With the commitment of linebacker Trey DePriest, the Crimson Tide now has three non-southerners on the list of high school seniors who’ve pledged their services to the program.
The Springfield, Ohio, recruit chose Alabama over Ohio State at a Friday afternoon news conference, which unofficially gives the Tide 16 commitments for the incoming class of 2011.
Rivals.com rates DePriest a four-star prospect and the sixth-best linebacker nationally, while Scout.com gave him five stars and a ranking of No. 3 among the nation’s middle linebackers.
All commitments are non-binding until signing day in February, but the news DePriest made Friday continues the success Alabama’s enjoyed in waters that previously yielded little success.
It’s no longer just an Alabama-Georgia-Florida-Mississippi-shaped recruiting map for the Tide.
The only contributor toward the 2009 BCS National Championship team from north of the Ohio River was Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, who hails from Flint, Mich.
But he won’t be as much of an anomaly in the future if commitments hold firm.
The next group of committed high school seniors includes another Ohio native, offensive lineman Ryan Kelly. The new group of incoming freshmen starting this fall includes Maryland’s Arie Kouandjio, who is the No. 7 overall recruit nationally according to Scout.com.
The success is extending West, too.
In June, offensive lineman Isaac Luatua became the first Californian to commit to the Tide since 2004. Last year, nobody wore crimson and white from any farther west than Texas.
With six months remaining in the recruiting season, Alabama is still competing for a host of top prospects hailing from outside of the traditional hunting grounds, according to the recruiting services.
Of the top 20 uncommitted players in Scout.com’s rankings, 17 have Alabama on their list of potential destinations. That includes two players from Washington, two from California, another from Ohio and Maryland’s Kouandjio.
Assuming all 16 current commitments sign scholarship papers in February, Alabama would have 12 more at its disposal due to the SEC’s cap of 28 signees allowed per class.