Jalen Tabor commits to Arizona: Wildcats beat Alabama for physical 5-star cornerback recruit

USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Tabor, one of the top cornerback prospects in the country, has committed to Arizona over Alabama and Maryland in a major shocker.

Listed at 6'1 and 182 pounds, the five-star prospect out of Friendship Collegiate Academy (D.C.) has NFL size and skills and should play straight away for the Wildcats.

Tabor was long considered to be a lean for local school Maryland, but something apparently went wrong with the Terrapins' recruitment of him, as they found themselves out of the picture in December. The cornerback's final two schools ended up being Alabama and Arizona, with the Wildcats winning out.

Word around the Under Armour All-America practices was that Alabama was expected to be the pick, but there were whispers that Tabor could pick Arizona for three reasons: 1) Arizona likes having big cornerbacks and Tabor would have the assurance that he wouldn't be moved to safety, 2) Tabor could be a big fish in a little pond in Tucson, and 3) Tabor is obsessed with the career path of Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden, whose little brother is also headed to Arizona.

He is considered the 24th-best prospect in the 2014 class, and is also rated as the fourth-best cornerback in the country and the best player in Washington, D.C. Tabor is the top-rated player in Arizona's class, and the 28th commitment overall.

Earlier in his recruitment, Tabor spoke to SB Nation about Maryland and Florida as his top two choices, and Bud Elliott scouted the recruit in May.

Tabor is a really fine prospect. He has prototypical size for a cornerback recruit and is very long.

Tabor is a press corner. He uses his length and strength to press receivers at the line of scrimmage, disrupt and re-route them. Tabor should immediately be able to play press man coverage in college.

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