The Alabama Crimson Tide reportedly bolstered their future defense on Saturday with a junior college recruit.
According to Ryan Bartow of 247Sports, cornerback Jhavonte Dean “verbally committed” to head coach Nick Saban’s program. The 6’2”, 180-pounder is a 4-star prospect, per 247Sports’ composite rankings.
Among junior college prospects in the 2017 class, Dean is the No. 8 overall player, the No. 1 cornerback and the No. 1 recruit from the state of Florida, per 247Sports. He played his junior college football at Blinn College and chose the Crimson Tide over the likes of Miami, Florida, Utah, TCU and Oregon State, per Bartow.
Dean discussed what attracted him to Alabama, per Bartow: “It was pretty nice. It was basically what I expected. The campus was what I expected. I felt like they really wanted me. Coach (Nick) Saban said I’m a priority. He told me everything they do there and how Alabama puts guys in the league.”
Chris Kirschner of SEC Country noted Dean has three years of eligibility remaining to play two, which opens up the possibility of a redshirt campaign with the Crimson Tide if the coaching staff desires.
One thing that jumps out about Dean’s game is his pure speed, which will help him keep up with some of the quicker playmakers in the SEC. Bartow reported the cornerback ran a 4.3-second 40-yard dash, and Hudl highlighted some of the plays that helped him stand out:
Alabama’s 2017 class ranks second in 247Sports’ composite rankings as of Saturday. But Dean is the only cornerback prospect committed to the Tide in the year’s recruiting cycle. The lack of fellow cornerbacks in the group underscores his overall importance for a program that’s one of the elite in the country largely because of its defensive prowess.
The defending national champions have ranked in the top five nationally in scoring defense every year since 2008, when they finished sixth.
If Dean lives up to his overall potential, he will help the Crimson Tide continue their tradition of stifling defense in the near future.
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