in 2020.