By: Brendan C. Hall, USA TODAY High School Sports | October 30, 2018
Thompson (Alabaster, Ala.) offensive tackle Amari Kight received his Under Armour All-America Game jersey Tuesday morning at his school as part of the American Family Insurance Selection Tour.
“It’s a great honor,” Kight told USA TODAY this morning following the ceremony. “I think it’s a testament to my coaches and teammates, pushing each other every day, getting better.”
The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Kight is a four-star recruit and Alabama commit, ranked by 247 Sports as the nation’s ninth-best tackle and fifth-best overall prospect in Alabama. Over the summer USA TODAY named Kight one of the 12 must-see offensive linemen this fall.
And to say he’s lived up to the billing would be understating it. The 8-1 Warriors are averaging just a sliver under 500 yards of offense per game, including 352 through the air. Tasked with protecting future Bama teammate Taulia Tagovailoa’s pocket clean, Kight has paved the way for a record-setting senior campaign for the quarterback.
Through nine games Tagovailoa — whose older brother, Tua, currently starts under center for the Crimson Tide — is completing 64 percent of his passes for 2,762 yards and 27 touchdowns to just four interceptions. That includes a 507-yard, 4-TD performance in a Sept. 14 win over Oak Mountain (Birmingham, Ala.), just the 10th player in state history to eclipse the 500-yard passing mark in a game. Tagovailoa’s four career 400-yard games are the most by any single QB in Alabama state history.
Kight describes his blocking style as “a controlled fire”, combining an explosive punch with a heavy anchor once he gets into his pass set. Once he’s sunk his claws into you, it seems, he’s not letting go:
Tagovailoa has captivated the state of Alabama this fall with his prolific passing — and given Crimson Tide fans from Mobile to Huntsville invigorating optimism for the future. And this combo might not be done yet — the possibility of Kight protecting his high school QB’s blind side at the next level, too, is very real, and that has him very excited.
“I know him, and I know his tendencies, I know he makes good choices with the ball,” Kight said. “It’s just a blessing to be able to have that opportunity to play with him again.
“He’s a great quarterback. He makes great reads, he has a very strong arm. He’s a lot faster than people think he is — when he gets out the pocket, he can make some moves and even take it to the end zone.”
Alabama’s 2019 recruiting class is currently ranked No. 1 overall by 247 Sports, with 21 players ranked either four stars or better by the scouting service. Kight thinks this class is “probably going to be one of the best recruiting classes that they’ve had”, weighty words when you consider the incredible run the Tide have had on the recruiting front under Nick Saban.
“We have a lot of ballers in that class, guys that are going to come to work and compete every day,” Kight said.
The Under Armour All-America Game is scheduled for Jan. 3 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. and will be televised live on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. EST.