Video Breakdown OL Alan Ali
COMMITTED TO SMU OVER: Ali picked the Mustangs on March 15, 2016 over offers from Arizona State, California, Colorado State, Iowa State, Nebraska, New Mexico, Purdue, Tulsa, Virginia, Utah and others. Colorado offered after he committed, and Ole Miss and Texas showed interest, but he wasn’t willing to take visits to any other schools after committing to SMU.
SIDE NOTE: Ali didn’t play basketball in high school, but he likes to play pickup and shoot around most days after workouts. When he played in grade school, he was actually a small forward, not a post player like most linemen are.
AUDIBLE: “It’s definitely a childhood dream accomplished. Now I have to put in a lot of work and I gotta go back to grinding. I’ll be the guy on the lowest level and I’ll work my way back up.”
How Ali fits
One of the first players in the class immediately filled one of SMU’s biggest needs in the class: a true offensive tackle. That’s exactly what Ali is at 6-foot-5 and 280 pounds with long arms and impressive strength.
What Ali brings
The physicality, nasty streak and power Ali brings at tackle is what SMU wants in its linemen, especially in a run-heavy offense that requires mobile linemen. He’s more refined as a run blocker now, showing impressive power on drive blocks and an ability to get his man on the ground and out of the play. He can get to the second level of the defense quickly as well.
What to expect freshman year
Since SMU has not played a true freshman lineman in either of Chad Morris’ first two seasons, guaranteeing one to play now would be a bit rash. But this class of linemen just might be the best of the three in Morris’ tenure, so it wouldn’t be a surprise for one of them to play, especially at tackle. Ali’s run blocking and strength are reasons to think he could be in the mix early. If Ali doesn’t play next year, don’t be surprised if he’s still used like Jacob Todora and Kadarius Smith were last year – dress for games, travel with the team, practice with the starters at times, and be ready in case of emergency or ineffectiveness.
Career expectations for Ali
Right now, there’s every reason to think Ali can develop into a multi-year starter at one of SMU’s tackle spots. Scout’s No. 10 ranked tackle in Texas is a perfect fit for SMU and shouldn’t take long to push for serious snaps. SMU has been patient with freshmen linemen, so it’s OK if that first-year playing time doesn’t happen. He will have to keep improving as a pass blocker, but his frame, quickness off the ball and strength suggest he has plenty of potential to be a good pass protection in college.