South's No. 2 ILB Markail Benton picks 'Bama, becomes third Crimson Tide pledge in five days

PHENIX CITY, Ala. -- Alabama stays hot on the recruiting trail and lands in-state priority linebacker Markail Benton.

The defending national champions are on a recruiting roll. Alabama kicked off its summer camp season with a pair of commitments this week -- four-star offensive lineman Elliot Baker Monday and four-star quarterback Mac Jones Tuesday --  and it adds a third from the loaded group Friday, this one of the in-state variety. 

Four-star Phenix City (Ala.) Central linebacker Markail Benton announced his commitment to the program Friday afternoon from the school's auditorium. 

"The atmosphere at Alabama is amazing.  I have been there for games and it is so loud every time," Benton previously told Scout. "I like how they play hard and physical.  Their defense is always fast and they showed that against Leonard Fournette this year."

Selecting Alabama over finalists Auburn and Florida State, the rising-senior had long thought of making a late commitment in the cycle, perhaps at the Under Armour All-America Game, in which he's slated to participate in January. Just 24 hours prior to the decision, Benton said he hadn't yet selected between the finalists.

Long in the discussion for the top spot in Alabama's class of 2017 state rankings, he currently sits at No. 3 behind offensive lineman Austin Troxell, who presumably will also decide between the Iron Bowl rivals, as well as top wide receiver Nico Collins. Benton joins fellow in-state four-stars Chadarius Townsend and Brian Robinson on the current Crimson Tide commitment list, up to 12 prospects after the big week. The run vaulted the program near the top of the Scout team recruiting rankings.

Benton will compete among America's best at The Opening Finals, held at Nike's headquarters, for a second straight year from July 6-10. 

BamaMag will have more on this breaking news. View highlights of Alabama's newest commitment below:

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