The Alabama Crimson Tide is awaiting the decisions of a pair of recruits who will commit on Sunday afternoon.
Later today, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei cornerback Zabien Brown will announce his college decision. Class of 2026 offensive lineman Zykie Helton, who hails from Georgia, is also gearing up to publicly reveal his commitment.
Down below is a breakdown of Brown’s upcoming decision and who is trending for his services. At the end of the article is a quick overview of Helton and Alabama’s pursuit.
Decision Date: July 9
Time: 4:00 p.m. Central/5:00 p.m. Eastern
Finalists: Alabama, Ohio State, and USC
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Who is trending for Alabama DB target Zabien Brown ahead of his announcement?
Back in March, Zabien Brown narrowed his recruitment to Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon, and USC. The Ducks were initially scheduled to receive an official visit, but that trip was scrapped as they were eliminated from his recruitment.
Brown took officials to USC (June 2), Ohio State (June 16), and Alabama (June 23) last month. It appears getting the third and final visit from the coveted cornerback could pay dividends for Nick Saban‘s staff.
Ahead of his commitment, Alabama is viewed as the overwhelming favorite (94.5 percent) to land Brown, per the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine. Two of the four predictions on his profile came from BamaOnLine’s Andrew Bone and Joseph Hastings on July 5.
As for why Bama is of high interest, he recently spoke with On3’s Scott Schrader following his official visit to Tuscaloosa. In that conversation, he talked about the similarities between Saban and Brown’s former high school coach, Bruce Rollinson.
“The main message he was trying to give me is that the type of dudes that want to be here will be here,” Brown previously said. “From there, we’ll do everything we can to develop those dudes… I like Coach Saban. Coming from Mater Dei, that type of tight-ran, strict program is something I’m pretty used to. I feel like that kind of drives people away from programs like that.
“Being around Coach [Rollinson] for three years, I also see a lot of similarities with Alabama,” Brown said. “You see the legend and the hard face but, when they’re off the field, they’re really just cool dudes. Normal people. That was kind of cool for me to see.”
If Alabama does land Brown today, then the program is on track to sign one of the best — if not the best — cornerback class in the country. The Crimson Tide already holds commitments from five-star Jaylen Mbakwe (No. 17 overall on On3) and Jameer Grimsley (No. 11 cornerback on On3).
As of publishing this article, Alabama holds the No. 4 class on the 2024 On3 Industry Ranking Football Team Recruiting Rankings.
Quick notes on 2026 OL Zykie Helton
Carrollton (Ga.) High School’s Zykie Helton is set to announce his decision at 2:30 p.m. Central, an hour and a half before Brown’s commitment.
Helton is only a rising sophomore, but he holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Texas A&M, and several other programs. He visited and camped at Bama last month (June 17), and the Tide’s first 2026 commitment if he chooses UA today. Interestingly enough, Helton plays alongside 2024 tight end Caleb Odom and 2026 quarterback Julian Lewis, both of whom are Alabama targets.
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