Kyriq McDonald and Kendall Randolph will remain in Alabama for college.
McDonald, a 3-star defensive back from James Clemens High School (Madison, Ala.), and Randolph, a 4-star offensive guard from Bob Jones High School (Madison) committed to the Crimson Tide in a video produced by AL.com. McDonald joins in the Tide’s 2017 defensive backfield with cornerback Jhavonte Dean, who committed to Alabama on July 23. Randolph is now one of four offensive linemen committed to Alabama, joining 5-star tackle Alex Leatherwood, nation’s No. 1 junior college tackle Elliot Baker and 3-star guard Hunter Brannon.
Randolph is the brother of former Crimson Tide basketball standout Levi Randolph. It wasn’t a secret that Kendall favored Alabama throughout his recruitment, though he would never say publicly that the Tide led.
“They really seem to set players up to succeed,” Randolph told SEC Country. “After football, they have a plan in place to make sure you succeed in that, too. That’s one big thing that stands out. They also graduate a lot of their players. They win a lot of games and have fun doing it as well.”
McDonald, the nation’s No. 53 cornerback and No. 29 prospect in the state, emerged as one of the team’s top targets in the defensive backfield shortly after receiving a scholarship offer in mid-June. He has the ability to play both safety and cornerback in college, which the staff likes about his game.
James Clemens coach Wade Waldrop complimented McDonald’s versatility.
“He’s got outstanding instincts, which makes him a very smart football player,” Waldrop said. “His ball skills are unbelievable. He’d actually be a really good offensive player if we asked him to be. He measures out right at 5-foot-10 — barefoot — but he has very long arms. He plays like he’s 6-foot-1. He’s just a great football player.”
McDonald didn’t play varsity as a freshman or sophomore, and his coach believes that’s the reason why many top schools haven’t started recruiting him hard up until this summer.
“I would put his film up against anyone’s in the country in terms of the plays that he made his junior season,” Waldrop said. “I think everyone that watched that film liked it, but the final deal for the schools was coming here to watch him work out. I think he can hold his own against anybody. That’s a huge upside for him.”
Alabama isn’t done recruiting defensive backs yet. At safety, the Crimson Tide is still recruiting 5-star JaCoby Stevens and 4-stars Hamsah Nasirildeen and Montaric Brown, with the latter recently committing to Arkansas. Five-star Shaun Wade, an Ohio State commit, is the team’s top target at cornerback.
McDonald is also teammates with two other highly touted recruits who also could potentially wind up at Alabama: 4-star defensive end LaBryan Ray and 3-star linebacker Monty Rice. Ray is one of the team’s top targets at defensive end, and he told SEC Country that the trio has discussed the possibility of all going to the same college.
“It would be really cool,” Ray said. “I’m not going to even lie about that. It would be really exciting to play with those guys for a couple of more years. We’re really close with each other. I’ve known Kyriq my whole life. Literally from elementary school to now. He’s one of my best friends. Then once Monty moved to James Clemens, we all instantly became really good friends.”
Ray and Rice are expected to take more time before deciding on their school of choice.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.