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Alabama Football Recruiting: National Signing Day 2017 Recap

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The Crimson Tide builds for the future.

Already thinking about the 2019 Class.
Already thinking about the 2019 Class.
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Nick Saban never ceases to amaze. It seems like very year his recruiting classes get better. It may sound like rhetoric, but this may just be his best class - or anyone's class - ever. To put it into perspective, 247sports comp has only 32 5-stars. Alabama got six of them. That is 18.75%. There are 128 FBS schools and most of them will not get any 5-stars.

Alabama 6
Ohio State 5
Florida State 4
Stanford 3
UCLA 2
Michigan 2
Southern Cal 2
Clemson 2
Iowa 1 (Defensive End A.J. Epenesa of Edwardsville, IL)
Georgia 1 (Safety Richard LeCounte, Riceboro, GA)
LSU 1 (Safety JaCoby Stevens, Murfreesboro, TN)
Tennessee 1 (OT Trey Smith, Jackson, TN)
Auburn 1 (OT Calvin Ashley, Washington, DC)
115 other FBS schools 0

Yes, Alabama got more five stars than the Big XII (0) and the rest of the SEC (4) combined. Not impressed? Consider the fact that of the Tide's 26 signees, all but three of them are 4-stars or higher. Among those three is a long snapper, a position that almost never gets more than 2-stars. In addition, it looks like Bama will sign a 4-star greyshirt. FOUR stars. For a greyshirt!

Even with the 2-star long snapper, Alabama still corralled the number one class for the seventh straight year.

National Ranking Average:

The chart below is based on the Team Rankings for the Big 4 in recruiting services plus the 247sports Comp.

Rank Team ESPN Scout Rivals 247 Comp 247 Total
1 Alabama 1 1 1 1 1 5
2 Ohio State 2 4 2 2 2 12
3 Georgia 3 2 3 3 5 16
4 Michigan 6 3 4 5 3 21
5 Southern Cal 5 5 6 4 4 24
6 Florida State 4 8 5 6 6 29
7 LSU 7 7 8 7 7 36
8 Oklahoma 8 6 7 8 9 38
9 Auburn 9 11 14 9 8 51
10 Texas A&M 11 9 10 12 12 54
11 Florida 13 10 9 10 14 56
12 Notre Dame 16 13 13 11 13 66
13 Miami 12 17 11 13 15 68
14 Tennessee 15 15 15 17 11 73
15 Penn State 17 14 12 15 21 79
16 Stanford 14 24 19 14 10 81
17 Maryland 20 12 17 18 22 89
18 South Carolina 19 19 16 21 17 92
19 Clemson 10 26 22 16 18 92
20 Oregon 23 16 18 20 20 97
21 UCLA 18 21 21 19 26 105
22 Nebraska 21 18 20 23 24 106
23 Washington 22 23 23 22 23 113
24 Virginia Tech 25 20 30 25 16 116
25 Mississippi State 24 25 27 24 19 119
26 Arkansas 26 27 24 28 25 130
27 North Carolina 28 32 29 27 28 144
28 Kentucky 30 35 26 29 27 147
29 Texas 33 28 31 26 29 147
30 Louisville 29 31 28 32 32 152
31 Michigan State 32 22 33 34 37 158
32 Colorado 27 30 32 35 35 159
33 Ole Miss 36 29 39 30 31 165
34 Baylor 39 36 34 39 30 178
35 Utah 41 33 25 37 44 180
36 Pittsburgh 31 42 38 33 36 180
37 TCU 37 37 42 31 33 180
38 Oklahoma State 35 41 37 38 43 194
39 Iowa 43 40 40 41 34 198
40 Wisconsin 40 51 35 40 38 204
41 Arizona State 38 44 52 36 42 212
42 Arizona 45 46 36 45 45 217
43 Duke 34 55 46 47 39 221
44 Washington State 46 39 50 43 46 224
45 Illinois 55 34 48 44 47 228
46 Rutgers 50 45 43 42 48 228
47 Georgia Tech 42 52 41 46 49 230
48 Missouri 54 46 49 50 41 240
49 Oregon State 52 43 45 49 55 244
50 Northwestern 44 48 54 48 50 244
51 Texas Tech 47 49 47 52 53 248
52 Iowa State 53 50 44 53 56 256
53 NC State 51 61 53 51 40 256
54 Minnesota 58 38 58 57 61 272
55 West Virginia 56 53 51 56 57 273
56 Virginia 48 57 56 54 58 273
57 Syracuse 49 54 64 55 51 273
58 Indiana 57 56 65 61 52 291
59 Memphis 64 63 60 58 54 299
60 Kansas State 66 59 61 62 65 313
61 Boise State 69 60 66 60 59 314
62 Vanderbilt 60 71 63 63 64 321
63 UCF 68 73 59 59 62 321
64 BYU 70 58 62 65 68 323
65 Boston College 63 67 67 66 63 326
66 Cincinnati 75 62 57 67 66 327
67 Wake Forest 65 72 74 64 60 335
68 Kansas 67 69 55 70 85 346
69 Purdue 59 77 68 69 73 346
70 Houston 62 70 77 68 69 346
71 Cal 61 64 75 72 78 350
72 FAU! 72 78 76 71 67 364
73 Colorado State 74 65 83 73 75 370
74 UT San Antonio 73 91 69 76 71 380
75 South Florida 71 96 73 75 70 385
76 Toledo 999 66 80 74 72 1291
77 San Diego St 999 68 71 79 82 1299
78 East Carolina 999 89 70 78 74 1310
79 Southern Miss 999 81 72 80 80 1312
80 Navy 999 87 78 82 77 1323

