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Alabama National Signing Day 2018 Roundup, Recap and Other Nonsense

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Quality over Quantity; Bama signs 20

WR Jaylen Waddle rounds out an exciting, disappointing, confusing, strong day for Alabama.

Alabama did not get the targeted 23 signings that was expected but what they got is pretty darn good. The Crimson Tide signed five players on Wednesday including 5-star Patrick Surtain Jr. and high 4-star Jaylen Waddle. These new players will join 5-star & future NFL first rounder Eyabi Anoma and the others as the Class of 2018.

Brent will have his annual “Meet the New Guys” in the coming days.

  1. Jarez Parks OLB/DE Sebastian, FL 6-2’3” / 253 **** (Greyshirt) EE
  2. Saivion Smith CB Perkinston, MS 6’1” / 175 **** EE
  3. Stephon Wynn DE Bradenton, FL 6’4” / 308 **** EE
  4. Slade Bolden ATH West Monroe, LA 5’11” / 198 ***½ EE
  5. Skyler DeLong P Fort Mill, SC 6’3” / 180 *** EE
  6. Eyabi Anoma DE Baltimore, MD 6’5” / 235 ***** ESP
  7. Emil Ekiyor OC Indianapolis, IN 6’2” / 322 **** ESP
  8. Jalyn Armour-Davis CB Mobile, AL 6’1” / 180 **** ESP
  9. Cameron Latu DE Salt Lake City, UT 6’5” / 236 **** ESP
  10. Jordan Davis DE Memphis, TN 6’5” / 238 **** ESP
  11. Christian Barmore DT Philadelphia, PA 6’5” / 290 **** ESP
  12. Josh Jobe DB Cheshire, CT (Tampa, FL) 6’1” / 180 **** ESP
  13. Tommy Brown OL Santa Ana, CA 6’7” / 315 **** ESP
  14. Xavier Williams WR Hollywood, FL 6’0” / 190 **** ESP
  15. Jerome Ford RB Seffner, FL 5’11” / 195 ***½ ESP
  16. Patrick Surtain Jr. DB Plantation, FL 6’1” / 199 ***** NSD - The number five overall ranked player in the nation will be a force in the Tide secondary.
  17. Jaylen Waddle WR Houston, TX 5’10” / 175 ****½ NSD - Fifth ranked WR is a fraction away from being a five star. Of the three receivers Bama had a shot at, this guy is the one I wanted. You all are going to love this guy.
  18. Jaylen Moody ILB Conway, SC 6’2” / 225*** NSD - The staff is very high on this kid. He could be a real sleeper. His twin brother, WR Juwan Moody, signed with ECU.
  19. Eddie Smith CB Slidell, LA 6’1” / 180 *** NSD - Former TCU commit is listed as a CB but likely moves to safety. He also played wide receiver and kicked field goals for his high school. Cousin of DeVonta Smith.
  20. Michael Parker TE Huntsville, AL 6’6” / 230 *** NSD - Originally believed to be a blueshirt, he can now enroll this summer with the rest of the class due to some perceived deception from others. His two older brothers were/are walk-ons.

WHERE THEY ARE FROM

Alabama (2)
California (1)
Connecticut (1) *
Florida (5)
Indiana (1)
Louisiana (2)
Maryland (1)
Pennsylvania (1)
South Carolina (3) **
Tennessee (1)
Texas (1)
Utah (1)
* Josh Jobe played football in Connecticut last season but is originally from Tampa, FL.
** Stephon Wynn played at IMG in Bradenton, FL but is from Anderson, South Carolina.

