The Alabama Crimson Tide picked up a big commitment on Sunday when Akial Byers, a 4-star defensive tackle out of Fayetteville, Ark., pledged to the national champions.
Rolltide pic.twitter.com/amcgcyA0ag— The name is AKIAL (@akial_byers) July 18, 2016
According to 247Sports' rankings, Byers is the second-rated player in the state of Arkansas, the nation's No. 13 defensive tackle and 228th overall prospect. He chose the Tide over his hometown Arkansas Razorbacks. Byers also had offers from Ohio State, Michigan and Florida State.
So what kind of prospect is Alabama getting in Byers?
Byers has terrific size (6'4", 275), with the ability to add 20-25 pounds of muscle at the next level. He will thrive in Alabama's weight program once he arrives on campus. But what stands out most about Byers is his natural athletic ability inside. He consistently beats double-teams with ease, not only with his first-step quickness, but also with his hands. Byers displays excellent technique for a player who dominates with pure strength and athleticism.
As a junior in 2015, Byers registered 69 tackles - 11 for loss - three sacks and two forced fumbles. He flashes the ability to be a dominant pass-rusher once he develops more moves. At the next level he could play inside at tackle, or play defensive end in Alabama's 3-4 scheme.
Go check out my Jr season highlights https://t.co/CVAyYLbXfw— The name is AKIAL (@akial_byers) December 15, 2015
Byers is a terrific—and underrated—addition to ‘Bama's 2017 class. He has the size Nick Saban covets in his defensive linemen and the versatility to move around and play different positions along the line. He is player that could rise up in the rankings with another strong season.
With Byers now in the fold, the Crimson Tide are No. 3 in 247Sports' composite team rankings, just behind Georgia. Byers is ‘Bama's 10th 4-star recruit, in addition to two 5-star commitments.