The first domino has fallen, in regards to the University of Alabama's targets on the offensive line for its 2021 recruiting class with five-star tackle JC Latham's verbal pledge to the Crimson Tide. He announced it exclusively with Sports Illustrated All-American.
Offensive line and wide receiver are the two biggest position of needs for coach Nick Saban and company this cycle and the wide out group has already been addressed with four-star, elite pass catchers from the Sunshine State with Agiye Hall and Jacorey Brooks, and it will continue to be addressed as the Crimson Tide is still heavily in the running for Christian Leary, Brian Thomas Jr., Malcolm Johnson Jr., Xavier Worthy, among others.
But with, potentially as many as four projected starters — three for sure, as Landon Dickerson, Deonte Brown, and Alex Leatherwood are all in their final years of eligibility — leaving after the 2020 season, the big men, who control the trenches is of upmost importance.
Latham, who is ranked as the No. 17 overall prospect in the country and No. 3 offensive tackle by the 247Sports Composite Rankings, is the first, in what could be a massive haul for the Crimson Tide.
Here is Bama Central's projection, at this current moment, of what this offensive line group could look like when it is all said and done on signing day.
Five-star OT Tommy Brockermeyer/Four-star OC James Brockermeyer (All Saints Episcopal - Fort Worth, Tx.)
The Brockermeyer twins might be the hottest names in the recruiting world. James has publicly released a final four of Alabama, Texas, Auburn, and LSU, and it is safe to say Tommy's is the same.
Despite no in-person visits this summer, which both brothers had two lined up to Tuscaloosa because they are allowed to go on each other's official visits, the Crimson Tide coaching staff has appeared to have continued success through Zoom meetings and other outlets, such that a decision could come from this two during the summer before any official visits.
While the two are legacy prospects for the home state Texas Longhorns, as of now, Alabama is the favorite to land their services.
Heading into their senior prep seasons, Tommy is fully healthy and has recovered nicely from a shoulder injury that kept him out of the 2019 campaign, while James will continue to build off of a stellar junior year and show the country why he has the No. 1 center ranking in the 2021 class according to ESPN, 247Sports, and Rivals.
Four-star OG Jager Burton (Fredrick Douglass - Lexington, Ken.)
Who was the last Crimson Tide offensive lineman to hail from the Bluegrass State?
Jedrick Wills Jr., who was drafted with the tenth overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns last April. That connection could help Alabama land Burton, the No. 1 overall player in the state of Kentucky for 2021.
The Crimson Tide has picked up some steam surrounding the 6-foot-4, 270 pound prospect in recent weeks and it certainly helps Alabama's case that he has been to Tuscaloosa multiple times, including a most recent visit to last year's matchup with LSU. Assistant Kyle Flood has stayed in constant contact with Burton throughout the dead period.
His top seven include the Crimson Tide, Penn State, Texas, Ohio State, Clemson, Oregon, and Kentucky. The two biggest threats to the Crimson Tide in this race are the Wildcats and Buckeyes.
If the Crimson Tide is able to land the three guys listed above, it would give the program two elite tackles and two premier interior players that all have the ability to make an instant impact when they arrive on campus.
Of course, there are more names out there Alabama is in the hunt for, like two Peach State products, five-tackle Amarius Mims and four-star guard Terrence Ferguson. With both of those guys, the Crimson Tide will have to fight off Georgia tooth and nail to secure a verbal commitment from either of them.
Three-star tackle William Parker out of Nashville, Tenn., is a prospect who could see his stock rise as the summer moves along. Alabama offered the 6-foot-5, 325 pound lineman back in February and the relationship with the coaching staff has only gotten better.