As we’re now just a day away from National Signing Day 2018, let’s take a look at how the current class is coming together.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year folks. Wednesday we’ll be signing a ton of new Blazers and possibly one of the highest graded classes we’ve ever had at UAB. Currently the Blazers are ranked seventh of the 14 Conference USA teams in 247Sport’s rankings and could climb up to as high as fifth depending on what happens Wednesday.
In the inaugural early signing period UAB inked 10 players highlighted by a trio of three-star prep recruits and a highly regarded transfer from Ole Miss.
Here are the bios for the 10 players provided by UABsports.com.
Dylan Hopkins | Maryville, Tenn. | Maryville | QB | 6’2 | 200
Ranked the No. 57 quarterback in nation, No. 2 in Tennessee according to Max Preps…Composite three-star by 247Sports…No. 54 player in Tennessee…No. 2 dual-threat QB in Tennessee…Two-time 6A All-State QB…As a junior, threw for 2,249 yards with 26 touchdowns…Accounted for more than 3,000 yards as a sophomore starter…Led team to a state title in 2017…Was the runner-up for Mr. Football in Tennessee.
Michael Fairbanks | Powder Springs, Ga. | McEachern | DE | 6’3 | 250
Three-star prospect by 247Sports…Three-time varsity letterwinner…Played weak-side defensive end in high school…As a junior, recorded 56 tackles, 25 TFLs and 10 sacks…Began starting as a sophomore…Posted a 4.09 GPA at McEachern.
Jaylen Key | Tallahassee, Fla. | Amos P. Godby | DE | 6’2 | 185
Played both defensive back and wide receiver in high school…Rated the No. 51 player in the state of Florida…Helped his team to an 11-2 record…Also held offers from South Alabama, Southern Miss and UCF.
Carter Wood | Starkville, Miss. | Mississippi Gulf Coast | OL | 6’5 | 275
Played in nine games for the Mississippi Gulf Coast…Attended Starkville Academy where he won the MAIS Class AAA Division II state title as a junior, while making it to the second round of the playoffs as a senior…Participated in the 2015 MAIS All-Star Game…Named to MAIS 2015 Preseason All-Gridiron Team as well as a preseason top-five MAIS player (The Clarion-Ledger).
Jarrion Street | Trussville, Ala. | Ole Miss | Hewitt-Trussville | RB | 6’1 | 211
Played in six games as a freshman at Ole Miss with most of his action coming on special teams…Finished the season with three tackles, one of which was solo, against Wofford…As a sophomore, recorded 10 total tackles on special teams…Consensus 3-star prospect out of high school…No. 28 RB in the nation and second-best in Alabama by Rivals.com…During his senior season for the Huskies, rushed for 1,400 yards and 16 TDs and hauled in 157 receiving yards and a TD en route to a 7A playoff appearance…Named All-State by the Alabama Sports Writers Association and the USA Today.
Colby Ragland | Raymond, Miss. | Jones County | Raymond | OL | 6’6 | 295
Started at left tackle this past season at Jones County Junior College where he was named to the All-MACJC South Second Team…Began his career on the defensive side of the ball, playing on the defensive line.
Andrew Smith | Mt. Olive, Miss. | Prentiss | OL | 6’1 | 285
Named All-Region 23 and First Team All-MACJC South …As a sophomore, helped the Bobcat offense that averaged 41.4 points per game (2nd –MACJC, 7th – NJCAA) and 453.2 yards per game (3rd – MACJC, 7th – NJCAA).
Deshaun Oliver | Birmingham, Ala. | Ramsay | DB| 6’3 | 185
Had 52 tackles, three interceptions , two forced fumbles and eight pass breakups to help Ramsay capture the Alabama 6A state championship in 2016. … During his senior season, played in nine games, recording 18 tackles, one sack and one interception…Anticipates a move to linebacker for the Green and Gold.
Kendall Parham | Ellisville, Miss. | Jones County | Oak Grove | WR | 5’10 | 179
As a freshman for the Bobcats, hauled in a team-leading 25 receptions for 321 yards…Also scored two touchdowns…Played all four seasons at Oak Grove.
Austin Watkins | North Fort Myers, Fla. | Dodge City | Dunbar | WR | 6’3 | 200
Hauled in 24 passes for 330 yards and four touchdowns in nine games played for the Conquistadors…As a freshman at Dodge City, he caught 38 passes for 376 yards and scored one touchdown.
It’s worth noting that Jarrion Street, the Ole Miss transfer, is currently appealing to the NCAA to become immediately eligible because he and some of his teammates felt they were misled by their former coach Hugh Freeze during the program’s NCAA investigation.
Street is an interesting prospect in that we’re not totally sure how UAB intends to use him. He was a running back in high school but Ole Miss used him as a linebacker. On Monday UAB’s running back coach sent out a tweet about his group and tagged Street, which leads us to believe he’ll be utilized in the backfield. I suppose only time will tell.
What We Know
I guess we can’t really say that we know we are 100 percent going to get X player, but we have a pretty good idea being just a day out now. The following group is who I expect to sign on Wednesday:
- CD Daniels |Homewood, AL | Homewood | 3 Star CB
- Xavier Lanier | Gordo, AL | Gordo | 2 Star CB
- Adarius “Fish” McWilliams | Pensacola, FL | West Florida Tech | 2 Star DT
- Gerrit Prince | Butler CC | WR
- Jalen Rayam | Alabaster, AL | Thompson | 3 Star LB
- Starling Thomas | Birmingham, AL | Ramsay | 3 Star CB
- Kyle Greenwell | Thompson Station, TN | Independence High | P
There are many more recruits out there that are “committed” and one as recently as yesterday that I just don’t feel confident saying they’ll be signing Wednesday. The six listed should be the done deals and are an outstanding group even if we don’t sign a single other player.
Prepare to be surprised on Wednesday. There are 10 or more players I haven’t mentioned that could end up signing with us when it’s all said and done. If I had to make a guess at a couple big fish we could land, one would be Isaiah Forte out of Montgomery.
Forte is a three-star defensive lineman that has dropped all sorts of hints of late that he’s signing with UAB. However, in the last 24 hours rumors have been floating around that he has eligibility issues, which could explain that he doesn’t have a single official visit recorded on 247’s site despite over 20 offers.
In addition to Forte, wide receiver Myron Mitchell is another three-star wide recruit who is from Jasper (by way of JUCO) that could potentially sign tomorrow. Many outlets reported Mitchell’s commitment to UAB months back but we were told that he wasn’t eligible when the early signing period arrived. Like Forte, he has been hinting that he might sign with UAB on Wednesday.
Things will move quickly Wednesday as the letter of intents are signed and sent in. Follow us on Twitter to get up to date info.