MADISON, Ala. — The commitments of Kyriq McDonald and Kendall Randolph have a huge impact on another top target for the Crimson Tide.
LaBryan Ray, a 4-star defensive end from James Clemens High School (Madison, Ala.), has known McDonald and Randolph since the little league days. He’s known both of them since he was 6 years old and considers them two of his close friends.
McDonald and Randolph committed Sunday to Alabama in a video together, but Ray is deciding to wait out his decision. Now that the Crimson Tide have commitments from his good friends, does that affect Alabama’s chances of landing him, too?
“It helps them out a lot,” Ray said. “I’ve known Kyriq and Kendall for almost my entire life. It’s definitely something to think about. Just to see them commit there, I’m happy for them.”
Alabama made Ray’s top six schools list Sunday along with Auburn, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Florida. Most people believe his recruitment will come down to the Crimson Tide and the Volunteers.
Ray is intrigued with the possibility of joining a program on the rise in Tennessee, he said, and with Alabama, he knows the school will compete for championships every single year. Though those two schools are still the prohibitive favorites, he said all six of the schools are recruiting him on the same level.
But Alabama now has an edge on the other five schools.
“Alabama is a great school,” Ray said. “With them (McDonald and Randolph) two committing, it’s even better. But they both understand that it’s what’s best for me and my family, too, if I don’t go to Alabama. They’re going to be supportive either way.”
The nation’s No. 5 defensive end said his top schools are “about locked in.” He doesn’t have a leader at this time and each of the six schools are recruiting him on an equal level.
Alabama and Tennessee are the two schools that are definitely getting official visits at this time. Florida will likely get one, too. Those official visits for Ray are very important because he said it’s possible he ends up committing to a school while on an official visit. If he chooses not to commit during one of those visits, he said he will just wait until the season is over.
As Ray was getting interviewed, McDonald, his teammate at James Clemens, made sure he heard his message for him loud and clear.
“Roll Tide, LaBryan!” McDonald screamed twice.
Both McDonald and Randolph are going to make sure Ray hears a lot of ‘Roll Tides’ in the future until the Crimson Tide gets his commitment.
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.