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Alabama and Nate Oats have things rolling on the recruiting trail again. The latest coup came Thursday as five-star prospect Jaden Bradley, the 18th ranked prospect in the 247Sports Composite in 2022, picked the Crimson Tide over a final group that included Kentucky, Arizona, Gonzaga and Florida State.
Bradley, a 6-foot-3 point guard for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, is the first recruit to pick Alabama in the 2022 cycle but hardly the first blue-chipper to buy into Oats and what he’s building in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. His commitment ensures the program will have two five-star commitments in consecutive classes for the first time in the internet era, this coming after enrolling another five-star point guard in JD Davison as part of its 14th-ranked 2021 class.
The momentum doesn’t appear to be slowing any time soon, either, and beating out bluebloods to land Bradley should give the Tide serious swag to swing around with recruits moving forward. After winning the SEC regular season title and tournament last year, the program popped out a second lottery pick in as many years after Josh Primo went No. 12 overall to the Spurs, and Oats is proving in a fun system that he can win big with the players he’s recruiting and get them to the next level in the process.
Bradley could serve as a booster to Alabama’s chances of scoring a package deal in 2022, too. The Tide are in the thick of things to land another five-star in Jarace Walker, who is Bradley’s teammate at IMG Academy. They also appear to be in a good spot now with Brandon Miller. Both are expected to visit the Alabama campus this weekend, per 247Sports.
Time and again we see that recruiting momentum can really snowball once you get a big name on the board and landing Bradley could be exactly what the program needs to gain steam in 2022 as a force to build one of the best classes in the cycle.