TUSCALOOSA — One of Alabama's important recruiting dominoes fell in line today, the day before National Signing Day.

Highly-coveted four-star defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis, of Neville High in Monroe, La., verbally announced his intention to sign with Alabama over instate LSU and Texas Christian during a ceremony this afternoon.

The 6-foot-4, 287-pound Mathis made the announcement from the gravesite of late friend Tyrell Cameron, a Monroe-area athlete from Franklin Parish who died in September 2015 from injuries suffered during a high school football game.

Mathis, an Under Armour All-American, was a key prospect for Alabama, which is in desperate need to replenish and build depth along its interior defensive line. Reeling in Mathis also provided somewhat of a double whammy as it dealt SEC West rival LSU a big blow by stealing away another local product.

Mathis is rated as the nation's No. 7 defensive tackle according to 247Sports.com's composite rankings, and gives the Crimson Tide commitments from two of the top five players from Louisiana, with Alabama still in the running for fellow Bayou products Devonta Smith and Todd Harris on Wednesday.

alex.byington@TimesDaily.com. Twitter @abyingtonTD.

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