(ESPN only does the top 75. Rivals only goes up to 100. Therefore, for teams that did not make their lists, I gave them a value of 999, just because. Refunds.)

National Notes:

#19 CLEMSON - You would think a National Championship would gain the Tigers a better class. Dabo Swinney clearly neglected recruiting this past year. Note that South Carolina was one notch above them.

#4 MICHIGAN - Jim Harbaugh seemed to have less antics this year and still had a top five class.

#17 MARYLAND - What in the Wide Wide World of Sports is a-going on here? The short answer is that the Mid-Atlantic region is blossoming as fertile ground for football players. Bama has gotten some gems out of that area (Minkah Fitzpatrick, Trevon Diggs, Jonathan Allen, etc.) and even promoted Mike Locksley to tend to that area. This year, the Terps dominated the region.

#8 OKLAHOMA - The Sooners rebounded from last year's disaster (#22) with a pretty solid class that includes nine Texans.

#29 TEXAS - There's a whole lotta "consarnits" coming out of the Lone Star State. A bad first impression by Tom Herman, being whooped by not only TAMU bit Oklahoma as well.

BIG XII - Speaking of Tejas, they had the second highest rated class in their endangered conference. It was a terrible showing for the rest of the group.

#5 SOUTHERN CAL - The Men of Troy still have the luster of a big time program. If Clay Helton can prove the second half of this past season was not a fluke, the Trojans might be back... and dangerous.

#20 OREGON - Not a great class for the Ducks but not as abysmal as last year (#28). They missed out on two 5-stars you may have heard of: Najee Harris and Tua Tagovailoa.

#70 HOUSTON - So much for riding the Greg Ward and Tom Herman. Major Applewhite signed nobody over 3-stars and finished behind Memphis, Cincinnati, and UCF in the AAC.

#59 MEMPHIS - Who needs Justin Fuentes? The Tigers have the highest rated non-P5 class.

#69 PURDUE and #71 CAL were the two lowest ranked P5 teams.

#72 FAU! - Lane Kiffin did alright for himself. Quran Hafiz 3-star CB (Jacksonville, FL) decided to stay rather than go to Nebraska. He also snagged 3-star safety Ahman Ross who at one time had offers from FSU, Louisville and others. Juco and former FSU QB De'Andre Johnson was the big get.

SEC logo

EssEeSee:

The SEC again put eight teams in the top 20. They improved by one the number in the top ten at five.

