College Football Recruiting: Alabama Lands Top Player From Louisiana

John David Mercer – USA TODAY Sports

The Alabama Crimson Tide are still riding high off their BCS National Championship win, but head coach Nick Saban wouldn’t let a little thing like a third national title in four years get in the way of business. The rich get richer in Tuscaloosa as the Tide pull in a commitment from Tim Williams, the fifth best defensive end prospect in the country and No. 1 player in the state of Louisiana.

Williams took his official visit to Alabama over the weekend and returned home to Baton Rouge, the back yard of the LSU Tigers, saying that Alabama was the leader for his commitment. He had plans to visit the Miami Hurricanes this weekend and was hoping to set up visits to the Florida State Seminoles and home-town LSU, but declared his recruitment closed yesterday as he committed to the defending national champs.

Familiarity was a big selling point for Williams with Alabama, as the Tide were the most consistent suitors in his recruitment:

“At Alabama, I know all of hte coaches, and they’ve been recruiting me since my ninth grade year. I know Coach Nick Saban well, I know Coach [Burton] Burns well. Alabama was the first school to start looking at me, and they gave me my first offer.”

That early start is going to pay big dividends for Alabama with Williams’ commitment to Tuscaloosa. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound four-star prospect has been excellent in high school as a defensive end, but projects to move to outside linebacker in the Alabama 3-4 defensive scheme. He’ll be able to play at both Jack or Sam linebacker spots because of his speed which he can use to chase down ball-carriers and has shown a strength that helps him stand up against the run when it comes right at him.

And as big a get as this is for Alabama, it’s an even bigger miss for LSU. How can Les Miles let the No. 1 recruit in his state, from the same city as his university, get away from the Tigers and wind up in Tuscaloosa? Given the fact that LSU will have to replace their entire defensive line next season, the miss on Williams looks even worse.

Alabama now has 21 commitments in the 2013 class with Williams, 10 of which are ranked in the top 150 recruits by ESPN. They currently have the second rated recruiting class behind only the Florida Gators.

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