Talk about Alabama's high school football class in 2023 starts on the defensive line without question.
Nine of the top 20 players play primarily on the defensive line in the first look at state's senior prospects.
If you count Auburn High's Bradyn Joiner, who was on defense in 2021, then it might be a 10 percent increase, but this figure is likely to be true in college.
The list includes five defensive backs, four offensive linemen, a quarterback, and a wide receiver.
The list of four high schools is topped. Thompson and Central-Phenix City, who won the 7A championship in December, have a combined five players in the top 20. The Red Devils are leading all teams with three.
Carver-Montgomery and Gardendale have each two players on the list. In fact, Carver has two of the top three players.
In August, we will reveal the official A-List of the top 15 prospects for 2023.
Will James, DB, Theodore, etc.
Status of the College: Uncommitted. Early offers include Southern Miss, South Alabama, and Florida Atlantic.
Junior stats: James made 45 tackles, intercepted a pair of passes, and had 10 pass breakups. He also blocked three field goals and three punts, resulting in one interceptions for a touchdown.
19. Dallas Young, DB, Gardendale
Other colleges are Colorado, Florida State, Georgia, and Georgia Tech.
Junior stats: Young finished with 54 tackles, 3 sacks, and two blocked punts.
18. Michael Towner, DL, and Vigor
College status is uncommitted. Coastal Carolina, Louisiana-Monroe, Memphis, Troy, and UCF are some of the most popular offerings.
Towner led the Wolves to the Class 4A state championship with 113 tackles, 10 sacks, and four interceptions, according to junior statistics. He also scored four defensive touchdowns.
17. DaKaari Nelson, DB, Selma
College status: Uncommitted. Offers include Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Penn State, and Tennessee.
Nelson had a little of everything for the Saints on defense. He had 72 tackles and 8 interceptions, including a pair of pick-6s. On offense, he caught 43 passes for 563 yards and 6 TDs, while also ran 15 punts back for 310 yards and a TD.
Yhonzae Pierre, DL, Eufaula
Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Penn State, Texas, and Texas A&M are among the colleges offering.
Pierre had 55 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, and seven sacks.
15. Keldric Faulk, DL, Highland Home
College status: Uncommitted. Offers include Alabama, Auburn, Arizona State, Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, and Michigan State.
Faulk had 82 tackles, 30 tackles for a loss, and 11 sacks for the Flying Squadron. He also had 6 PBU, 2 fumble recoveries, and a forced fumble.
14. RyQueze McElderry, OL, and Anniston
College status: Committed to Georgia. Other offers include Auburn, Alabama, Florida State, Indiana, Penn State, and Tennessee.
McElderry was ranked 95 percent and didn't give up a sack, according to his junior stats. He had 56 pancake blocks.
13. A.J. Harris, DB, Central-Phenix City
College status: Uncommitted. Offers include Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, and Penn State.
Harris was one of three finalists for AISA Back of the Year at Glenwood Academy. After the season, he was transferred to Central.
12. Karmello English, WR, Central-Phenix City
College status is unknown. Offers include Alabama, Auburn, Cincinnati, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Mississippi State, Tennessee, and Texas A&M.
English aided the Red Devils to the Class 7A title game in 2021, scoring 70 passes for 1,059 yards and 18 TDs, but also rushed for two scores.
11. Bradyn Joiner, OL/DL, Auburn
Auburn is proud to be a college performer. Other offers include Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss.
Junior stats: Joiner finished with 67 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, and six sacks for Auburn High in 2021. He's expected to be an offensive lineman in college.
Hunter Osborne, who plays Hewitt-Trussville, prepares for play against Thompson during an AHSAA Class 7A quarterfinal playoff game at Warrior Stadium in Alabaster, Ala., Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. (Dennis Victory | firstname.lastname@example.org)
10. Hunter Osborne, DL, Hewitt-Trussville
College status is unknown. Offers include Alabama, Indiana, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Arizona, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, LSU, Miami, Michigan.
Junior statistics: While playing alongside Texas signee and Class 7A lineman of the Year winner Justice Finkley, Osborne advanced to 60 tackles, 10 tackles for a defeat, and 5.5 sacks for the Huskies in 2021.
