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Tide picks up 5-star edge rusher in 2020 class

Alabama’s 2020 recruiting class is aiming towards picking up right where 2019 will likely leave off.

On Sunday, 5-star weak-side defensive end Chris Braswell announced his commitment to the Crimson Tide during an unofficial visit for the Iron Bowl.

“I have a good relationship with the coach and I feel like I fit well into the system and the history of the school,” Braswell told BamaOnLine as to why he decided on the Tide. 

The Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances edge rusher opted for Alabama over nearly two dozen offers from programs like Ohio State, Florida and Georgia.

Tide head coach Nick Saban was happy to hear the news. 

“He reacted very well; he was excited,” Braswell said of Saban. 

The Tide got in on Braswell early when it put an offer on the table last spring. The 6-foot-3, 211-pounder becomes the fourth St. Frances product to commit to Alabama in the last 12 months, joining Eyabi Anoma, Shane Lee, and Darrian Dalcourt. He joined his teammates on this visit this weekend. 

“The coaching, it was great,” Braswell said of what stood out most during his Iron Bowl stay. “And the atmosphere.” 

It wasn’t just his fellow and former teammates choosing the Tide that got him interested in Alabama, though.

“It’s one of my top schools,” Braswell said earlier this year. “It was actually my dream school when I was younger with them winning championships and the tradition.”

Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley has been a huge asset in landing some of the area’s elite players in recent cycles. In 2019 alone (aside from the duo from St. Frances), the Tide has commitments from 4-star running back Keilan Robinson out of Washington (D.C) St. John’s College and 4-star safety DeMarcco Hellams out of Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic.

When Alabama offered in the spring, Braswell was hard-pressed not to name the program his outright leader.

“They’re definitely in the top,” he said at the time.

The 5-star edge rusher, along with the aforementioned UA commit Shane Lee, helped lead a Panther defense that allowed just seven total points all season long on the way to an undefeated record.

Braswell is rated the No. 1 weak-side defensive end and the No. 19 overall player in the country, per the industry-generated 247Sports Composite Rankings.

The Maryland native is commitment No. 11 in the Tide’s 2020 class, good for 209.26 points and the No. 1-ranked class in the cycle, overtaking Miami, according to the industry-generated 247Sports College Team Recruiting Rankings.

247Sports’ Brian Dohn scouted Braswell earlier this season:

Chris Braswell is the No. 1 weakside defensive end in the industry-generated 247Sports Composite class of 2020, and he showed why when I saw him play against Oakdale (Conn.) St. Thomas More. Braswell is remarkably quick coming off the edge and he knows how to use his 6-foot-3, 211-pound frame well.”

Beyond Braswell, Alabama is in the mix for several other elite recruits early on looking at 2020. Guys to keep an eye on include, Bryan Bresee, a 5-star defensive end and the No. 1 player in the nation, 5-star running back Zachary Evans, 5-star linebacker Sav’ell Smalls and 5-star receiver Julian Fleming … and that’s players ranked in the top 10.

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