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Recruiting Rundown: Where Does Alabama Turn Following Arch Manning’s Commitment to Texas?

The Crimson Tide would still like to add a second quarterback to its 2023 class, but it could get complicated.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Unlike recent weeks, Alabama won’t be hosting a five-star official visitor this weekend. However, the Crimson Tide will still be in for a busy few days as several top talents are set to arrive in Tuscaloosa.

This weekend’s official visitors include a trio of four-star defensive linemen in Rueben Bain, Edric Hill and Jordan Renaud as well as a pair of four-star running backs in Kaleb Jackson and Jeremiyah Love. Alabama will also receive official visits from four-star receiver Aiden Mizell as well as four-star Georgia tight end commit Lawson Luckie.

Alabama began the week by receiving a commitment from four-star Tuscaloosa offensive tackle Wilkin Formby. Things didn’t slow down from there for the Crimson Tide as it lost out on a pair of five-star targets in quarterback Arch Manning (Texas) and receiver Brandon Inniss (Ohio State) while also making the updated top lists of other top prospects.

BamaCentral will break down the action during this week’s Recruiting Rundown.

dylan lonergan

What’s next following Manning’s commitment?

Alabama wasn’t able to reel in the nation’s top recruit as Manning announced his commitment to Texas on Thursday. The Crimson Tide would still like to add another quarterback alongside Eli Holstein in its 2023 class, but that could prove difficult with only a few intriguing options left on the board.

Despite missing out on Manning, Alabama is still in relatively good shape at the quarterback position. The Crimson Tide already has a top-10 quarterback in Holstein in this year’s class and has added elite prospects Ty Simpson and Jalen Milroe in the two past cycles. Each member of that trio has the talent to fill in for Bryce Young when he departs for the NFL next offseason, so bringing in a 2023 quarterback below that level would be unnecessary.

The biggest — and possibly only — name on the Crimson Tide’s list at the moment is Snellville, Ga., native Dylan Lonergan. The four-star passer is rated just one spot below Holstein as the No. 9 quarterback in next year’s class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He’s 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. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound athlete is also a top prospect on the baseball diamond and plans to play both sports in college.

Lonergan is a Penn State legacy as his father, Dan, was the backup quarterback to Todd Blackledge on Joe Paterno’s 1982 national champion team. Lonergan and his family came away impressed following an official visit to Alabama earlier this month. However, the Crimson Tide will have to fight off his presumed favorite, South Carolina, for his commitment.

If Alabama is unable to land Lonergan, it might stick with just one quarterback in the 2023 class. In that case, look for the Crimson Tide to possibly turn to the transfer portal next offseason as it could bring in a veteran option to compete with Milroe, Simpson and Holstein for the starting job.

Wilkin Formby

Alabama starts its offensive line haul

Reloading on the offensive line will be crucial for Alabama in the current cycle. The Crimson Tide began that process Monday as it was able to secure a top-100 lineman from its own backyard in Formby. The 6-foot-7, 295-pound offensive tackle represents a big win for Alabama as he was previously considered an Ole Miss lean. The next step will be building on that momentum.

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Alabama is in the running for three five-star offensive tackles in Francis Mauigoa, Kadyn Proctor and Samson Okunlola. While the Crimson Tide isn’t currently considered a favorite for any member of that trio, it stands a decent chance of adding at least one of them in next year’s class.

Mauigoa, the nation’s top offensive tackle, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, currently plays at IMG Academy where Alabama has signed Evan Neal, J.C. Latham and Tyler Booker in recent years. Mauigoa took an official visit to Alabama earlier this month and had plenty of nice things to say about the Crimson Tide.

Proctor, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, recently named Alabama in his top two schools along with his home-state Hawkeyes following an official visit to Tuscaloosa. While most project him to stay home, the Crimson Tide appears to be much more of a contender now than it did earlier this month.

Like Mauigoa and Proctor, Okunlola is also coming off a recent official visit to Alabama. After traveling to Tuscaloosa, the Brockton, Mass., native spoke to BamaCentral, stating that the Crimson Tide was “in a pretty good spot right now.”

Four-star Finland native Olaus Alinen is thought to be favoring Alabama while the Crimson Tide also appears to be in good shape in its pursuit of flipping three-star Georgia commit RyQueze McElderry, who grew up pulling for the Tide in Anniston, Ala. Miles McVay, a four-star prospect from East Saint Louis, Ill., is also coming off a positive Alabama visit in which he and his family were charmed by Nick Saban.

Hutchinson Blue Dragons receiver Malik Benson (11) scores on the opening play of the game in the KJCCC semifinals against the Independence Pirates Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 in Independence.

Finding Holstein a top target

While Alabama’s failed pursuit of Manning received more attention, Inniss’ commitment to Ohio State might sting more for the Crimson Tide. The five-star receiver was one of the Crimson Tide’s top targets as it looks to supply Holstein with future weapons.

So where does Alabama turn now?

The Crimson Tide hosted five-star receiver Shelton Sampson Jr. for an official visit last weekend. However, the Baton, Rouge, La., native is widely projected to commit to his hometown LSU Tigers.

Malik Benson, the nation’s top junior college prospect, also took an official visit to Alabama last week and is certainly a name to watch. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound receiver is set to announce his commitment on July 5 and will choose between Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Oregon, and Tennessee.

Alabama hosts a four-star receiver in Mizell for an official visit this weekend. While Florida and Georgia appear to lead for the Orlando, Fla., native, the Crimson Tide could pick up some ground over the next couple of days.