Linebacker set to visit Bama this weekend

Will the tradition of a school that produced such star linebackers as Cornelius Bennett, Lee Roy Jordan, Derrick Thomas and Saleem Rasheed be strong enough to snag a local star?

Demeco Ryans, a 6-2, 215-pound linebacker from Bessemer's Jess Lanier High School, has visited UAB, and has plans to visit Alabama, Louisville, Mississippi State and possibly Louisville in the coming weeks.

Though not listed highly on most recruiting lists this past summer, Ryans had an excellent senior year and is now considered one of the top prospects in Alabama.

Alabama has long been considered the frontrunner for Ryans' signature.

"Alabama is in the lead right now," he said, when asked which school he might end up committing to.

An excellent athlete, Ryans has the frame to easily add bulk. But it's his speed that has attracted the most attention. During his final season at Jess Lanier, Ryans was credited with 120+ tackles and 11 quarterback sacks.

Ryans is obviously getting attention from schools near Birmingham, but he is willing to go outside the state. "Distance really doesn't matter," he said, "but it would be nice to stay closer to home."

With his size, Ryans has a linebacker build, and evidently has a linebacker attitude: he wants to play. "It doesn't matter if I play middle linebacker or outside. I've played both," he says.

Although Alabama is the frontrunner, Ryans does plan to take all his visits before committing.

Due to scholarship limitations, Alabama is being especially careful in evaluations this year. Ryans, an excellent student, should qualify easily.

Ryans is being recruited by Tide assistant coach Stan Eggen.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Though nothing is certain in recruiting, Ryans is expected to sign with Alabama.

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