One of the top defensive ends in the country has picked up three SEC offers since National Signing Day on Feb. 3, and one of those schools was Alabama, along with Ole Miss and Arkansas.
LaBryan Ray, a three-star prospect from James Clemens High School (Madison, Ala.), told SEC Country that receiving a scholarship offer from the Crimson Tide meant a lot to him.
“Growing up, that was one of the teams I watched,” Ray said. “I’m an in-state kid, and I watched Alabama and Auburn play. That was an important (offer).”
Alabama already has a leg up on Auburn in Ray’s recruitment because the Tigers have not offered him yet. Ray is already saying that he can envision himself wearing a Crimson Tide jersey.
“(Alabama is) definitely one of the (schools) I am interested in,” he said. “I definitely could see myself playing for them.”
When he picked up his offer from Alabama a week ago, Ray had the opportunity to speak with coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. The defensive end said Saban’s message to him was more so about what the school can offer outside of football.
“Coach Saban was talking about their success, academically and football-wise, too,” he said. “Academics are very important to me. And of course football-wise, I would like to find a place that feels like home to me. That’s very important.”
The 6-foot-5, 283-pound future engineering major said Saban and Pruitt see him as a defensive end and a player that can also play defensive tackle, too.
At this time, Ray isn’t sure if he’ll attend Alabama’s junior day on Feb. 27 as he has not set his schedule yet.
Ray is ranked as the nation’s No. 24 defensive end and the No. 21 prospect in the state of Alabama in the Class of 2017, per the 247Sports composite.