It’s hard to pick three recruits in Alabama’s class who are underrated or overlooked each year because the Tide consistently get commitments from players who are rated inside the top 10 at their respective positions.
Out of the Tide’s 22 current commitments, only eight are rated outside of the top 10 at their position: 4-star wide receiver Tyrell Shavers, 4-star running back Brian Robinson, 4-star offensive guard Kendall Randolph, 4-star quarterback Mac Jones, 3-star tight ends Major Tennison and Kedrick James, 3-star defensive back Kyriq McDonald and 3-star center Hunter Brannon.
With that being said, the following commits are the most overlooked and not-talked-about-enough players in the Tide’s Class of 2017:
Kyriq McDonald, 3-star DB, Madison, Ala.
How McDonald is only rated as the nation’s No. 54 cornerback is mind-boggling. I’ve seen him play in person several times, and he’s balled out every time. His game against Clay-Chalkville High School this year ranks as one of the top individual performances I’ve seen since I started covering recruiting. He was electrifying that night, scoring 3 touchdowns.
McDonald earned an offer from Alabama last summer after dominant performances in camps. He continued that success into the regular season for James Clemens High School.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound prospect is severely underrated. It wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up being one of the Tide’s most important players because of his versatility of being able to play corner, safety, nickel, star and kick/punt returner.
Check out his senior highlights:
Mac Jones, 4-star QB, Jacksonville, Fla.
Jones is rated as the nation’s No. 15 quarterback, which isn’t terrible, but he’s better than a few of the names ahead of him. One of the main reasons Jones is ranked so low is because of his size. He needs to put on several pounds of muscle or he’s going to get killed by SEC defensive linemen. He recently told SEC Country that he’s up to 190 pounds. Last time I saw him in person was the summer, and he was lanky.
The good thing about Jones is he has the frame to add weight, which is going to be key for his success moving forward. Jones is a true competitor. Lots of people will wonder why he committed to Alabama when 5-star prospect Tua Tagovailoa is committed, but Jones isn’t worried about that. He’s willing to compete.
Several people, myself included, are reminded of former Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron when we see Jones play and rally around his teammates.
Check out his highlights:
Brandon Ruiz, 3-star K, Gilbert, Ariz.
Ruiz isn’t underrated. He is the nation’s No. 2 kicker in the Class of 2017. Again, as mentioned above, it’s hard to find recruits in Alabama’s class who are truly underrated.
But Ruiz is on this list because he’s not talked about enough, and that’s a shame because he’s been incredible for Williams Field High School in Gilbert, Ariz. He’s made 16 of 17 field goals this year and has a long of 58.
It would be surprising if he wasn’t Alabama’s starting kicker next season. On a team with strengths everywhere, kicking hasn’t been a strong suit for the Tide. Ruiz could help rectify the field-goal issues Alabama has had.
Check out his highlights:
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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