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Former BYU football commit — 4-star DL Emmanuel Waller — has his new school

Waller was once the prized commit in BYU’s 2023 recruiting class but has since settled on a school closer to home.

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UAB cornerback Mac McWilliams (15) celebrates a recovered fumble with Damon Miller (26) and CD Daniels (3) during the Independence Bowlagainst BYU in Shreveport, La., Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021.

Matthew Hinton, Associated Press

There was a time only a few months ago when four-star Alabama defensive lineman Emmanuel Waller was viewed as the prize jewel of BYU football’s 2023 recruiting class.

As is often the way with recruiting though, Waller had a change of heart and decommitted from BYU in June.

Six weeks later and Waller has found his new home, one that is much closer to home.

On Monday, Waller announced over social media that he has committed to his hometown school — UAB

Waller’s high school — Oak Mountain in Birmingham, Alabama — is a 24-minute drive from UAB, and Waller designated himself “Hometown Hero” in announcing his commitment.

In an interview with AL.com’s Evan Dudley, Waller explained why he chose the Blazers.

“The history — what Bill Clark established and what they have going on,” Waller said. “Coach (Bryant) Vincent, I think he’s a great guy. He’s a players coach and a big relationship guy, which is something I was really looking for in a college. Also the defensive staff, it really feels like a family environment. That’s something I want to be a part of.”

Waller is part of a wave of prospects who’ve recently committed to UAB, including Alabamans Chris Pearson (Orange Beach), Jake Godfrey (Spanish Fort) and Michael Towner (Vigor), along with California quarterback Jaxon Potter (Santa Margarita).

BYU, too, has had a few recent successes on the recruiting trail.

Since Waller decommitted on June 19, the Cougars have added six prospects to a group that now numbers 10, including four-star Arizona tight end Jackson Bowers.