All five signees are defensive players, which is good for the Blazers who have to replace key contributors like Darious Williams, Teko Powell, Shaq Jones, and Tevin Crews. The five on NSD give the Blazers 16 total signees after 11 players signed during the early signing period.
“Having four of our five players sign from the state of Alabama today shows that they believe in the vision of UAB football,” Clark said. “Including the December signees, this entire class will make immediate contributions to our team and we couldn’t be more excited about the signing class of 2018.”
Xavier Lanier/ Defensive Back/ Gordo High School
Lanier is a two-star player, ranked 90th in Alabama. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound prospect played both wide receiver and cornerback in high school at Gordo.
In 2017, Lanier participated in the Alabama Regional Blue-Grey All-American Combine in Montgomery and ran the fastest 40-yard dash time at 4.35. Lanier committed to UAB over Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Troy and Samford.
Adarius “Fish” McWilliams/ Defensive Tackle/ West Florida High School
McWilliams is a two-star prospect from West Florida High School in Pensacola. The 6-foot-1, 270-pound defensive tackle was a four-year starter with 51 total tackles, nine sacks, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in his 2017 senior season. McWilliams’ best game in his senior season featured 11 total tackles, four solo tackles, and one forced fumble.
McWilliams is the No. 34 player in the state, committing to UAB back in June of 2017. The defensive tackle stuck with the Blazers after offers from Appalachian State, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Tulane.
Starling Thomas V/ Defensive Back/ Ramsay High School
Thomas is a three-star prospect, ranked as the No. 145 cornerback in the nation and No. 53 player in Alabama. He is another dual threat receiver/defensive back like Lanier, that also participated in kick and punt returns for Ramsay High School. The defensive back also has 4.38 speed according to Hudl.com.
Thomas suffered a season-ending knee injury in his prolific 2016 junior season. In 2016, Thomas finished with 47 tackles with four interceptions and one defensive touchdown.
On offense, he finished with 346 receiving yards, 147 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He also scored three special teams touchdowns that season.
Thomas committed to UAB over Purdue, Georgia State, Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic, Ball State, Troy, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss, and Tulane.
CD Daniels/Defensive Back/ Homewood High School
Daniels is a three-star prospect, ranked the No. 69 cornerback in the nation and the No. 26 player in Alabama. He was named First-Team All-State by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. In his 2017 senior season, Daniels finished with 32 total tackles (27 solo), along with five interceptions and a sack.
Daniels chose UAB after originally being a Memphis commit. The defensive back also had offers from Mississippi State, Georgia State, Arkansas State, Colorado State, Tulane, Eastern Kentucky, Florida Atlantic, Jacksonville State, Samford, South Alabama, and Troy.
Jalen Rayam/ Outside Linebacker/ Thompson High School
Three-star prospect from down the road in Alabaster, Alabama. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound outside linebacker is the 45th ranked player in the state and 90th in the country.
He had a monster senior season for Thompson High school with 143 total tackles (91 solo), 28 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, seven quarterback hurries and four interceptions.
Rayam has football in his blood, with his father playing for Alabama and later going on to play in the NFL and CFL.
Rayam chose UAB over UConn, Jacksonville State, Florida Atlantic, Georgia State, Kent State, Tulane, Louisiana-Lafayette, Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, and South Alabama.
UAB gained a commitment and signing from 6-foot-3, 285-pound three-star defensive end Isaiah Forte during his ceremony yesterday. However, Forte will have to enroll at Northeast Mississippi Community College after failing to academically qualify for the 2018 season.
Forte had offers from UCF, Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis, Georgia State, Miami-Ohio, Bowling Green, South Alabama, and Southern Miss.