Aaron Sterling was long rumored to eventually de-commit from Alabama, and on Sunday afternoon, he went ahead and reopened his recruitment, according to a family source close to Sterling.
Sterling had committed to Alabama on Christmas Day but was never firm with his decision on the Crimson Tide. He recently told SEC Country that South Carolina and Tennessee were recruiting him harder. He also was unsure if he was going to take an official visit to Alabama. The signs were all there that pointed to this eventually happening.
Even with him being rated a 3-star recruit, the staff really wanted Sterling to stick with his commitment. Outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi wanted Sterling to play the JACK position, which is a hybrid of weakside defensive end and outside linebacker while defensive line coach Karl Dunbar viewed him as a prospect who could play any position on the line.
The Tucker High School prospect told SEC Country that he was just starting to develop a good relationship with Dunbar.
“Our relationship is much better now,” Sterling said a few weeks ago. “He has a really good personality. He can joke around with you. He’s just a very cool coach.”
With the loss of Sterling, Alabama only has one defensive line commitment in 4-star defensive tackle Akial Byers. Other defensive line targets include 4-star prospects LaBryan Ray, Ryan Johnson, Elijah Conliffe, Aubrey Solomon and Phidarian Mathis, to name a few.
Sterling’s de-commitment comes on the heels of a visit to North Carolina State. Expect South Carolina and Tennessee to continue their pursuit of the former Alabama commit.
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.