TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama is red-hot on the recruiting trail entering the month of July. Over the past two weeks, the Crimson Tide has added six commitments, including five in next year’s class. Alabama is now up to nine commitments for the 2023 class and is poised to add to that total over the coming days.
The Crimson Tide is in the mix for several recruits with upcoming decision dates, including five-star offensive lineman Francis Mauigoa (July 4), JUCO wide receiver Malik Benson (July 5),five-star defensive lineman Peter Woods (July 8) and four-star quarterback Dylan Lonergan (July 12)
During this week’s Recruiting Rundown, BamaCentral will break down where Alabama stands with those targets as well as how things could play out for the Crimson Tide moving forward.
Four-star offensive lineman Wilkin Formby kicked off what could be a stellar Alabama offensive line class with his commitment last week. While the Crimson Tide missed out on five-star offensive tackle Kadyn Proctor earlier this week, it is still in a solid position to stock up well in the trenches in the current recruiting cycle.
Alabama will hope Francis Mauigoa provides some Fourth of July fireworks as the IMG Academy tackle is set to choose between the Crimson Tide, Southern California, Tennessee and others. Alabama has had success with IMG offensive linemen, pulling Evan Neal, J.C. Latham and Tyler Booker from the Florida powerhouse in recent years. However, there is a thought the Crimson Tide might face an uphill battle in Mauigoa as it looks to go to the well again.
Even if Alabama doesn’t land Mauigoa, it has plenty of talented options available. The Crimson Tide seems to be in extremely good shape with four-star Finland native Olaus Alinen as well as four-star talent Miles McVay out of East St. Louis, Ill. While three-star Anniston, Ala., native Ryquese McElderry has been committed to Georgia since November, he grew up a fan of the Crimson Tide and is a possible flip moving forward.
As for five-star talents, Massachusetts native Samson Okunlola, who goes by the “Pancake Honcho,” has a great relationship with Alabama offensive line coach Eric Wolford.
Targeting more targets
Alabama finally gave four-star quarterback commit Eli Holstein a wideout in the 2023 class as it received a commitment from Cole Adams earlier this week.
Adams, an Owasso, Okla., native, has been clocked with a 10.65 time in the 100-meter dash and is coming off a junior season in which he recorded 55 receptions for 913 yards and eight touchdowns. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound receiver looks made for the slot position at Alabama and could be a nice possession receiver for Holstein in the future.
With Adams now on board, Alabama could add to its riches next week as it appears to be in the driver’s seat for Malik Benson. The Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College product is set to decide between Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Oregon and Tennessee on Tuesday with most projecting the Crimson Tide as the clear favorite.
During his freshman season last year, Benson recorded 43 receptions for 1,229 yards and 11 touchdowns over 11 games. The 6-foot, 185-pound receiver has been clocked with a 10.44 time in the 100-meter dash as well as a 21.38 time at 200 meters.
Holstein recently spoke to 247Sports about trying to help the Crimson Tide recruit more offensive playmakers, stating that he’s trying to make a push for fellow Louisiana native Shelton Sampson Jr.
Alabama still in on Woods
Alabama was long the projected favorite to land five-star defensive lineman Peter Woods. The life-long Crimson Tide fan is from Alabaster, Ala., and played with several current Alabama players and commits at Thompson High School. However, heading into his decision next week, it appears Alabama sits behind Clemson for his commitment.
Regardless of who Woods chooses on July 8, the Crimson Tide isn’t going to stop pursuing him until he signs his official letter of intent somewhere else. That being said, Alabama has a few backup options, including four-star Kansas City native Edric Hill, who is trending toward the Crimson Tide following his official visit to Alabama last weekend.
Quarterback No. 2 on the way?
After failing to land five-star quarterback Arch Manning last week, Alabama is still hoping to add another passer to next year’s class as it awaits word from Dylan Lonergan. The four-star Snellville, Ga., native postponed his decision to July 12 after originally scheduling it for Tuesday. He will be choosing between the Crimson Tide, South Carolina and Stanford, and most project the Gamecocks to be the favorites.
Lonergan, 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, is coming off a stellar junior season where he threw for 32 touchdowns and 3,392 yards with just three interceptions while leading Brookwood High School to the Georgia 7A quarterfinals. He’s also viewed as an elite prospect in baseball and has aspirations to play both sports in college.
As was the case with Manning, it will be interesting to see if Lonergan is comfortable joining Alabama with Holstein already on board. If he is, the Crimson Tide would love to add him to the mix.