For the eight early enrollees listed below, in their first few days as a student of the University of Alabama, they could experience what it’s like to win a national championship.
One of the players actually had a chance to practice with the Crimson Tide as they prepared for their championship game Monday night against the Clemson Tigers.
In total, Alabama currently has 17 commits and seven of them will participate in spring practice. You’ll see eight names below because Christian Bell, who was originally part of the 2015 class, hit a roadblock. We’ll explain his situation below.
Here are all of the newcomers to the Alabama football program:
Jonah Williams, five-star offensive tackle, Folsom, Calif.
Williams is one of a few five-star recruits that only takes one official visit, and it was to Alabama back in October. He committed to Alabama in April and never wavered from the Crimson Tide. Williams is rated as the nation’s No. 3 offensive tackle.
Charles Baldwin, four-star offensive tackle, Brooklyn, N.Y.
The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder verbally committed to the Crimson Tide back in June and turned down a late, strong push from the Oklahoma Sooners, who were hoping to host him on a visit. Baldwin was Alabama’s first official signee of this year’s class. He will have two years of eligibility left after playing at ASA College in Brooklyn for the past two years.
Chris Owens, four-star offensive guard, Arlington, Texas
Like Williams above, Owens, the nation’s No. 7 offensive guard, committed to Bama in April and never thought about a school other than his new home. He did not visit anywhere else after he committed.
Jalen Hurts, four-star quarterback, Channelview, Texas
Hurts has already practiced with the team, and he had a very important role leading up to the national championship. The four-star quarterback played Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson for the scout team. If Alabama shuts down Watson Monday night, Hurts should get some credit. Nick Saban has already praised the freshman for his job.
Miller Forristall, three-star tight end, Cartersville, Ga.
Forristall is a large tight end that could see playing time with the starters as soon as spring practice ramps up, especially if Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard declares for the NFL draft. The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder helped lead Cartersville (Ga.) High School to a state championship.
T.J. Simmons, three-star wide receiver, Pinson, Ala.
Simmons, a three-star prospect from Clay-Chalkville High School (Pinson, Ala.), told SEC Country that he sees a little bit of one of Alabama’s all-time best receivers in his game.
“I try to model myself after Amari Cooper just because he worked hard and he wanted to be the best,” Simmons told SEC Country in December. “That’s what I want to be. I want to be the best.”
The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder is rated as the nation’s No. 78 wide receiver and the No. 15 prospect in the state of Alabama.
Shawn Jennings, three-star athlete, Dadeville, Ala.
Jennings, who is the brother of freshman defensive end Anfernee Jennings missed most of his senior season after fracturing his kneecap, but he’ll be 100 percent healthy when spring practice begins. Right now, the three-star prospect from Dadeville High School is listed as an athlete. He is projected to be a safety in college.
Christian Bell, three-star outside linebacker, Birmingham, Ala.
It’s been a long time coming for Christian Bell. He was originally part of Alabama’s 2015 class, but was asked to grayshirt. What happened was Alabama asked him to grayshirt before last year’s National Signing Day. A grayshirt is essentially a pause button to joining the team. Grayshirts cannot receive an athletic scholarship, enroll as a full-time student and can’t work out with the football team. Bell reportedly was asked to grayshirt so it could give him more time to get stronger and work on his academics. He can now enjoy the benefits of being a full-time student at the University of Alabama.
— Jalen Hurts (@JalenHurts) January 8, 2016
Alabama WR T.J. Simmons:
Move in day❗️???
— FuFu (@a_scouts_dream) January 10, 2016
Alabama athlete Shawn Jennings:
Move in day ✊???? #RollTide
— Tha〽️oney team™ (@shawndgohard24) January 10, 2016
Alabama LB Christian Bell:
Great first 2 days with my dawg @JalenHurts
— Christian Bell (@BELL_ringerr) January 5, 2016
All rankings are courtesy of the 247Sports composite.