We don’t have a lot of good information on the upcoming class of 2018, but we do know that a number of the nation’s top defensive linemen are coming in.
Alabama’s 2018 class has a number that will surprise a lot people: the top four defensive tackles are four-star defensive ends, three-star inside linebackers and three-stars inside linebackers.
Four-star ends are the highest-ranked recruits in the country, while three- and two-star outside linebackers are the second and third-highest rated prospects.
We know a number, but only because of the fact that these are the top five in the nation in the ESPN Composite rankings.
Three-star linebackers, who were a major recruiting priority for Alabama in recent years, are coming off of a season in which they had five sacks, and two of them came at Alabama.
Outside linebackers are coming back for another season after losing three of their five starters, while inside linebackers were a huge recruiting priority in recent recruiting.
While we know the four- and three, the four and two have been a major focus for Alabama since the 2018 class was announced, they’re also two of the most interesting prospects in the class.
Four-star edge rushers, who came to Alabama as an outside linebacker, are the most intriguing prospect in the entire class.
This is because they’re the first four- or five-star prospect since defensive end Joey Bosa in 2013 to make the ESPN 100, the top 100 recruit in the sport.
Bosa was No. 2 in the 2019 ESPN 300, and is a two-time All-American and a four-time first-team All-America.
Four and two are the three-and-two-star players.
That’s the same ranking as when Alabama’s 2017 class was released, which is where the five- and five-stars come into play.
It’s also the same rating as when the 2018 recruiting class was unveiled, which was the fourth-highest ranking in the last two recruiting classes.
So, the fact there are three- or four-stars in this year’s class speaks to the fact they are high-rated players who are coming into their first year at Alabama and could very well have a big impact on how they play.
The most intriguing two- and four-year player in the 2018 crop is a defensive tackle named D.J. Jones.
He’s the top defensive tackle in the 247Sports Composite, but he’s also No. 7 nationally in the overall rankings.
Jones is a three-time First-Team All-SEC selection and a three time All-Big Ten selection.
Jones was the nation tote-and, as a senior, he was named the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year after leading the Big 12 in tackles for loss and sacks.
He has also been an integral part of Alabama’s success on the defensive line.
Jones has played in four games for the Crimson Tide this season, but is a key part of the Alabama defensive line that’s currently ranked No. 1 in the SEC, No. 3 in the Big 10 and No. 10 in the AP Top 25.
He played the majority of the year with the Alabama defense, where he played a majority of snaps at end in the Tide’s regular-season wins over Alabama State, Kansas State and Texas A&M.
He also started all 11 games he started in 2017, starting 10 and playing all but two snaps of the Crimson Beets 10-6 victory over Tennessee in the 2017 SEC Championship Game.
He made a team-high 11 tackles and forced a fumble against the Volunteers, which led to the Aggies’ first-ever SEC rushing touchdown.
Jones will be a first-round pick in the June draft, and if he falls that high, he could be the top offensive tackle in this class.
That might not be too surprising, considering that he played in only 14 games for Alabama this season.
However, the Alabama offensive line was a major disappointment in 2017.
Alabama had one of the worst offensive lines in the league and was ranked in the bottom five in passing efficiency.
The offensive line also had some big issues in pass protection, as Alabama ranked in dead last in pass efficiency allowed.
The Alabama offensive lines had issues all over the field, including in pass pro.
They gave up more than half of their rushing yards on the ground to opponents, and were ranked No of 2 in yards per carry allowed by the offensive line.
Alabama has struggled in pass coverage, and Jones has the ability to improve upon that.
He can play inside or outside linebacker.
He is a physical player who can get after the quarterback and is also a threat against the run.
Jones could be an important piece of the Tide offensive line in the future.
The two-year starter from Texas A &M, who is a four time first-Team all-conference selection, is rated as the No. 9 overall prospect in Alabama’s 2018 recruiting classes, according to 247Sports.
Jones is the fourth defensive tackle