June 24, 2024

Georgia fans react to shocking upset loss to Alabama in SEC title gameThe greatest high school football players in Alabama came together for the annual Alabama Sports Writers Association Mr. Football luncheon on a glamorous afternoon at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel. It should come as no surprise that some potential Crimson Tide members were identified.

Three Alabama football players won four awards: Ryan Williams of Saraland, a recent recommit, became the first-ever two-time Mr. Football honoree; Jay Lindsey of Patrician Academy won AISA Lineman of the Year; and Quinton “QB” Reese of Ramsay linebacker earned Class 5A Lineman of the Year.

Additionally, Williams defeated Clay-Chalkville’s Jalyen Mbakwe, a future teammate, to win the Class 6A Back of the Year award. Isaia Faga of Central-Phenix City and Sterling Dixon of Spanish Fort, two other commits, were also nominated in their respective categories.

Williams stated, “It would mean a lot,” prior to his name being called. “I’m the greatest player to ever come through, so I’ll be incredibly honored, and then everyone will have to fight with their mom.”

Before Williams’ statement, Mbakwe and Williams were sat together in Ballroom A. During a trip to Tuscaloosa, the two had become practically inseparable. They laughed and flashed their horns down for a picture with Williams’ future Texas quarterback and teammate from high school, KJ Lacey. Williams expressed his excitement at getting to know Austin Mack, the new quarterback for Alabama who signed up with DeBoer after he left Washington via the transfer portal.

Williams continues the streak of Mr. Football champions who finished their careers in Tuscaloosa, along with Freddie Kitchens (1992), Julio Jones (2007), and Kool-Aid McKinstry (2020). 2019 winner Kristian Story moved to Kentucky earlier this month to play his senior season.

He can throw the ball pretty effectively, and he has some experience watching teams that have won national championships, according to Williams. “I think we’ll win a lot of games and score a lot of touchdowns with our connection.”

Reese confirmed to AL.com that he will be visiting Tuscaloosa for the first time this weekend. He first made a commitment to Nick Saban and the previous coaching team in September, and he met last week in Birmingham with his new potential coaches. Reese, a three-star linebacker, claimed to have quickly gotten along with defensive coordinator Kane Wommack and DeBoer.

Reese remarked, “Knowing they appreciate me and welcome me to the program is a blessing.” On National Signing Day, February 7, he intends to sign his documents.

Lindsey, who was taken aback by his ASWA nomination as one of the state’s top independent-school athletes, observed that the period after Saban’s retirement on January 10 and the departure of his tight ends coach Joe Cox (Ole Miss) and recruiter was a “tough little patch.” However, Lindsey said that UA athletic director Greg Byrne couldn’t have chosen a better choice after meeting with DeBoer and position coach Nick Sheridan.

Last Monday, Lindsey said, DeBoer invited her to have a 45-minute chat in his office. Lindsey also thought DeBoer was a “stand-up guy” after that. After graduating, Lindsey plans to enroll in the summer.

“During our two previous visits up there, we became closer. To be honest, we hadn’t discussed football much; instead, we had just been getting to know one another, and it’s been excellent. No compelled talks. We get along just great. The fact that a coach can have a one-on-one conversation with you rather than player to coach means a lot.

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