Although new head coach Eli Drinkwitz didn’t get to recruit much for the 2020 class, he still has a few talented freshmen joining the team this fall.
According to 247Sports, the Tigers landed the No. 51 overall recruiting class in the 2020 recruiting cycle, but they have a few freshmen joining the team that fans should be excited about.
Drinkwitz got hired late in the process but hit the ground running and was able to land and retain a lot of talent for the 2020 class. We have selected three freshmen that we believe that will have a shot on making an immediate impact on the upcoming season.
Ennis Rakestraw, CB (6’0, 170 lbs)
247Sports: 3 Star, No. 894 overall
Rakestraw has a ton of hype and expectations around his name coming into this season. When Rakestraw chose Mizzou over Alabama and Texas, it immediately caused a viral video of Drinkwitz going berserk with excitement.
There is a lot to be excited about in this young prospect. Hailing from powerhouse Duncanville High, Rakestraw faced the best competition week in and week out. Rakestraw dominated and won every matchup that he had. Not a single touchdown was given up by him in his senior year. Rakim Jarrett, a five-star Maryland signee, and four-star Ohio State signee Jaxon Smith-Njigba, combined were only able to muster 10 catches for 73 yards against Rakestraw.
The Tigers lost veteran corner, DeMarkus Acy, to graduation and Christian Holmes to the transfer portal, which allows opportunities for other defensive backs to step up. There is a strong belief that Rakestraw will be one of those corners and it is expected that he earns playing time in certain defensive packages throughout the season.
Javian Hester, WR (6’3, 181 lbs)
247Sports 4 star, No. 313
Hester was an early gem in this recruiting class and it was huge that Drinkwitz was able to retain him. Hester played ball for powerhouse Booker T. Washington in Oklahoma, the same high school that Tyler Lockett attended. Like Rakestraw, Hester faced top-notch high school completion and fared well.
Hester possesses an elite frame that if and when he adds weight, will make him a matchup nightmare for opposing defensive backs. Athleticism and size are the tools that make Hester a true deep ball threat. Hester will be used to stretch the field vertically at the collegiate level.
Slated as the primary backup behind Jalen Knox, it will be hard to find a lot of playing time for Hester, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a shot in earning some playing time.
Harrison Mevis, K (6’0, 220 lbs)
247Sports 3 Star, No. 2215
Readers you might be disappointed that a kicker was included in this list, but don’t short change the importance of the kicking game. The casual fan will blow off kicking and its importance until the moment that their team kicker botches a field goal to win the game.
Mevis was a highly touted kicker coming out of high school and is expected to handle kicking and punting duties for the Tigers. This is the only freshman that we can guarantee will see the field in the 2020 season and there will be pressure put on Mevis to deliver the goods for the Tigers.
If you don’t believe that having a good kicker is important, just ask Alabama fans how they feel about kickers and pay attention to the reaction that you get.