How Alabama bounced back to lock up another elite recruiting class
Alabama’s recruiting class has been under fire all season. In early November, the group wasn’t even in the top 15 (No. 16) and people were left wondering if something was wrong.
We should know to trust “the process” by now.
The Tide has secured the commitments of six prospects since the start of December — four 4-stars and two 3-stars. Right now, they have 16 commitments, good for the No. 7 class in the nation according to 247Sports.
What changed? How was Nick Saban and the rest of the Alabama coaching staff able to pull off such an impressive haul in such a short amount of time?
When you look at the Tide’s success since Saban joined the program in 2007, this sort of run actually isn’t all that surprising. This one has stood out simply because things looked unusually shaky prior to December.
Here’s a look at the six recent additions:
- Jordan Davis (No. 89 nationally, No. 5 WDE)
- Josh Jobe (No. 95 nationally, No. 13 CB)
- Nadab Joseph (No. 161 nationally, No. 18 CB)
- Saivion Smith (No. 1 JUCO, No. 1 JUCO CB)
- Jerome Ford (No. 558 nationally, No. 14 all-purpose back)
- Michael Parker (No. 877 nationally, No. 43 TE)
One thing you may notice about this group is that half of the recent commitments came from cornerbacks. That isn’t a coincidence.
Alabama will be losing its top three cornerbacks at the conclusion of the 2017 season. Anthony Averett, Levi Wallace and Tony Brown are all seniors who should wind up in the NFL in 2018.
As if those weren’t big enough losses, the Tide also expects to lose their top three safeties. Hootie Jones is a senior, while juniors Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ronnie Harrison are projected first-round picks.
In addition to Jobe, Joseph and Smith, Alabama also has a fourth 4-star commit at cornerback — Jalyn Armour-Smith (No. 122 nationally, No. 15 CB) — which also should help restock the secondary.
So, it’s looking like Alabama’s class is turning into another strong one, second only to Georgia in the SEC. The timing of it couldn’t be more perfect with the early signing period set to begin on Wednesday.
Of the Tide’s 16 current commitments, 13 are expected to go ahead and give their signature during the three-day window that last until Dec. 22. That group will consist of 10 4-stars and three 3-stars — including four of the five Alabama commits who are currently ranked in the top 100 according to 247Sports.
Another thing to look at is that Alabama’s classes in the past have typically gotten stronger once the season came to a close. Once the Tide’s fate is determined in the Playoff, we could see their momentum continue to build on the recruiting front.
There may not be a lot of spots left in this class, however.
We can’t forget about edge rusher Jarez Parks (a former top 100 player), who was a part of the 2017 recruiting cycle but took a grayshirt in order to go to Alabama. That’s another scholarship that can’t be used in this year’s class.
Due to limited space and a slower than normal start, Alabama’s run of consecutive No. 1 recruiting classes could come to a close this year. That doesn’t mean the group will lack quality, however.