It will go down as one of the biggest commitments of the 2017 cycle, and not surprisingly, Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide are on the winning side of it.
Dylan Moses, five-star outside linebacker from Bradenton, Fla. (IMG Academy) committed to Alabama this past weekend. The commitment came on the heels of an official visit to Tuscaloosa, and it was a visit that obviously impressed the five-star.
Alabama beat Kentucky, 34-6, continuing to roll as not just the No. 1 team in the SEC, but the top team nationally as well, according to the AP Top 25.
“After talking to my parents, I’ve decided to shut my recruitment down,” Moses said via his Twitter account. “I will not be taking anymore visits. I want to thank every coach that offered me and took interest in me as a player/person. I have decided to commit to the University of Alabama! Roll Tide.”
Without a doubt, Moses is a huge commitment for Alabama, though these types of commitments have become more common than not for Saban and his program. According to the industry generated 247Sports Composite, Moses is the No. 1 outside linebacker in the 2017 class as well as the No. 1 recruit from the state of Florida. He’s also the No. 4 overall recruit in America, only behind five-stars Najee Harris (another Alabama commit), offensive tackle Foster Sarell and defensive tackle Marvin Wilson. Five-star offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood is the fifth highest ranked recruit in the nation. He’s also committed to Alabama, which is a great example of just how dominant Saban and his staff are on the recruiting trail.
Three of the top five players in the nation are committed to the Crimson Tide now that Moses is on board.
And as far as he’s concerned, there’s a lot to be excited about. First off all, the fact that he’s openly admitted to shutting down his recruitment is a big deal. He did have official visits on deck to Miami, Texas, Ohio State and Houston, but those will no longer be on the schedule.
That’s huge news for the Crimson Tide, especially considering the near-equal draw of Ohio State and the immense hype that Tom Herman is building over in Houston.
There’s also the pure talent of Moses to consider.
He’s 6-foot-2, 225 pounds and is an Under Armour All-American. He plays for IMG Academy, which is one of the best high schools in the nation (it’s specifically set up as a school for elite recruits). He plays top level talent on a a weekly basis. Sometimes a recruit’s potential can be skewed because he’s playing against sub par competition, but that’s not the case with Moses.
Moses perfectly fits the mold of an outside linebacker in Alabama’s system. He has the size to hold up against the run but is athletic and nimble enough to drop into coverage or make plays in space.
As an outside linebacker he comes across on film as a downhill player. He has a quick first step and isn’t afraid to step up and fill a gap. He does a nice job of taking on and shucking blockers, so especially if he puts on a bit more muscle mass in the Crimson Tide strength and conditioning program, he should be able to hold his own against SEC running games. It’s easy to imagine him making plays in the B and C gaps, as well as fighting the wash and making a play in pursuit thanks to his speed and instincts.
While Moses does fit the typical downhill linebacker mold in that way, he’s probably best suited on the outside. He has the speed, agility and mindset to chase down defenders on the edges, and he takes great angles of pursuit to the ball carrier. He’ll likely cause a few turnovers at the college level by chasing down runners from the back side of the play downfield, though teams may try to use that aggression against him in the play-action pass game.
Moses appears comfortable in pass drops and he’s athletic enough to make plays as a coverage linebacker. He’s also a player who can make some plays for Alabama with the blitz. His first step allows him to gain an advantage on blockers, and though he doesn’t appear to be the typical edge-rush “dip the shoulder” defender, he does have the ability to get after a quarterback at a high level.
In that regard Moses really is a well-rounded outside linebacker recruit for Alabama. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him making big plays for the Crimson Tide in a few seasons.