Christopher Vizzina of Briarwood Christian is thrown off by Skyler Hilyer during the first half of the Fort Payne at the Briarwood Christian high-school football playoff game in Birmingham, Ala. (Vasha Hunt | preps.al.com)
9. Christopher Vizzina, QB, Briarwood
. College status
Vizzina completed 147 of 209 pass attempts for 2,247 yards and 18 touchdowns, but he was intercepted only four times. He also ran for 649 yards and 16 touchdowns on 130 carries.
Caleb Harrell and Kelby Collins of Gardendale dismiss Hartselle's John Blackwood at the J.P. Cain Stadium in Hartselle, Ala., Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. (Marvin Gentry | email@example.com)
8. Kelby Collins, DL, Gardendale
College status: Uncommitted. Offers include Alabama, Auburn, Arizona State, Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and LSU.
Collins made 109 tackles for the Rockets, 16 tackles for a loss, and 13 sacks for the junior teams.
Duece Oliver, from Central-Phenix City, plays for the AHSAA Super 7 Flag Football Championship at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Ala., Wednesday, December 1, 2021. (Mark Almond | firstname.lastname@example.org)
7. Tomarrion Parker, DL, Central-Phenix City
College status is uncommitted. Offers include Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, and North Carolina.
Parker provided 75 tackles, 23 TFL, and 15 sacks to help the Red Devils win the Class 7A championship game.
Vysen Lang of Pike Road discusses the sideline during the first half of the Greenville at Pike Road high-school football game, Friday, October 22, 2021, in Pike Road, Ala. (Vasha Hunt | preps.al.com)Vasha Hunt
6. Pike Road, Vysen Lang, OT
Offers include Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Penn State, Ole Miss, and Notre Dame.
Senior stats: Lang scored 85 percent on average for the Class 5A state champions.
Cameron Foley, a Sparkman wide receiver, and Jahlil Hurley, both, have reached for a pass. Saturday October 8, 2020. (Bob Gathany - preps@AL.com)AL.com
5. Jahlil Hurley, DB, Florence
Junior stats: Hurley finished with 43 tackles and 3 interceptions on defense. He also had 671 receiving yards and scored 5 TDs.
Tony Mitchell of Thompson meets for the defensive call during a game at Thompson High School's Warrior Stadium in Alabaster, Ala., on Friday, August 27, 2021. (Dennis Victory | email@example.com)
Tony Mitchell, DB, and Thompson are all on the verge of winning.
College status is uncommitted. Offers include Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Texas A&M, and Tennessee.
Mitchell finished with 55 tackles and two interceptions for the three-time Class 7A state champions.
James Smith of Carver (57) responds to a defensive tackle at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2019. Jake Crandall/ Advertiser
3. Carver-Montgomery, James Smith, DL
College status: Uncommitted. Offers include Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Boston College, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State.
Junior stats: Smith was briefly transferred to the IMG Academy last year before returning to Montgomery.
On Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, Carver's Jaquavious Russaw (1) sets the test and defeats Opelika's Kaden Cooper (23) at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala.. Opelika leads Carver 14-0 at halftime. (Jake Crandall | Advertiser)Jake Crandall
2. Jaquavious Russaw, DL, Carver-Montgomery
College status is unknown. Offers include Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Boston College, Clemson, Coastal Carolina, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, and Miami.
Junior stats: Russaw finished the season with 130 tackles, 27.5 tackles for a loss, and 16 sacks. He was a finalist for Class 6A Lineman of the Year.
At Vestavia, Ala., on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2021, Thompson's Peter Woods (11) returns the ball for a touchdown (Marvin Gentry | firstname.lastname@example.org)
1. DL. Peter Woods, DL. Thompson
College status is uncommitted. Offers include Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia, and LSU.
Junior statistics: Woods had 92 tackles, 26 tackles for a loss, 11 sacks, and 30 QB hurries for the Class 7A champs.
Jeremiah Cobb, RB, Montgomery Catholic; Sawyer Deerman, ATH, American Christian: Koby Keenum, OL, Mars Hill Bible; T.J. Metcalf, DB, Pinson Valley; Karmello Overton, LB, Carroll; Drew Pickett, RB, Russell County; Avery Stuart, DB, Alabama Christian; Sylvester Smith, DB, Munford