Clay Wins Battle of Bama 5-Stars
Ryan Williams is incredible. Think David Palmer with more speed.
Jaylen Mbakwe is unstoppable. Think Jalen Milroe but as a future safety or corner.
And as for games, it you liked Alabama's win over LSU last month, then you missed an instant classic if you didn't watch Clay-Chalkville beat Saraland 31-28 under the Friday Night Lights of Bryant-Denny Stadium in the AHSAA Class 6 Finale.
Future Tide teammates and current commitments Williams of Saraland and Mbakwe of the Cougars were both fantastic and showed why they are five stars. Check out their stat lines:
9-17, 152 yards, 1 TD
26 attempts, 130 yards, 3 TD
11 catches, 232 yards, 2 TD
1 rushing TD on a 2-yard sweep from the Wildcat
1 kick return TD of 86 yards
This first play from scrimmage was but a preview of the fireworks to come:
Williams has what he's calling "The Announcement" coming up Monday. Auburn fans hope it's a flip to them but there's no evidence of that, even though his dad Ryan Sr. played there.
Alabama fans hope it's word that Williams plans to reclassify to the '24 class and enroll at Alabama in late May. That one is actually sourced and could well happen.
Ryan Williams Jr.
Williams wasn't saying postgame, but he did say this;
"It was a great experience to play in Bryant-Denny. It felt like home, I'm going to be honest, especially playing against [Mbakwe]. He's a great athlete. I'm a great athlete.
"I love just going at it. That's the reason I made my decision [to play at Bama], because I feel like that iron sharpens iron."
Mbakwe added: that he looked forward to covering his friend Williams in future Bama practices. "I think I can come out on top," he said.
And maybe he's right. Mbakwe played defense the final few series and covered Williams on he game's final play, when Auburn commitment Marion Barber tackled Texas QB pledge K.J. Lacey on the one-yard line.
Talk about close but not cigar.
Tuscaloosa County Wildcats vs. Paul W. Bryant Stampede
Gallery Credit: J.R. Moore and Joe Gaither