Class Snapshot: Alabama
There’s no question that Alabama’s 2016 recruiting class is going to be among the nation’s best. The only question is if it will be the best for a sixth straight cycle, which unprecedented in the modern era of college football recruiting coverage.
Time will tell on that one. So much depends on where prospects end up ranked by the recruiting industry and also what prospects other programs get in the end.
Regardless, this will be another crop of excellent blue-chippers for Nick Saban and his staff in Tuscaloosa.
Current rank: No. 5 SEC, No. 8 national (247Sports Composite rankings)
Top commit: Jonah Williams, OT, Folsom (Calif.). The five-star rated Williams was quite the California coup for the Crimson Tide and ace recruiter/offensive line coach Mario Cristobal. The 6-foot-5, 296-pound Williams is an early enrollee and has the chance to make an impact as quickly as next season for Alabama, provided he can gain the needed strength to compete in the SEC in Year 1. If not, then certainly don’t write him off. He has special ability athletically and his upside is limitless.
Sleeper: Tyler Simmons, WR, Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern. When you watch Simmons on film, he will remind you of Clemson wide receiver Artavis Scott. He’s a thickly-built, all-purpose type of player at the high school level (he’s impressive taking pitches from scrimmage and in the yards after catch category). Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin loves that type of player that allows him to leverage matchup advantages. Simmons is the type of guy that can do this. He also comes from an excellent talent-producing high school program in a tough high school region in Georgia, so he’s a bit battle-tested.
Quick take: This class is very strong at the line of scrimmage, particularly on offense (don’t sleep on defense, either). The personal take here is that quarterback Jalen Hurts and running back B.J. Emmons both will out-play their ratings during their time in Tuscaloosa. Will this class be No. 1 on Feb. 3? That’s hard to predict right now, but make no mistake it’s an excellent class overall that will impact the program. That’s really the key to recruiting.