19 for 19: How many five-stars does Alabama have on its current roster?
Alabama will begin its quest for an 18th national title on Aug. 31 when the Crimson Tide takes on Duke inside Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. To help pass the time until then, BamaInsider is answering 19 important questions concerning the 2019 season.
Today we continue the series by taking a look at how many five-stars are on Alabama's current roster.
Class of 2019 Five Stars
Alabama added three five-stars to its roster from the Class of 2019. Antonio Alfano who plays defensive tackle and Even Neal who plays offensive linemen both arrived early in January. Prized five-star running back Trey Sanders will arrive later this month. Alfano who is listed on Alabama’s roster at 6-foot-4 and 288 pounds had a very good spring and showcased his ability during A-Day recording two sacks on the quarterback.
At 6-foot-7, 360 pounds, Neal is a pure monster with incredible athleticism that has a great chance to see the field this year as a true freshman at the guard position.
For Sanders, fans are eager to see what he will bring to the table at running back. Ranked as the No. 3 overall player in the country by Rivals.com, Sanders told reporters during his commitment ceremony that he plans to win the Heisman Trophy by season’s end. Sanders has an incredible amount of speed and sees the field extremely well, but his best attribute could be his ability to catch the football out of the backfield.
Class of 2018 Five Stars
The three five-stars from the Class of 2018 each received plenty of playing time during their first season at Alabama and are each expected to play important roles during their sophomore campaigns in 2019. Eyabi Anoma at 6-foot-5 and 252 pounds earned SEC All-Freshman Team honors from the league after playing in 12 games last season where he recorded nine tackles with two tackles for a loss. Anoma entered the NCAA transfer portal for one day this spring but took his name out of the portal the following day after being persuaded by Nick Saban to stay in Tuscaloosa, Ala. This season Anoma should see plenty of playing time, especially with projected starter Terrell Lewis still recovering from an ACL injury.
Patrick Surtain II also earned SEC All-Freshman Team honors during his freshmen season totaling 37 tackles and seven pass breakups. During the 2018 season, Surtain played in all 15 games with 12 starts. Jaylen Waddle was an SEC Freshman of the Year honoree having a monster freshman season at Alabama hauling in 45 receptions for 848-yards. Waddle also returned 16 punts for 233-yards with one touchdown.
Class of 2017 Five Stars
Alabama’s Class of 2017 featured five five-stars, and each of those players has lived up to their highly touted rankings by Rivals.com during their first two seasons of play. Najee Harris was ranked as the No. 1 overall player in the nation in 2017, and he’s proven to be a very special player at Alabama already. Over the first two seasons of his career, Harris has rushed for 1,153-yards with seven touchdowns and averaged 6.5-yards per carry. Those are very impressive numbers considering the fact that he’s had to share carries with Bo Scarbrough, Damien Harris, and Josh Jacobs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Jerry Jeudy is another offensive skill position player from the Class of 2017 that has already left his mark at Alabama by winning the Biletnikoff Award during his sophomore season when he caught for 68 receptions for 1,315-yards with 14 touchdowns. Jeudy obviously enters the 2019 season as the nation’s most dangerous receiver and was recently projected to be the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft.
Offensive linemen Alex Leatherwood and Jedrick Wills Jr. will enter the 2019 season as preseason All-Americans. Leatherwood started at right guard during his sophomore season and earned All-SEC second team honors from league coaches after starting in all 15 games last season. Wills has 16 career starts at Alabama already and started every game last season at right tackle allowing just one sack on the quarterback.
Dylan Moses is Alabama’s lone five-star from the Class of 2017 on the defensive side of the football. During his first two seasons at Alabama, Moses has proven to be a very dependable player across the middle of the field and this season, he will be the defensive signal caller for defensive coordinator Pete Golding. During Moses’ first two seasons at Alabama Moses has recorded 116 tackles with 15.5 tackles for a loss, 5.0 sacks.
Class of 2016 Five-Stars
Ben Davis and Terrell Lewis (formerly known as Terrell Hall in high school) are the two five-stars on the roster from the Class of 2016. Davis was a heavily touted inside linebacker out of Gordo, Alabama and was ranked as the No. 5 overall player by Rivals.com, but he has seen limited action during his first three seasons at Alabama. During Davis’ first year in 2016 he redshirted, the following season in 2017 he played in just one game, and last season in 2018 he played in two games.
Lewis has dealt with two major injuries over the last two seasons. During his sophomore season in 2017, he suffered an upper arm injury against Florida State in the season opener and missed a majority of the season. In 2018, he tore his ACL and missed the entire season.