Report: Alabama commit Akial Byers fails to qualify, headed to junior college
Alabama’s top-ranked recruiting class will be taking a bit of a hit with signing day just around the bend, as Fayetteville, Ark., lineman Akial Byers is headed to junior college. The 2017 Under Armour All-American has reportedly failed to qualify to enroll in school in Tuscaloosa.
According to AJ Mccord, sports reporter for 40/29TV, Byers is headed to Gulf Coast Community College and will not be signing with the Crimson Tide on National Signing Day:
According to release from Fayetteville High, Bama commit Akial Byers will be signing w/Mississippi Gulf Coast CC Wednesday
— AJ Mccord (@4029AJ) January 30, 2017
The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Byers is ranked as No. 2 prospect from Arkansas and the No. 17 defensive tackle in the nation, according to 247Sports. With Byers now out, Alabama’s only defensive lineman currently committed to the 2017 recruiting class is junior college early enrollee Isaiah Buggs.
Interestingly enough, despite being a local Fayetteville product, Arkansas never extended an offer to Byers. Bret Bielema and company must have felt all along that Byers would never qualify academically at Arkansas.
Now with only one defensive lineman officially set to head to Tuscaloosa, the decisions of Aubrey Solomon, LaBryan Ray, Jarez Parks and Phidarian Mathis loom even larger come signing day. Should Alabama hit on the majority of these prospects, all will be well. If not, the gamble of pursuing Byers could come back to haunt the Tide heading into 2017.