Rank Team ESPN Scout Rivals 247 Comp 247 Total
1 Alabama 1 1 1 1 1 5
3 Georgia 3 2 3 3 5 16
7 LSU 7 7 8 7 7 36
9 Auburn 9 11 14 9 8 51
10 Texas A&M 11 9 10 12 12 54
11 Florida 13 10 9 10 14 56
14 Tennessee 15 15 15 17 11 73
18 South Carolina 19 19 16 21 17 92
25 Mississippi State 24 25 27 24 19 119
26 Arkansas 26 27 24 28 25 130
28 Kentucky 30 35 26 29 27 147
33 Ole Miss 36 29 39 30 31 165
48 Missouri 54 46 49 50 41 240
62 Vanderbilt 60 71 63 63 64 321

Georgia - This is why UGA fans wanted Kirby Smart back home. He has erected a wall around the Peach State, signing 18 in-staters, eleven of the top 16. He did, however, miss out on Aubrey Solomon (Mich), AJ Terrell (Clemson), Xavier McKinney (BAMA), and Jamyest Williams (S Car).

LSU - Ed Orgeron put together a pretty good class in Baton Rouge but some fans are not pleased with Nick Saban's pilfering. Coach O did steal one of his own out-of-staters getting 5-star safety JaCoby Stevens our of Murfreesboro, TN. One key component was getting a quarterback, and the Tigers got two in 4-star dual-threat Lowell Narcisse and 4-star pro-style Myles Brennan.

Texas A&M - A decent haul for the Aggies. They picked up two QBs, 4-star dual Kellen Mond and 3-star pro Connor Blumrick, who will both start as freshmen and then transfer.

Florida - Wow, quite a finish for Jim McElwain. The Gators were languishing down in MAC-country in the weeks leading up to NSD. From 247: A rumor about Florida coaches trying to pay a couple South Florida prospects being caught on video and sent to the NCAA surfaced, and in-state Miami seemed poised to take full advantage. Until it blew up and was exposed as fake. UF turned it around with the NSD commits and signings of 4-stars Tedarrell Slaton, James Robinson, Christopher Henderson, and more. No Cece Jefferson in this class but a solid one still.

Auburn - The Tigers put together a decent class but the top heavy is what boosted their rankings. Twelve of their 23 signees are 3-stars.

Tennessee - Early enrollee 5-star OT Trey Smith is the highlight of this class with many of the state's top prospects going elsewhere.

South Carolina - Again, not a bad class for Coach Boom. Eighth in the SEC is nothing to sneeze at. Snagging top 75 player Jamyest Williams out of Loganville, GA was quite the coup.

Mississippi State - Despite landing 5-star Jeffery Simmons, the Bullies were outdistanced by many. Dan Mullen committed a cardinal sin by not signing a quarterback.

Arkansas - Does it feel like Arky has just been running in place for the last decade? They always seem to be right on the cusp of moving the program up a tier, but when you can't convince top recruits to come to godforsaken northwest Arkansas, it is kinda hard.

Kentucky - Four of Mark Stoops' top five hail from Ohio. Breaking news just in: The Wildcats will take on the Florida Gators on Saturday on ESPN. Tipoff is at 8:15pm ET.

Ole Miss - Remember the "Dream Team" of 2013? That is but a distant memory as the Rebs struggled mightily to persuade anyone to come to Oxford with so many dark clouds hovering overhead.

Missouri - Ugh.

Vanderbilt - Vandy's gonna Vandy.

alabama logo script a 100x100

Alabama by Position:

(Including the "shirts")

OFFENSE (15):

Quarterback (2)
Running Back (2)
Wide Receiver (4)
Tight End (2)
Offensive Tackle (3)
Offensive Guard (1)
Center (1)

DEFENSE (12):

Weak-Side Defensive End (1)
Strong-Side Defensive End (2)
Defensive Tackle (1)
Inside Linebacker (1)
Outside Linebacker (3)
Cornerback (1)
Safety (3) *
* Chadarius Townsend is an ATH but his likeliest landing spot is safety.

