Cheney, a one-time Georgia pledge as well, kicked off a run of Crimson Tide commitments last April that saw the program vault to the No. 1 class ranked, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite Rankings.
As time went on, though, it became clear that the 6-foot-2, 270-pounder may not end up in the Tide’s class. Communication stalled starting in the summer when Cheney didn’t attend either of Alabama’s Champion Cookouts in June or July. To add to that, Cheney did not yet make it over to Tuscaloosa for a game this season, despite visiting elsewhere. The writing was on the wall for an eventual parting of ways between the two parties.
Despite the loss, Bama remains No. 1 in the recruiting rankings with 21 commitments.
Defensive line is a major priority of the Tide’s in the 2019 cycle. Without Cheney, the Tide has five defensive linemen committed in Antonio Alfano, Justin Eboigbe, DJ Dale, Braylen Ingraham, and Byron Young.
Beyond who Alabama currently has committed, which is about as stout a group as you’ll find in one class across the country, the Tide continues to recruit several elite prospects in the trenches.
Quick hitters on other names to know include:
Ishmael Sopsher, 5-star DT, Amite (La.) — The No. 1 defensive tackle in the country is high on Alabama and LSU, among others. He won’t make a decision until February, though.
Siaki “Apu” Ika, 4-star DT, Salt Lake City (Utah) East — A one-time BYU commit, Ika backed off that pledge last spring after visiting Tuscaloosa. He plans to be back for the Iron Bowl.
Ty Robinson, 4-star SDE, Gilbert (Ariz.) Higley — Robinson will make his inaugural visit to Tuscaloosa for the Iron Bowl. Nebraska and USC are the biggest competition.
Jaquaze Sorrells, 4-star SDE, Winter Park (Fla.) — At one point it looked like South Carolina was in the driver’s seat. Alabama is keeping it interesting.
Marcus Stripling, 4-star SDE, Houston (Texas) Mayde Creek — Texas A&M is considered the favorite but Alabama is likely a close second.
Nathan Pickering, 4-star SDE, Seminary (Miss.) — Mississippi State commit — Pickering said Alabama was his second choice behind the Bulldogs after a visit earlier this year. He plans to return for the Iron Bowl next month.
Jaren Handy, 4-star SDE, Hattiesburg (Miss.) — Auburn commit — Handy says he hears from Alabama every day. He also considers the Tide the biggest threat to his commitment to Auburn.
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