We're absolutely beat today from the previous few days of NSD coverage and content. Today's JP will be relatively take-free -- excellence speaks for itself, amirite?
In all seriousness, we'll also have an afternoon JP today with more stuff of substance. For now, check out these recaps of the Alabama class, the national picture, and some other interesting NSD/recruiting tidbits.
Recapping the '16 Class
Watch Nick Saban discuss the results from the 2016 national signing day Wednesday in the video above
The Dark Lord's post-NSD presser. Definitely worth a watch.
"We were in need, we were searching," Saban said. "We wanted to make sure that we got two running backs. We only have a couple, three guys on scholarship. That’s the least we’ve ever had at that position and nobody coming back that has any significant experience. We got one early that we really, really like and then just never ever found the next guy or had an opportunity to get the guy that was really interested or close by here. This really worked out well for us."
Interesting to note here that Saban said there weren't really guys "close by here." That makes sense, actually. Running backs under Saban have hailed from the South: Florida (Hart,) Alabama (Yeldon,) Georgia (Drake,) Tenpenny (Arkansas,) Georgia (Tyren Jones,) Florida (Glen Coffee,) Louisiana (Lacy,) with the one main outlier in Michigan (Ingram, natch.) On the roster now, however, are backs from Kentucky, Alabama, North Carolina (soon,) and Tulsa (just committed.)
For whatever reason, Saban and staff look close to home.
The Tide secured its sixth straight No. 1 class on Wednesday picking up 9 commitments and signatures to close out its 2016 class. Get a look at all of Alabama's newest signees.
I love well done slide shows.
And the most stunning thing is that it could have been even better. "They didn't get everybody they wanted, which people think Alabama always does, but they closed very strong," said Mike Farrell, national recruiting director for Rivals.com. National Signing Day had its surprises. Alabama ending up No. 1, however, wasn't one of them. "I wasn't really surprised by anything," Farrell said. "The amazing thing about Alabama is they're still No. 1 and they whiffed on some guys they really wanted like A.J. Brown and Jeffery Simmons."
A timeline of how Alabama started the day in decent shape, lost some high-profile targets, and then rebounded with a Saban-esque vengeance.
It's time to embrace the Crimson Tide. There's not a thing you, I or anyone else can do about their dominance. You don't have to root for Alabama and you probably won't. But you should appreciate what Saban is doing in Tuscaloosa. Really, you should.
Really, we already do. Being the bad guy is fun.
While the history of successful recruiting may impress fans and recruiting junkies, head coach Nick Saban did not appear too eager to celebrate the accomplishment. "Perception doesn’t win any games for us around here," Saban said, "but good players do. Until these guys sort of grow and develop, you really don’t know what kind of class you have. It’s everybody’s guesstimate at this point as to what kind of class we really have. We’re excited about them. We’re pleased with them. But you can’t make predictions about these types of things."
Saban doesn't just want the best players -- he wants the best players that are also committed to building and maintaining a dominant program. Good insight in this article.
Nick Saban's continued recruiting dominance with the nation's No. 1 class, Kirby Smart's first class (headlined by what could be the nation's No. 1 QB in Jacob Eason), Charlie Strong making a big statement with Texas' haul, how Tom Herman continues to attract big talent to Houston, most notably local 5* DT Ed Oliver, and much, much more.
Lorda'mercy, Charlie Strong, a dead man walking in November, parlayed wins over the Dirt Burglars and the Baptist Bears into an exceptional recruiting class...Tom Herman will thank him next year. HEEEEYO.
Since Monday, Alabama added two Composite five-star linebackers, three four-star cornerbacks, a four-star defensive end, a three-star cornerback flipped from Florida, a three-star running back, and a three-star JUCO defensive end — and a walk-on kicker, because Alabama could actually use a kicker after having its ballyhooed kicker recruit flip to Florida. Depending on how you count it, as many as nine new players chose the Tide on Signing Day.
Jim Harbaugh redefined the limits of a signing day extravaganza. But it was the Seminoles who closed strong to finish with the top class. Here's the best and worst from national signing day.
Really good recap here of the national picture
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema did a little backtracking on national signing day. And he ended up making two phone calls that had nothing to do with his recruiting class. Bielema called Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze and Florida's Jim McElwain to explain what he meant Wednesday when he said on ESPN2 that "Florida (is) kind of the new Ole Miss. They're doing some things recruiting that kind of shocks you a little bit."
Coach B can try and backpedal this one all he wants and say he meant that "Ole Miss was national in its recruiting scope like Florida." The fact is, that makes no sense. Notre Dame is a national brand. Alabama is national brand. USC is national brand. Ole Miss, like Auburn, is a very regionally-locked program that recruits by and large from its region, including locking down its home state. This is a safe space, Bret, we know what you mean...and so does the NCAA.
Get to work
"Jonah [Williams] is one of the most athletic guys that we saw out there in recruiting," Saban said. "We think he could play center, guard or tackle. Very smart. Very athletic. Quick feet. We were excited about him." Alabama landed five offensive linemen in its 2016 class, including a junior college signee. Charles Baldwin, who projects as an offensive tackle, will arrive as a junior. Saban said he expects the junior college signees "to be good enough to play, because we need them to play." The Crimson Tide signed offensive tackle Scott Lashley, who committed on Tuesday, and Decatur guard Deonte Brown.