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Richard Young, ESPN's No. 1-rated running back in 2023 class, commits to Alabama Crimson Tide

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Richard Young, the top-ranked running back in the country, committed to Alabama on Friday.

Young (Lehigh Senior High School, Lehigh Acres, Florida) is ranked No. 14 overall in the 2023 ESPN 300.

"To be the best, you gotta practice and compete against the best," he told ESPN.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Young ran for 1,755 yards and 19 touchdowns on 196 carries in 10 games as a junior in 2021. He is the 12th ESPN 300 prospect in the 2023 class to commit to the Crimson Tide.

It also continued a big week on the recruiting trail for Alabama. On consecutive days, the Crimson Tide added a pair of prized recruits in the secondary: 2024 cornerback Jaylen Mbakwe and 2023 safety Caleb Downs. Mbakwe is No. 5 overall in the 2024 ESPN Junior 300. Downs is the No. 1 safety and 16th-ranked prospect overall in the 2023 ESPN 300.

ESPN has Alabama's class ranked ninth.

Young also took official visits to Oklahoma (June 3), Notre Dame (June 13), Georgia (June 17) and Oregon (June 24).

Alabama now owns commitments from the top two running backs for this cycle in Young and Justice Haynes, who committed July 17. For the first time since 2020 (Jase McClellan, Roydell Williams), coach Nick Saban has reeled in a pair of top-10 running backs during the same recruiting cycle.

From Mark Ingram to Derrick Henry to Josh Jacobs, Alabama's NFL pedigree at the position is hard to ignore. That fact weighed on Young's mind.

"Look at the history on what (they have) put in the league," he said. "You can't go wrong."