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Closing 2019 recruiting, Crimson Tide must-get players

Alabama football can sign another three-to-five, 2019 players. A trio of recruits, among a group of five to seven, are must-get targets.

Alabama football has an outstanding 2019 class. It is loaded with top talent and meets most positional needs. But the class is not complete until it fills essential roster slots on the defensive line and at inside linebacker.

The situation will remain fluid until the end of Signing Day. A commit or two may move on. The currently rebuilding Alabama football staff will have options. Some of those options, who have long been viewed as key elements of the 2019 class, may no longer be the highest priority.

Let’s review the current numbers. The 2019 class includes 24 players. The enrollment situations with Paul Tyson and Will Reichard may not include 2019 scholarships. In addition, the Crimson Tide has four more verbal commitments. A few connected insiders believe the class will have 30 new players, including Tyson and Reichard.

A good estimate is five more players above the current 24 will be added. There is broad opinion, two of the five will be defensive linemen and a third will be an inside linebacker. Perhaps one of the remaining two will be a tight end.

At the defensive line position, the Tide has a commitment from Byron Young. Young has the physical tools to help as a freshman. He has the attributes required to eventually play end and also inside on the d-line. Closing Young is very important for the 2019 d-line roster.

For a year, most Alabama football fans have said the most important defensive line recruit is Ishmael Sopsher. We concur with more recent insider opinion that Sopsher is not the other, best d-line option. The player the Alabama Crimson Tide needs most to sign is Nathan Pickering.

Pickering is a defensive tackle commit to Mississippi State. A few recruiting insiders believe his potential is greater than Sopsher. Sopsher’s profile has slipped over the last few months while Pickering’s has grown. Some evaluators rate Pickering above higher profile 5-Star recruits. Like Young, he could help the Tide in 2019.

At inside linebacker, Henry To’oto’o appears to be the Tide’s preferred choice. If no To’oto’o, then another Californian, Daniel Heimuli would be a very good option. One of them is essential for building depth at inside linebacker.

From our perspective, the trio of highest priority for the 2019 class is Young, Pickering and either To’oto’o or Heimuli.

The Alabama Crimson Tide staff will also certainly want to close with commit, Khris Bogle. Bogle has huge upside as an edge rusher but he will not be a factor in 2019. His thin frame will need much, added weight before taking on college offensive linemen.

That’s the way we see it two weeks out from Signing Day. Between now and then Alabama football will have two big weekends of visiting recruits.

Next: Crimson Tide may not need a big name DC

If the Tide misses on who we are calling the top trio, there are other options to fill some of the same needs. Stay connected with Bama Hammer, the next couple of weeks will be fun.

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