Alabama signed a six-star five-star on Wednesday to begin the early signing period. Why not add another?
The historic class of 2023 improved when five-star Desmond Ricks revealed his commitment to Crimson Tide racing. The IMG (FL) Academy star was initially set to announce his college future next year, but was reclassified in November, but another elite defensive tackle is on the board. And as was the case with many of the great companies in this cycle, Nick Saban and colleagues. Take the opportunity.
A 6-foot-1, 170-pounder, Rex became the 28th member of Alabama’s highest-ranked signing class. The Virginia native is ranked 23rd overall and #2 at 247Sports Composite. Associate coaches Travaris Robinson and Robert Gillespie helped lure Ricks away from the other two coaches, LSU and Florida.
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Rex garnered attention from recruiting assessors and scouts during his teenage seasons (he recently turned 18) and was nationally recognized by MaxPreps as a sophomore. He will compete in the Under Armor All-America Game, which airs on ESPN on January 3. Ricks is the first draftee to select Alabama from the national powerhouse since edge Jihad Campbell and offensive lineman Tyler Booker did so in 2022.
With IMG, Rex has worked as an in-house advocate. Against Alabama’s other five defensive back tackles, Rex has the potential to be a covered cornerback on the boarder with his athleticism and ball skills. Saban noted during his signing day press conference that the cornerback was “one of the hardest positions to find” on the recruiting path.
“It’s become a little bit more popular. I think five years ago there wasn’t much precedent,” Sports Illustrated hiring director John Garcia Jr. said in November of Rex’s reclassification. “…but Rex does it without completing the recruitment process and now he’s hopping on formal visits to multiple schools. That part is the rarest. … Rex is good enough and wanted enough to do it. Not many of these kids will necessarily have a place Late in the year to make a decision like that but not only does Rex have it, there was some summer chatter.”
For the majority of his rush recruiting, Ricks was associated with Brian Kelly and LSU. He was in Death Valley due to the Tigers being upset at the time. 6 Alabama on Nov. 5. LSU also got the coveted final visit, bringing Rex to campus this past weekend. Since April, Rex has visited Tuscaloosa at least three times, including an official stop during the Iron Bowl.
The morning before Ricks’ announcement, a group of LSU current players tweeted about the final outfields. The Kelly Group is ranked 7th nationally with 25 locations. But when it came time to pick a hat and cement his future, Rex looked for the signature “A”.
Nick Alvarez is a reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @tweet or email him at NAlvarez@al.com.
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