Alabama boasts one of the premier defensive lines in the country, one that includes notable former five-stars in Daron Payne, A’Shawn Robinson and Da’Shawn Hand.
But it also includes several rotational players, many of whom weren’t as highly-rated as their counterparts but have still welcomed successful college careers.
Bottom line: Alabama produces quality defensive lineman. And that notion stuck with 3-star defensive end Aaron Sterling, who committed to Alabama on Christmas.
The 6-foot-1, 270-pound junior from Stone Mountain, Ga., points to the achievement of the defensive lineman before him as a guiding factor in his recruitment.
“That was very important,” Sterling told SEC Country. “They have a high success rate of sending kids to the draft.”
And with that comes much turnover. Alabama will likely lose a handful of current defensive lineman to the NFL Draft over the next two years, including potentially three this year in Robinson, Jarran Reed and Jonathan Allen.
Their departures could open the door for Sterling and others.
“I was talking to (outside linebackers coach) Tosh Lupoi and he said they needed some immediate defensive lineman coming in because they’ll have five going to the draft,” Sterling said.
Sterling, who’s reported five offers, says his decision wasn’t all that close. Lupoi had been actively recruiting him since August. More recently, newly hired defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt became involved upon succeeding Kirby Smart.
He is rated as the No. 55 prospect in Georgia in the Class of 2017.