With the bye week upon us, we thought it would be a good time to give you a UAB football recruiting update.
The 2018 class for UAB football currently ranks 10th among Conference USA teams according to 247Sports.com. Part of the reason for that low ranking is that they only take into account players who have stars. Six of UAB’s 12 commitments don’t have stars, hence that hurts their overall team ranking.
But this is still a very good class for UAB with two 3-star recruits and four 2-star recruits.
The toast of the class right now is defensive end Michael Fairbanks out of Powder Springs, Ga. The 6-foot-3, 250 pound defensive lineman committed to the Blazers back in July, turning down offers from schools like Air Force, Arkansas State, Ball State, Marshall, Southern Miss, and several others.
The UAB defensive line should be very deep next year, which should allow Fairbanks some time to learn and work his way into the rotation.
The other 3-star recruit in this class is duel-threat quarterback Dylan Hopkins from Maryville, Tenn. The 6-foot-2, 200 pound quarterback has a very strong arm and is a really good runner. In all honesty, he kind of reminds me of Tyler Johnston a bit.
Obviously UAB already has two good quarterbacks, but Hopkins could push the competition next year if Coach Clark decides to keep him at quarterback. He is big enough, tall enough and quick enough to play either running back or wide receiver if that is where he is a better fit. But I’m guessing he gets a shot at quarterback first.
Two-star commits include running back Nuru Tinch, cornerback Starling Thomas, cornerback Jomond Foster and wide receiver Austin Watkins.
Of those four, only Thomas is from Alabama, playing his high school ball at Ramsay.
The Blazers have six other commitments from kids who aren’t currently ranked by 247Sports.com. Those include defensive tackle Adarius McWilliams, wide receiver Atorian Perry, cornerback Danyton Thomas, safety Jaylen Key, safety Deshaun Oliver and offensive guard Deandre Butler.
Here is the breakdown by position:
As you can see, this group is pretty set on defensive backs. Really, the coaching staff has done a good job of covering every position with the exception of tight end and linebacker.
Things have been fairly quiet since the football season started. The Blazers last commitment came at the end of July. That’s pretty typical as most kids are in the middle of their football seasons, and some want to wait and see if they earn scholarships to bigger schools.
We’re going to focus on players who are “warm” on UAB according to 247Sports.com.
The first is 3-star tight end Katerian Legrone from Atlanta, Ga. He is also listed as warm on Appalachian State, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tulane and Central Florida. With those offers, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t pick South Carolina, but it would be a huge get for the Blazers as they desperately need a good pass catching tight end.
Next up is 3-star linebacker JaCorey Johns out of Cartersville, Ga. He’s a very tall linebacker at 6-foot-4, but is very quick to the football. It looks like his top three right now are UAB, Southern Miss and Wake Forest. This would obviously be another huge prize for the Blazers if they can land the 3-star recruit.
Another linebacker showing interest is Thompson High School’s Jalen Rayam. The 6-foot-2, 230 linebacker is listed as a 2-star with offers from schools like Western Kentucky, Tulane, South Alabama, Middle Tennessee, Georgia State and others. According to his Twitter account he’s been visiting some SEC schools lately hoping for an offer. If that doesn’t come to fruition, I think the Blazers are in a good spot to land him.
Even though UAB already has three cornerbacks committed, 2-star cornerback Cardavion Myers from Piedmont, Ala. is showing interest in the Blazers. He’s also listed as being warm on Liberty, Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss, Troy and Western Kentucky — with 247’s crystal ball predicting him to pick the HillToppers.
The guy needs to charge his phone, but hopefully he decides to stay close to home and commits to the Blazers.
As we saw, UAB needs to fill holes at tight end and linebacker, so it’s good to see there is some interest at those positions. We’re about halfway through the regular season of high school football, so hopefully we see more movement pretty soon.
Last year’s class ranked ninth in Conference USA with five 3-star recruits. I would expect this class to finish about the same, but if the team can put together some good wins and keep the team in the spotlight, I think we see a lot more movement our way towards the end of the signing period.