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.
Ohio State 5
Florida State 4
Southern Cal 2
Iowa 1 (Defensive End A.J. Epenesa of
Georgia 1 (Safety Richard LeCounte
LSU 1 (Safety JaCoby Stevens,
Tennessee 1 (OT Trey Smith
Auburn 1 (OT Calvin Ashley,
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.
|74||UT San Antonio||73||91||69||76||71||380|
|77||San Diego St||999||68||71||79||82||1299|
(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.)
#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.
The SEC again put eight teams in the top 20. They improved by one the number in the top ten at five.
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 by Position:
(Including the "shirts")
Running Back (2)
Wide Receiver (4)
Tight End (2)
Offensive Tackle (3)
Offensive Guard (1)
Weak-Side Defensive End (1)
Strong-Side Defensive End (2)
Defensive Tackle (1)
Inside Linebacker (1)
Outside Linebacker (3)
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
- 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. OUCH! is also from Baton Rouge.
- 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.
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:
|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|
|Isaiah Pryor||DB||4||5.9||6'2"||195||Ohio State|
|Robert Hainsey||OL||4||5.9||6'5"||276||Notre Dame|
|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|
|Elijah Watson||DT||2||5.3||6'4"||275||Miami (OH)|
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 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.