As you veterans know, and as you new folks will learn, every signing day we have a live updated open thread, where CB holds down the fort and updates everyone on the real-time status of commits, provides commentary, examines the national scene, notes any surprises, and the like. As soon LOIs are received by Alabama and we update that running thread, we then post profiles of new commitments on the main page. These profiles are quick-hitters designed to get you up to speed. The following week, Brent does his “Meet the New Guys” series of posts, breaking down the athletic measurables and going in-depth with the newest Crimson Tide players.
This year, however, we’re doing it just a little different. By all accounts, it should be a relatively drama-free national signing day for the Tide. If CB’s math is right, and it is, then Alabama is expected to sign a class of 25-27 (although it could sign perhaps as many as 29.)
As of December, 17 members of the class were scheduled to be on campus early as a JUCO transfer or an early enrollee. Jhavonte Dean recently decommitted, and Vandarious Cowan had to delay his entry (but both sides are still committed there, allegedly.) That still leaves over half of the class coming in early.
So, what we will do is post our usual commitment profiles but we will spread them out in advance of National Signing Day based on those already on campus or already having signed their financial aid docs. It will be easier for you to digest, it will make life easier for us next Wednesday
, and it gives you that dank #content you crave.
Today, we cover the JUCO pickups with our quick-hitter player profiles.
Isaiah Buggs (Defensive End)
As CB wrote the day Alabama picked up Buggs’ commitment:
The Ruston, Louisiana native played this past season at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where he collected 75 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and broke up two passes to earn All-MACJC South Division honors. He led the Bulldogs in tackling this season from his defensive end position.
Buggs stands a massive 6'5" and 290 lbs. He grew an inch or two and put on 70 pounds since high school. He has excellent body control and balance, and excels at disengaging blockers and closing on the football.
The link above is our previous coverage of Buggs’ commitment. And check out HUDL’s premium clip of Buggs’ doing his thing. Monster.
Elliot Baker (Tackle)
We very briefly covered the signing of Baker on JUCO NSD 2016, but Alabama fans should be very bullish on Baker.
Elliot Baker OL (City College of San Francisco) San Francisco, CA 6'7" 295 - Baker committed to the Crimson Tide back in June and has stood by his pledge * * * The hope is that Baker can come in and man one of the tackle spots with rising sophomore Jonah Williams taking the other.
Rivals/247 was particularly enthusiastic about Baker, pegging him the overall best recruit in the country — prep, transfer or otherwise. Steve Wiltfong of 247 wrote:
Taking it up a notch, the Crimson Tide may not sign a better prospect in the country than the 6-foot-7 295-pound Baker, when talking JUCO, prep school or recruits coming out of high school.
Ranked by 247Sports as the No. 1 player in America by 247Sports regardless of position, his verbal gives Alabama the No. 1 JUCO prospect and the No. 1 high school prospect as the City College of San Francisco recruit joins five-star running back Najee Harris.
Here are his highlights:
Brent will obviously cover the specifics, break down SPARQ scores and the like in his “Meet the New Guys” series that follows National Signing Day, but both of these players were huge pickups for the Tide, who need immediate contributors in the pass rush and at tackle.