Alabama Secures Top 2023 Class by Flipping Ohio State Commit

Getty Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

The Alabama Crimson Tide faithful woke up the morning of August 2 with some exhilarating news. The Tide now own the top class of 2023 after a series of pickups over the past two weeks. Head coach Nick Saban has recently been attempting to pry away players committed to other programs on the recruitment trail.

After a successful official visit during the last weekend of July, four-star tight end Ty Lockwood, who was committed to Ohio State, flipped his commitment to Alabama. Lockwood, of Thompson’s Station, Tennessee, stands 6-foot-5 and weighs in at 225 pounds. Throughout high school he had been recruited heavily by both the Tide and the Buckeyes over the past two years.

Lockwood, who committed to Ohio State in August 2021, is ranked the second overall prospect in Tennessee. In July 2022, the Buckeyes received a commitment from Jelani Thurman, a higher-rated tight end from Fairburn, Georgia, possibly prompting Lockwood to search for greener pastures. He found them in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.


Lockwood’s Official Statement Regarding Commitment

Lockwood visited Tuscaloosa over the last weekend in July to meet with Saban and the coaching staff, The Tuscaloosa News reported on July 30. He was expected to be joined by another top prospect: edge rusher Keon Keeley, a Notre Dame commit from Tampa, Florida, whom the Tide is attempting to flip.

Having now committed to Alabama, Lockwood received an official offer from the Crimson Tide and tweeted a statement about it.

“First of all, I’m grateful for Ohio State, the coaching staff and the Buckeye players and fans,” Lockwood tweeted on July 30. “I have a lot of respect for the program and the team. I’ve been all in with Buckeye Nation, so this decision and announcement is hard for me. After much discussion and prayer, my family and I have decided that it would be best to decommit from Ohio State University. I take commitment and loyalty very seriously, but it’s the right choice I needed to make for my future and my family.”

“With that being said, I’m flipping my commitment to the University of Alabama,” Lockwood continued in his post. “I look forward to what the future brings and how I can develop as a player and person under Coach Nick Saban and Coach Joe Cox. Roll Tide!”

Until Lockwood committed to Alabama, the school had no current commitments from tight ends in the class of 2023, according to The Tuscaloosa News.

Lockwood said Thurman’s committing to Ohio State did not factor into his decision to flip from OSU to Alabama, according to an August 2 story in The Tuscaloosa News.

“I don’t care about competition,” Lockwood said, according to the News. “Alabama took three tight ends last year so I’m not shy when it comes to competition. I think it makes me better especially when it comes to great competition and that’s a big piece on why I picked Alabama.”


The Lockwood Commitment Brings Alternate Questions

Now that Saban has added his first tight end for the 2023 class, there is much less pressure to acquire Duce Robinson as well. Robinson, from Phoenix, happens to be the No. 1-rated tight end in 2023 and also a five-star recruit. He has also been recruited by Georgia and Southern California, among others. As the Tide are not currently favored to land Robinson, Lockwood is a solid player to be able to fall back on.

If the Tide are able to land Robinson — who is currently projected to join the Trojans, according to 247 Sports — Lockwood may find himself in a similar position. Lockwood however, will spend time after his commitment focusing on his senior season at Independence High School.

 

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