MADISON, Ala. — LaBryan Ray, the nation’s No. 5 defensive end, hasn’t put out his top 10 just yet, but he knows four schools that will for sure make the cut.
Ray, a four-star prospect from James Clemens High School (Madison, Ala.) told SEC Country that Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi State and Florida State will make the cut when he releases his top schools at some point this spring.
On Alabama: “I’ve been to Alabama a couple of times now. I’ve been there for games and regular visits, too. I like it there a lot. I’m really comfortable with (Alabama defensive line coach Bo) Davis and the overall feel of the school.”
On Tennessee: “I went down there for junior day and got to talk to most of the coaching staff. They seemed really cool. The campus was really nice.”
On Mississippi State: “They were one of the earlier teams that offered me. That’s one of the biggest reasons why they’re in there. I like their coaching staff, too.”
On Florida State: “Their campus is crazy. I’m in daily contact with the coaches.”
The Crimson Tide are the perceived team to beat when it comes time for the 6-foot-4, 270-pounder to make his commitment. According to his 247Sports Crystal Ball, 100 percent of the projections are for Alabama.
The Under Armour All-American wants to be clear to all of the teams that are recruiting him that he truly doesn’t have a favorite right now in his process.
“I’m really open right now,” Ray said. “I’m still looking around right now. I’m wide open and looking at everyone right now.”
He did talk about the relationship he has with Alabama defensive line coach Bo Davis. Davis was one of several coaches Ray named as far as having a good relationship with. He said he communicates with Davis almost every other day.
“He’s upfront with me. He tells me what I should expect if I go to Alabama,” Ray said. “He’s not going to lie about anything. That’s really good to know.”
Even though he doesn’t know when he’s going to commit just yet, Ray does know the reason for why he would choose the Crimson Tide if that was the program he would select.
“It would be because of the relationship I have with the coaches,” Ray said. “That would be the first reason. The next reason would be because of the feeling I get when I’m there.”
What may be more impressive than his offer sheet, which contains schools coast to coast, is Ray’s character.
Walk around James Clemens with Ray and he doesn’t have an attitude that suggests he’s one of the country’s best football prospects. He’s humble. His coach actually suggested that his calm demeanor was one of the biggest reasons why Ray didn’t receive offers from the national powers much earlier in the process.
His coach also paid Ray one of the best compliments anyone could get.
“LaBryan may be one of the best humans I have ever been around,” James Clemens coach Wade Waldrop told SEC Country. “He’s extremely talented, but he’s also extremely nice. He is the coach’s dream. As far as people I’ve coached, he is in the top 1 percent as far as how nice he is. He’s one of the best kids I’ve coached as far as character is concerned.”
For that reason, Ray will be a great addition to the college he chooses.
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.