Jeremy Birmingham/Land of 10
Cameron Latu is Alabama's ninth commitment in the 2018 class.

The Breakdown: What Cameron Latu’s commitment means for Alabama

Alabama landed its ninth commitment in the 2018 class when 4-star Jack linebacker Cameron Latu chose the Crimson Tide over Nebraska, Southern California, Utah and Washington on Friday afternoon.

RELATED: Cameron Latu commits to Alabama

Latu, the nation’s No. 8 weakside defensive end from Olympus High School (Salt Lake City), has been a priority for the coaching staff since the beginning of the year when he visited for junior day. After that visit, the former BYU commit named Alabama his leader. He backed off that stance several months later as more schools got in the mix, but the Crimson Tide remained in the top two or three for Latu.

His mother, Jill Argust, told SEC Country on Thursday that if it were her pick, she’d choose the Crimson Tide.

Alabama-Alabama recruiting-Cameron Latu
Cameron Latu will play in the Polynesian Bowl in Hawaii in January. He does not plan to enroll early at Alabama. (Jeremy Birmingham/Land of 10)

“I’ve loved it each time I’ve been there,” Argust said. “I love the coaches, especially [outside linebackers coach] Tosh Lupoi. He’s amazing. His passion, drive, skills and his bio itself is just amazing. He’s the biggest reason why. The academics are great. It’s a great school.”

Olympus High School coach Aaron Whitehead said the message he got from college coaches coast-to-coast as to why they wanted Latu at their school focused on the 6-foot-5, 236-pound prospect’s size and versatility.

“They can use him as an outside linebacker, a true defensive end and a defensive end that stands up,” Whitehead told SEC Country. “There’s just so much you can do with him because he’s so athletic. We’re going to take advantage of his athleticism this season.”

Latu had 65 tackles, 20 for loss, with 9 sacks for Olympus in his junior season. He also plays tight end and wide receiver for his school, too. Whitehead said it’s almost impossible for coaches to keep him off the field with how good of a player he is for his team.

“He’s a guy that can pin his ears back and create havoc for a quarterback. All he does is make plays. He’s a playmaker.

“We’re supposed to be conservative here in this area, and my wife may kick mine if she hears this, but Cam Latu is an ass-kicker. I’m very proud of him and excited for him. This is a great opportunity for a great kid.”

With Latu on board, attention now shifts to other Jack linebacker targets such as KJ Henry, Micah Parsons, Eyabi Anoma and Andres Fox. The Crimson Tide have another Jack linebacker committed in 4-star prospect Jordan Davis, but it’s likely he grows into a true defensive end instead of a hybrid in the Tide’s 3-4 defense. Anoma is believed to be the likeliest out of that group to commit to Alabama.

The next scheduled commitment date Alabama fans need to pay attention to is Aug. 24. That’s when 4-star running back Asa Martin is scheduled to announce his decision among Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Clemson.