Alabama has been surging on the recruiting trail in recent weeks, landing the commitment of multiple blue-chip prospects that have helped the Crimson Tide climb up the team rankings for the 2023 cycle. After with with the commitment of four-star defensive lineman Hunter Osborne, Alabama took control of No. 1 in the 247Sports 2023 team rankings -- bumping Notre Dame from the top spot -- with the pledge of Top247 tight end Ty Lockwood on Tuesday.
Lockwood is a four-star prospect ranked as the No. 9 tight end in the 2023 class. A former Ohio State commit, Lockwood visited Tuscaloosa last week, and upon receiving his scholarship offer in person, has decided to become the 18th commit in Alabama's class.
"I got a chance to sit in that tight end room and meet the coaches and watch a practice and see how they run things," Lockwood told 247Sports. "The vibe I got and being able to connect with the coach the way I did and players the way I did, you get that gut feeling when something feels right. That's exactly what I felt. I went there, the vibe was amazing. It's everything you can ask for, Bama."
247Sports recruiting analyst Cooper Petagna writes that Lockwood "exhibits excellent versatility as a receiver" and projects as a high level multi-year starter with all-conference potential.
Plays with good short area quickness and suddenness as a route runner. Moves efficiently, getting in and out of breaks quickly. Demonstrates good route tempo, understanding leverage and how to separate at the top of the route. Possesses above average play speed and offers some run after catch ability. Natural pass catcher with the ability to be a factor in the short to intermediate part of the field. Has an excellent play temperament for the position, understands how to play the game with instincts and awareness.
Of the 18 commits in Alabama's class, 15 are either four-star (11) or five-star (4) prospects, and eight of those blue-chip recruits have committed to the Crimson Tide since the start of July. That's provided the engine for a rapid climb up the recruiting rankings in the last month, which was capped with Lockwood's commitment to help Alabama take control of No. 1 on Tuesday.
Still, Alabama is not done with its efforts in the 2023 cycle, and neither are the other competitors. Notre Dame, Ohio State, Georgia, Texas and others will continue rounding out their 2023 classes with top talent, but when a recruiting powerhouse like Nick Saban's Alabama program take over the No. 1 spot with as much blue-chip talent as the Tide have assembled, it's set a high bar for securing the top class in the cycle.