SDS will break down all 14 SEC schools and the challenges they face in recruiting, and how they overcome them. At the end, we’ll rank them in terms of who is set up best for success–based on factors like in-state talent, recent success on the field, fan expectations and the coaching situation. We will also give the school a ‘situation’ grade (A, B, C, D, F) in each category. Some states have an A-level volume of talent, others don’t … that’s how it will work. At the end of the series we’ll do a final overall ranking.
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
HOME STATE TALENT: “B” – Alabama talent is good, but neither Alabama nor Auburn could get to the national championship with 90 percent of its roster coming from the state of Alabama. So the ‘Tide have that challenge of going out-of-state to sign a lot of their top talent.
RECENT SUCCESS: “A” – With three recent national titles, obviously this is an A if not an A+ situation. The Crimson Tide have dominated the SEC since Nick Saban took over, and the aura is certainly there. But let’s face it, before Saban was there, ‘Bama was at times battling ACC schools for low-end 4 and 3-star kids.
FAN EXPECTATIONS: “A” – Obviously fan expectations can help or hurt, but you have to say the fan passion for this program is outstanding and since things are good right now, it actually helps. But when things aren’t so good in a program, it can hurt.
COACHING STABILITY: “A” – Saban isn’t going to be let go by Alabama, there’s no concern about that. Of course one always has to wonder if he might be up to another challenge one day, but there’s no threat of him getting canned–and stability is huge in recruiting.
SUM IT UP: Alabama’s recruiting situation is outstanding, but it’s more because the Crimson Tide have earned it than being given an easy situation. Remember the 2003 signing class, the one Rivals.com rated No. 49 in the country? That’s what happens when things aren’t quite as good at ‘Bama. Alabama can certainly be a challenging recruiting situation, but this staff has made the program a machine–and the mythical national recruiting titles have piled up as much as the on-field ones.
Editor’s note: Any reference to recruiting ratings in this series–team or individual–are to 247Sports.com’s industry composite ranking.