CB Desmond Ricks chooses Alabama over Florida, LSU

Highly coveted cornerback Desmond Ricks signed with Alabama on Thursday.

Ricks, who reclassified from the 2024 class into the 2023 class in October, is No. 17 in the 2023 ESPN 300 and the second-best cornerback in the class.

LSU and Florida were the other finalists for the five-star corner, who was No. 2 overall in the 2024 cycle prior to reclassifying.

With Ricks' signing, Alabama's top-ranked class has five five-star recruits: Outside linebacker Jaquavious Russaw (No. 7 overall in 2023), offensive tackle Kadyn Proctor (No. 10), defensive tackle James Smith (No. 11) and safety Caleb Downs (No. 12).

It's the first time Alabama coach Nick Saban has reeled in a quintet of five stars in a single class since 2015. The Crimson Tide's 2023 class has 14 recruits inside the top 50 and the school signed eight players ranked by ESPN in the top two of their respective positions.

Ricks, originally from Chesapeake, Virginia, attends IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and he becomes the first five-star cornerback to sign with the Crimson Tide since Patrick Surtain II (No. 5 overall, No. 1 CB) in 2018.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Ricks recorded 33 total tackles (18 solo), broke up 12 passes with one interception and one interception return for a touchdown for IMG this season.