The state of Louisiana’s top player, defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis will be heading out-of-state for college, as he committed to Alabama on Tuesday, one day before National Signing Day. His verbal commitment to Alabama doesn’t make him an official member of the Crimson Tide until he signs his letter of intent tomorrow.
Mathis announced his decision live on ESPNU surrounded by close family and friends from the site of his friend’s grave, Tyrell Cameron, who tragically died during a high school game in 2015. Cameron and Mathis were teammates on Franklin Parish (Winsboro, Louisiana) until Mathis transferred to Neville before his junior year.
The consensus four-star recruit announced his top schools, TCU, LSU, and Alabama on January 5, four days after the Under Armour All-America game in which he participated. He is ranked by all major recruiting websites as a top-10 defensive tackle and top-100 overall prospect, with ESPN giving Mathis his most favorable ranking, at no. 37 in their top 300.
At 6’4,” and 287 pounds, Phidarian Mathis was able to dominate offensive lines while playing at Neville. His strength and explosiveness made him a prime target for head coach Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide. According to MaxPreps.com, Mathis decimated offenses by collecting a total of 41 tackles, an average of 3.4 per game, and seven sacks.
Alabama held a commitment from class of 2017 defensive tackle Akial Byers since July until it was recently revealed that he would be enrolling in a Junior College due to academic issues. That makes Mathis the only defensive tackle committed to Alabama in their 2017 class.
Per USA Today’s composite team rankings, Alabama still possesses the unanimous number one recruiting class with Georgia and Ohio State tied for second. LSU holds the no. seven spot, and TCU enjoys the no. 30 class, although they are ranked number one by Rivals.
Check back here tomorrow on National Signing Day for exclusive, comprehensive, and free Chicagoland and elsewhere football recruiting coverage. You can follow Peter Elliott on Twitter @PelliottSports, and email him at PeterElliottSports@gmail.com.