The Alabama Crimson Tide and Head Coach Nick Saban are on the recruiting trail once more trying to pry away players committed to other programs. This time it is the four-star tight end, Ty Lockwood who is committed to Ohio State in the class of 2023. Lockwood from Thompson’s Station, Tennessee had been recruited heavily by only two teams, that being the Tide and the Buckeyes.
Lockwood is ranked the second overall prospect in the volunteer state and stands six feet and five inches tall and weighing in at 225 pounds. Lockwood who committed back in August of 2021 may have decided on a change of commitment after the Buckeyes received a commitment from Jelani Thurman, a higher-rated tight end from Fairburn, Georgia on July 17.
Lockwood’s Official Visit to the University of Alabama
Lockwood’s official visit was this past weekend where he was on a visit with several other prospects including Keon Keeley, a Notre Dame commit the Tide are currently pursuing. It seems to have been a mutually beneficial visit as Lockwood received an official offer, and the Crimson Tide reminded the Buckeyes that it is never over until the fat lady sings.
“Having offers from both of those schools, it’s a pretty awesome experience to have,” Lockwood said to Tuscaloosa News. “I’m very blessed to have the opportunity. I’m still committed to Ohio State, but to have Alabama reach out and offer me is a big deal and I’m not going to take that lightly.”
Even though the visit looked to go according to Saban’s plan, Lockwood has reiterated several times that he is still a commit to Ohio State, but this is nothing out of the ordinary. With that being said it is still hard to deny the effects of being in the presence of the greatest college football coach of all time.
“It was a good, eye-opening experience,” Lockwood said. “Those coaches are great guys, and talking to Coach Saban is pretty surreal. You see him everywhere and then to be offered by him is pretty special.”
The Tide Find Themselves in Need of Tight End in 2023 Class
Saban who has yet to receive a commitment from a tight end in his 2023 class could use one, and Lockwood seems like a surefire candidate to fill that spot if he decides to decommit from Ohio State. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the Tide haven’t tried to pick up a commitment from other tight ends in this class, they’ve just had no luck.
According to 247 Sports offers board, the Tide have offered 15 tight ends for their 2023 class, yet only one remains. That last remaining prospect happens to be the five-star top-rated tight end in the nation, Duce Robinson from Phoenix, Arizona. Even though Alabama still has a shot at Robinson, Georgia and Southern California are projected ahead of the Tide with the crystal ball prediction ultimately favoring the Trojans.
A Recent History of Tight Ends for the Crimson Tide
To say Alabama having a star-caliber tight end in their offensive rotation is important would be an understatement. Over the past decade, the Tide has produced some legendary tight ends that played irreplaceable roles within championship-winning teams including O.J. Howard of the Buffalo Bills, Irvin Smith Jr of the Minnesota Vikings and several others who briefly played in the National Football League.
Cameron Latu could be the next to turn pro after opting to return for his senior season to chase a college football playoff title with the Tide. After finally getting the chance to start last season, Latu recorded 26 receptions for 410 yards and eight touchdown catches. Two of those touchdowns came during the Tide’s playoff games against Cincinnati and Georgia respectively. It is more than realistic to say Lockwood could become the next big tight end for the Crimson Tide.
“I’m going to talk with my family and talk everything over and see how we’re feeling, but as of right now, I am still committed to Ohio State,” Lockwood stated to Tuscaloosa News.
Regardless of Lockwood’s decision at the end of the day, he has shown he can be a friendly face in any locker room forming a habit of sending his congratulations to fellow recruits across the country when they announce their commitments via Twitter including several Alabama commits including Richard Young, Caleb Downs and several other.
The Tide will likely continue in their pursuit of Lockwood as the move makes too much sense to outright abandon. In the meantime, Lockwood is preparing for his senior season at Independence High School where he will get to focus on his performance before national signing day on February 1, 2023.