Alabama by State:

Alabama (8) Ray, Ruggs, Benton, Robinson, Chadarius, Randolph, Kyriq, Brannon
California (2) Najee, Baker
Florida (6) Leatherwood, Jeudy, VanDarius, Wright, Jones, Parks*
Georgia (1) McKinney
Hawaii (1) Tua
Kentucky (1) Wills
Louisiana (6) Moses, Buggs, Devonta, Phidarian, Allen, Buvolas
Texas (3) Shavers, Tennison, James
Washington (1) Fletcher
* Pending.

  • According to 247 Comp, Alabama signed the top three in-state recruits and six of the top nine.
  • Counting Dylan Moses, originally from Baton Rouge, the Tide secured the pledges of FOUR of the boot-shaped state's six best. Chris Allen is also from Baton Rouge. OUCH!
  • It is the second time in three years that the Crimson Tide lassoed the top player out of Kentucky. Damien Harris is the other
  • Despite playing his senior season in Bradenton, FL, Thomas Fletcher grew up in Vancouver, WA. Maybe someone with better memory can correct me, but I believe that is the first Bama signee, Saban has signed out of that state.

A Few Others of Interest:

  • Gary Johnson (Birmingham, AL/Juco) signed with Texas.
  • Jhavonte Dean (Homestead, FL/Juco) goes home to Miami.

The Sleeper

There is so much to gush over in this class that little attention has been given to OT Jedrick Wills. The Lexington, Kentucky native is ranked the 25th best player in the nation by Rivals. 247sports has him at #56 while their Comp puts him at #34. Scout has him as the 64th best. The returning Alabama offensive linemen better watch their backs with Wills, Alex Leatherwood, and Elliot Baker coming in.

The University of IMG

Might as well put these guys in the Sun Belt Conference:

Name Pos Stars RR Ht Wt School
Dylan Moses LB 5 6.1 6'2" 225 Alabama
Jordan Anthony LB 5 6.1 6'1" 220 Michigan
Kellen Mond QB 5 6.1 6'3" 199 Texas A&M
Josh Kaindoh DE 5 6.1 6'5" 241 Florida State
Jhamon Ausbon WR 4 5.9 6'4" 214 Texas A&M
Santino Marchiol LB 4 5.8 6'3" 223 Texas A&M
Kahlee Hamler WR 4 5.8 5'9" 152 Penn State
Marcus Williamson DB 4 5.8 5'10" 175 Ohio State
Grant Delpit DB 4 6 6'1" 180 LSU
Cesar Ruiz OL 4 6 6'3" 313 Michigan
Isaiah Pryor DB 4 5.9 6'2" 195 Ohio State
Robert Hainsey OL 4 5.9 6'5" 276 Notre Dame
Dante Sparaco DE 3 5.6 6'5" 265 Colorado
Christian Pluchino LB 3 5.5 6'2" 231 undecided
Broc Bando OL 3 5.5 6'4" 279 Nebraska
Tre McKitty TE 3 5.7 6'4" 225 Florida State
Elvis Hines DB 3 5.6 5'10" 172 Kent State
Jack Camper TE 3 5.5 6'4" 225 Michigan State
Emmanuel Greene WR 3 5.7 5'9" 170 UCF
Elijah Watson DT 2 5.3 6'4" 275 Miami (OH)
Thomas Fletcher ATH 2 5.2 6'1" 215 Alabama

Key & Peele All-Stars

Clearly Illinois State OL Kobe Buffalomeat won the day. The following All-Stars are 4-stars are higher:

Donovan Peoples-Jones WR Michigan
Deommodore Lenoir ATH Oregon
Hamsah Nasirildeen DB Florida State
Addison Gumbs LB Oklahoma
Luiji Vilain DE Michigan
Charleston Rambo WR Oklahoma
OrTre Smith WR South Carolina
K'Lavon Chaisson DE LSU
Yetur Matos DE Penn State
Osiris St. Brown WR Stanford
Jamyest Williams ATH South Carolina
Chaz Ah You DB BYU
Alijah Vera-Tucker OL Southern Cal
N'Kosi Perry QB Miami (FL)
Deejay Dallas ATH Miami (FL)
TyJuan Garbutt DE Virginia Tech
Obinna Eze OL Memphis
Kai-Leon Herbert OL Miami (FL)

79 Days til A-Day Kickoff.

Roll Tide