CB Kendall Sheffield picks Alabama

Kendall Sheffield Commits To Alabama (0:40)

No. 3 CB Kendall Sheffield, No. 8 overall in the ESPN 300, committed Friday to Alabama over Texas A&M, LSU, Florida State. (0:40)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Five-star cornerback Kendall Sheffield committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide during the fourth quarter of the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game on Friday at Tropicana Field.

Sheffield, the No. 8-ranked player in the nation, selected Alabama over Texas A&M, LSU and Florida State.

The prospect from Missouri City, Texas, took an official visit to Alabama on Dec. 5, and that proved to be enough to push the Crimson Tide to the top of his list for good.

Sheffield selected the Crimson Tide in large part due to his relationship with Alabama coach Nick Saban.

"My relationship with Coach Saban is really good," Sheffield said. "I've stayed in contact with him, and we've built a great relationship. I can get a good education at Alabama and I just have a really good relationship with Saban."

Ohio State torched Alabama's defense for 42 points in Thursday's Allstate Sugar Bowl. The Buckeyes were able to complete several long passes against Alabama, and the Crimson Tide certainly have some holes to fill in the defensive secondary.

At 6-foot, 181 pounds, Sheffield has the size and athletic ability to immediately push for playing time.

"Sheffield is an athletic and versatile defender at the corner position," his scouting report reads. "Demonstrates both shut-down and big-play ability. Should be an early contributor at the next level."

Sheffield wasn't the only All-American to commit to the Tide. In the second quarter of Friday's game, another defensive tackle -- Birmingham native Da'Ron Payne -- gave his pledge to Alabama.

The four-star Payne chose Alabama over in-state rival Auburn and Mississippi State.

Payne, a 6-3, 348-pound run-stopper, will give the Crimson Tide a big body in the middle and has potential to create havoc in the backfield.

With Sheffield and Payne, Alabama now has 24 commitments, including an impressive 19 ranked in the ESPN 300. Barring a drastic change, Alabama is on pace for its fourth consecutive No. 1-ranked recruiting class.

Overall Friday, there were six ESPN 300 commitments in the game, which included 96 players ranked in the ESPN 300.

Team Highlight beat Team Armour 46-6 in the game. Deondre Francois threw for 103 yards and a touchdown for Team Highlight, Ronald Jones II had a 63-yard touchdown run, and Daylon Charlot had a 53-yard punt return for a TD.

USC gets RB Jones: Four-star running back Ronald Jones II, who decommitted from Oklahoma State in early December, committed to the USC Trojans before the start of the game.

The 6-foot, 185-pound Jones, who played for McKinney (Texas) North High School, is the fifth-rated running back in the ESPN 300 rankings and No. 56 overall.

Jones said head coach Steve Sarkisian's plan for the future of Trojan football played a vital role in his decision to pick USC.

"Well I really believe in coach Sark's vision for the team and not just for myself, but also for coach [Clay] Helton and coach [Johnny] Nansen's vision. We are going to get this national championship now. Fight on baby."

After visiting both schools in December, Jones chose the Trojans over Notre Dame. With the possibility of USC junior running back Javorius Allen leaving early for the NFL draft, Jones could have an opportunity to compete for early time in Los Angeles.

"If Jones can add size to his frame, look out, he has a natural feel for the position and game-breaker's explosiveness," Jones' Recruiting Nation scouting profile reads. "An outstanding athlete that could likely be recruited at multiple positions."

With the commitment of Jones, USC now has 19 verbal commitments, including nine ranked in the ESPN 300. The Trojans have the 10th-ranked recruiting class in the country.

DT Settle commits to Virginia Tech: Following the commitment of Jones, five-star defensive tackle Tim Settle gave his verbal commitment to Virginia Tech during the first quarter of the game.

The Manassas, Virginia, native selected the Hokies over Oklahoma State, USC and Washington State. The 6-3, 339-pound interior lineman took his first official visit in September and visited the remainder of his favorite schools over the course of the season.

The 17th-ranked player in the ESPN 300 -- and fourth-ranked defensive tackle -- said early playing time was a big factor.

"With Virginia Tech, I have an opportunity to come in and play as a freshman," he said after his announcement.

With the commitment of Settle, the Hokies now have 21 commits, with Settle being the only ESPN 300 member in the class.

WR Johnson picks LSU: At halftime, New Orleans native, Tyron Johnson, gave his commitment to the home-state LSU Tigers. The 25th-ranked player in the ESPN 300 chose the Tigers over Texas Tech, Georgia, Oklahoma State and Auburn.

Four of Johnson's top five teams were out-of-state and the four-star prospect admitted the distance was a factor in his final decision.

"It's a great feeling to know that you are in-state and your whole family and everybody can come watch you play," Johnson said. "Coach Frank Wilson is a great guy and we developed a great relationship."

The 6-1, 185 pounder from Warren Easton High has made several spectacular catches throughout the week in preparation for the game and should have a chance to compete for playing time as a true freshman.

"This is a big, physical and fast prospect. Possesses height, long arms and above average bulk on a strong frame," Johnson's scouting report reads. "Has very good feet and quickness and can get to top speed rapidly. Builds off the line and can run past people with a free release. Excellent combination of measurables and physical traits."

LSU currently has the 18th-ranked recruiting class. The class is led by another Under Armour All-America prospect Kevin Toliver II. In all, the Tigers have 17 verbal commitments, including six ranked in the ESPN 300.

Texas snags LB Wheeler: Four-star inside linebacker Anthony Wheeler started off the third quarter by giving his verbal commitment to the Texas Longhorns.

The product of Skyline High School in Dallas chose the Longhorns over Baylor and Oklahoma. Wheeler will also take his official visit to Texas on Jan. 16.

Texas coach Charlie Strong has been looking to put his stamp on in-state recruiting and landing a player of Wheeler's caliber is certainly a step in the right direction.

"Athletic defender that can run," his scouting report reads. "Possesses a solidly-built, muscular frame with very good upper and lower body playing strength."

Texas now has 24 verbal commitments, including 11 ranked in the ESPN 300. The Longhorns currently have the 11th-ranked recruiting class in the country.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.