Alabama already flipped two defensive backs this week from other schools, and now has momentum in the chase for the top defensive tackle in the country. Five-star Amite (La.) defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher began trending this week to the Crimson Tide.
Crystal Ball picks continue to arrive in Alabama’s favor, including projections from BamaOnLine’s Hank South and 247Sports director of recruiting Steve Wiltfong. LSU still holds the majority of projections for Sopsher at 67 percent, but the Crimson Tide are up to 29 percent after picking up five new Alabama picks in the last day.
Sopsher recently named LSU, Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ole Miss as his schools of focus in a recent VIP interview where he discussed his shift to recruiting during visit season. He is scheduled to announce a college decision Feb. 6 after completing all five official visits.
Sopsher ranks as the No. 1 defensive tackle in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, and the ninth best overall prospect.
“Densely built defender with a powerful lower-half and a thick upper-half who brings mass without a lot of bad weight,” wrote lead evaluator Barton Simmons. “Has natural strength and punch and uses his hands effectively when he wants to. Can flash suddenness and get-off for a bigger defender and has demonstrated instances of good lateral quickness. Two-gap ability. Overpowering on the high school level. A high school defensive end that has been extremely productive and has an above average motor. Wins with size in high school and will need to develop a more well-rounded game for the next level including ability to retrace, change directions and play with consistent pad level and technique. May be close to his ceiling physically. Impact high level Power Five defender potential early round NFL Draft pick.”
Sopsher holds a projection as a second- or third-round pick in the NFL Draft with a comparison to John Jenkins of the Giants. Alabama ranks No. 1 nationally in the 247Sports Composite rankings for 2019 after recent additions of Daxon Hill and Jeffery Carter. The class sits at 24 hard commitments heading into next week’s early signing period.
Sopsher’s stellar high-school career ended last week after the 6-foot-4, 320-pounder from recorded four tackles and one sack in the LHSAA Class 2A State Championship Game with Amite High taking down Welsh (La.), 47-20.
“It kind of feels like a dream,” Sopsher said. “No disrespect to Welsh or anybody, but I had already seen this happening. I had a vision of this happening on this day. My parents always told me to be a firm believer in what you do. We went out there today and got the win the way we knew how. It’s sad though. I am going to miss Amite. And I will miss Amite football.”