Alabama Football: Meet The Tide’s 2016 Recruiting Class

2 of 3
Oct 10, 2015; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide mascot Big Al celebrates a score against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama defeated Arkansas 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2015; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide mascot Big Al celebrates a score against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama defeated Arkansas 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

-Ben Davis – ILB – Gordo, AL (*****)

6’3”, 240 lbs.

The son of legendary Alabama linebacker, Wayne Davis, it seemed as if it was destiny that the younger Davis would follow in his father’s giant footsteps to Tuscaloosa. Davis is the top inside linebacker in the country and will likely continue to grow the legacy of inside linebackers that Nick Saban has been churning out at Alabama. Davis is big, fast, and physical and has shown an ability to rush the passer as well as shed blocks in run defense. His speed makes him great in pursuit and gives him great sideline-to-sideline ability. With Alabama’s depth at linebacker, Davis may not start right off the bat but I would find it highly unlikely that he doesn’t at least see the field as a freshman.

-Lyndell “Mack” Wilson – OLB – Montgomery, AL (*****)

6’2”, 220 lbs.

Mack Wilson is the other crown jewel Alabama linebacker for the Crimson Tide in this class as the top-ranked outside linebacker. Wilson is tailor made for the SAM position in Alabama’s defense with his ability to cover tight ends and running backs out of the backfield. He is also excellent against the run and a tough pass rusher which could result in him playing the JACK role if he manages to add some weight to his frame. With more and more teams implementing read option attacks to their offense, like Clemson, we could see a bit smaller JACK backers on Alabama’s team like Tim Williams or Rashaan Evans which is the role that Wilson could fill in early in his career.

-BJ Emmons – RB – Morganton, NC (****)

5’10”, 232 lbs.

Running back is one of the thinnest positions on the Alabama team so a big time recruit at this position was important for the Alabama staff. Emmons most certainly has that potential, though he still needs a better ACT score to qualify for the summer. His size and measurable are very reminiscent to that of Mark Ingram and his combination of patience and speed make for a deadly combination in a running back. If he gets his grades straight and improves his blocking there is a very good chance that Emmons sees the field early along with other young backs like Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris.

-Nigel Knott – CB – Madison, MS (****)

5’11”, 175 lbs.

With a body type and speed that will remind some of Cyrus Jones, Knott is a speedy ball hawk that thrives on forcing turnovers. He doesn’t possess the size of some of Alabama’s other defensive backs but he is still very physical for his size and has excellent instincts.

-Terrell Hall – DE – Washington D.C. (****)

6’5”, 250 lbs.

Hall is listed as the sixth-ranked weakside defensive end in the class but with his size and speed could end up playing more in the JACK role at Alabama. He must improve a lot as a run defender but he will be able to rush the passer with his hand in the dirt early in his career if he is moved to JACK.

-Shyheim Carter – CB – Kentwood, LA (****)

6’, 190 lbs.

Another top cornerback in this class. Carter is slightly bigger than Knott and nearly as fast. He’s also extremely physical and thrives in zone coverage. With coaching from Saban and Pruitt, he could improve his man-to-man ability and become an elite cover man for the Tide defense.

-Raekwon Davis – DT – Meridian, MS (****)

6’6”, 327 lbs.

The man with the coolest first name in the 2016 class—I’m sure all my 90’s hip-hop fans know where I’m coming from with that—Raekwon is a massive defensive tackle with bullish strength. He is beastly against the run and in high school was almost impossible to block one-on-one. He likely transitions to nose tackle at Alabama where he could be a dominant space eater in the same vein as Josh Chapman and A’Shawn Robinson but could also end up as a defensive end in Alabama’s 3-4 like a Marcell Dareus or Jarran Reed type.

-Kendell Jones – DT – Killeen, TX (****)

6’5”, 375 lbs.

Yet another massive defensive tackle Saban has plucked in this class, Jones possesses explosiveness that is scary at his size, and was a bull rushing pass rusher in high school. He needs to work on his hand on keeping his pad level low and likely will end up as a nose tackle.

-Trevon Diggs – ATH – Bethseda, MD (****)

6’, 183 lbs.

One of the top “athletes” in the 2016 class Diggs will start out at Alabama as a wide receiver but has the ability to play at cornerback as well. Diggs is a very physical receiver and terrific blocker that will likely only get better as he grows in size in Alabama’s strength and conditioning program. He has good hands and is very shifty with the ball in his hands, but needs to work on his routes to become a starter in the SEC.

-Jared Mayden – CB – Sachse, TX (****)

6’1”, 190 lbs.

Mayden is a big corner with terrific instincts and footwork leading to him being an excellent cover corner in high school. His willingness to step up and attack the running game as well will lend well to his future at Alabama. He struggles at times in finishing plays where he has a shot at interceptions, meaning he needs to work on his hands, and needs to get more fluid in his hip movement as he turns to run with receivers but has all the tools to transition into a solid cornerback at the next level.
-Quinnen Williams – DT – Birmingham, AL (****)

6’4”, 265 lbs.

Yet another top defensive lineman in this Alabama class, Williams is the smallest of the defensive linemen in this class and will play on the outside at defensive end for the Tide. Williams has terrific strength and is prolific against the run. He needs to improve and be more consistent with his pad level but has a great motor and doesn’t quit on plays. Game film reminds me of a DJ Pettway type of player.

-Deonte Brown – OG – Decatur, AL (****)

6’3”, 350 lbs.

Brown is one of the biggest guards in the 2016 class and possesses the size, strength, and pure toughness to be a solid guard for the Tide. He has to work on his pad level as a run blocker and his strength may be pass blocking at this point in his football career.

-Scott Lashley – OT – West Point, MS (****)

6’6”, 300 lbs.

Yet another big offensive lineman in this class Lashley that actually played both tackle and tight end in high school. He never seemed to fully embrace playing on the line in high school but if he does embrace that role he could end up being a terrific tackle for the team. He has excellent hands in pass blocking and is a mean, nasty run blocker with some scary strength. Lashley is a bull and may be the diamond in the rough in this class on the line.

Next: Check Out The Rest of the 2016 Class