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Early signing period for the 2020 National Signing Day

Athletes from across North Alabama put pen to paper on Wednesday, December 18, to commit to the next level.

Posted: Dec 18, 2019 8:57 PM
Updated: Dec 18, 2019 9:26 PM

It's the biggest day in college football recruiting, the first day of the early signing period ahead of the 2020 National Signing Day. The early signing period began Wednesday, December 18, and end on Friday, December 20.

Student-athletes from around North Alabama partook in early signing day Wednesday. Here's a list of players, where they committed to, and their high schools.

Jackson Bratton - University of Alabama (Muscle Shoals HS):

  • From rolltide.com: In-state product who is rated as one of the top middle linebackers in the country ... a four-star prep standout by all major recruiting sites ... the No. 7 player from Alabama and No. 171 prospect nationally by 247Sports ... 247 also rates him as the No. 10 inside linebacker in the class ... ranked No. 8 in the state and No. 9 at his position on the 247Composite ... third-rated inside linebacker nationally and No. 153 on the ESPN300 according to the site ... ESPN.com also tabbed him as the 69th-ranked player in the Southeast Region and No. 9 player from Alabama ... a PrepStar Top 350 All-American and the No. 4 inside linebacker prospect by the magazine ... named a semifinalist for the Butkus Award during his senior season ... totaled 155 tackles, including 12 for loss, to go with seven sacks as a junior ... selected to the Class 6A All-State First Team by the Alabama Sports Writers following the 2018 season ... also earned AL.com Super All-State recognition in that junior campaign ... recorded 118 tackles and four sacks as a sophomore ... named to the all-state second team following the 2017 season ... dual-sport athlete who also competed in baseball for the Trojans ... coached by Scott Basden as Muscle Shoals High School ... committed to the Crimson Tide over Auburn, Nebraska, Tennessee and Texas A&M.

Logan Smothers - University of Nebraska (Muscle Shoals HS):

  • From huskers.com: Logan Smothers will enroll at Nebraska in January after starring as a high school quarterback in Alabama the past four years. Smothers possesses the intelligence and athleticism to thrive in Nebraska’s offense. Smothers played his senior season at Muscle Shoals High School after his father, Shane, became the Trojans’ offensive coordinator. Logan helped the team to a 12-1 record by passing for more than 2,000 yards and 27 touchdowns and rushing for more than 800 yards and 13 scores. Smothers played his first three seasons at Athens High School. He completed 65 percent of his passes and threw for 1,702 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior, adding 832 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. As a sophomore, Smothers threw for 2,041 yards and 14 touchdowns, while rushing for 719 yards and eight touchdowns. He threw for more than 1,500 yards and rushed for nearly 500 yards as a freshman while accounting for 15 total touchdowns. Following his high school career, Smothers was selected to participate in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game. Smothers also ran track at Athens High School, finishing fourth in the 400 meters at the 2019 Alabama state indoor championship with a personal-best time of 51.34. Smothers also had a top-10 finish at the state championship in the 60-meter dash. Smothers is a four-star recruit who is ranked among the top five dual-threat quarterbacks in the country by Rivals, which also tabbed Smothers as the nation’s No. 174 overall recruit. In the 247Sports Composite rankings, Smothers ranks among the top 15 dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. Smothers was the first commitment in Nebraska’s signing class, and he chose the Huskers over offers from Louisville and Ole Miss, among others.

Javar Strong - Arkansas State University (Muscle Shoals HS):

  • From astateredwolves.com: Helped lead Muscle Shoals to a 12-1 record and the state playoffs as a senior . . . Listed as a 3-star prospect by Rivals, which also ranks him as the No. 41 player in the state of Alabama and the No. 45 safety in the nation . . . 247Sports 3-star recruit, No. 79 overall player in the state of Alabama and the No. 152 safety in the nation . . . Also recruited by teams such as Memphis, Nebraska and Western Kentucky.

Mack McCluskey - University of North Alabama (Mars Hill Bible School):

  • The senior offensive lineman helped the Panthers to a 14-1 season, losing the state championship game, but his career is one for the Mars Hill history books. McCluskey was a member of the first State championship football team at Mars Hill in 2018-19, plus he won a state championship in baseball last year as well. 

Ty Kirchharr - University of North Alabama (Mars Hill Bible School): 

  • The senior long snapper shut down his recruitment in November, fully committing to be a Lion. He was a part of this year's Panthers team that went to the title game, but they did lose to Lannet High School.

Zach Taylor - University of Alabama at Birmingham (James Clemens HS): 

  • From uabsports.com: Three star recruit out of Madison, Ala. Ranked the No. 76 overall player in the state. Played in the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Game. Led James Clemens to a 9-3 overall record, including one victory in the state playoffs. Chose UAB over Indiana and Troy.

Turner Stepp - Naval Academy (Decatur HS): 

  • The senior defensive back, safety, and quarterback is a versatile player. He stepped in during the 2019 season when the Red Raiders needed a leader on offense. Although Decatur's season didn't end the way they wanted, Stepp grew as a player and said he is excited to get the chance to play at the next level.

If there is someone missing from our list, please email lcavasinni@waaytv.com with the person's name, college, high school and a brief biography.

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