NICK SABAN

The Alabama head man had some interesting comments during his press conference:

  • Saban started off the presser addressing the media with “It’s good to see you. You guys know I really missed you,” followed by an impish grin.
  • Regarding the defensive line: “We’re actually hoping to maybe get one more defensive lineman in this class.” Hmm, that is interesting. There are not too many highly rated prospects still out there but uncommitted 3-star juco Dorian Gerald could be a possibility. He will not sign until Friday, Feb 9 for some reason. 3-star DT D’Andre Litaker is still out there too. Could there be a grad-transfer or Juco player on the radar?
  • Responding to a question about quarterbacks: “We’ll probably have a quarterback join us some kind of way.” Most would assume he is referring to preferred walk-on Braxton Barker, but he continued to say “rather than reach for somebody we would rather try and solve the issue maybe a different way with a more experienced guy down the road...” Again, could he be referring to a grad-transfer or Juco QB? Saban also mentioned he could not comment further which must mean the target in question is actively being recruited.
  • Saban was generally in an even-keeled mood. He wrapped up an answer about the Early Signing Period by saying “I think that we’ve all kinda grown to understand that commitments don’t really mean a whole bunch in a lot of cases...“ and that “guys just continue to visit so they’re really not committed, and then when they find something else that they like better, then they are not committed.” Decipher that as you will, but to my ears it sounded like he was disappointed in the unexpected flipping, but he accepts that is just how it is.

BEHAVING BADLY

  • Many reports are saying Bobby Brown and his family told the Alabama staff Tuesday night that he would be signing with Alabama. He signed with Texas A&M first thing Wednesday morning.
  • Some UA insiders are quietly blaming former OC Brian Daboll for some of the setbacks. His recruiting skills, in a word, sucked.
  • Jacob Copeland’s mother, wearing an Alabama sweater and a Tennessee hat (???) got up and walked off when her son picked Florida over the Tide - live on ESPN2! A few others around him had Bama gear on as well and one guy was in full Tennessee gear. An audible gasp can be heard from one of the ladies in his group as he picked up the Gators hat. Most recruiting analysts had him pegged as a Gator as did we here at RBR, which makes me wonder if the whole thing was an act. Seriously, who wears an Alabama sweater and a Tennessee hat?

TEAM RANKINGS

Below is the average of Rivals, ESPN, 247, 247 Comp as of late Wednesday night. Unscientific I know but... #Refund.

Rank Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp AVERAGE
1 Georgia Georgia Georgia Georgia Georgia
2 Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State
3 Southern Cal Texas Texas Texas Texas
4 Texas Penn State Southern Cal Southern Cal Southern Cal
5 Penn State Clemson Penn State Clemson Penn State
6 Miami Alabama Clemson Penn State Clemson
7 Alabama Miami Alabama Oklahoma Alabama
8 Clemson Southern Cal Miami Alabama Miami
9 Oklahoma Notre Dame Oklahoma Washington Oklahoma
10 Florida State Oklahoma Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame
11 Notre Dame Florida State Florida State Miami Florida State
12 Auburn Auburn Auburn LSU Washington
12 LSU LSU Washington UCLA Auburn
14 Washington Washington Florida Auburn LSU
15 Oregon Florida LSU Florida State UCLA
16 UCLA Texas A&M Oregon Texas A&M Florida
17 Texas A&M Oregon Texas A&M Florida Texas A&M
18 Florida Michigan UCLA Oregon Oregon
19 South Carolina South Carolina South Carolina South Carolina South Carolina
20 Tennessee Virginia Tech Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee

SEC RANKINGS

Rank Team Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
1 Georgia 1 1 1 1
2 Alabama 2 2 2 2
3 Auburn 3 3 4 3
4 LSU 4 5 3 5
5 Florida 6 4 6 4
6 Texas A&M 5 6 5 6
7 South Carolina 7 7 7 7
8 Tennessee 8 8 8 8
9 Mississippi State 9 9 9 9
10 Ole Miss 10 10 10 10
11 Kentucky 11 11 11 11
12 Vanderbilt 13 12 13 12
13 Missouri 12 13 12 13
14 Arkansas 14 14 14 14

Georgia - They lost the National Championship but won the recruiting wars, led by seven 5-stars. 15 of the 26 signees are from the Peach State.

Alabama - No Crootin title this year but still an excellent class.

Auburn - There was not much buzz around the Tigers’ day, yet a solid class. The 24 signees came from only three states - Alabama (9), Florida (6), Georgia (8) - plus a punter from Australia. Still, is Aubie getting their money’s worth out of Gustavo?

LSU - A decent class from Coach O topped by 5-star WR Terrace Marshall but no quarterback and a great deal of grumbling from the fanbase.

Florida - Dan Mullen swayed a few players away from other locations but also lost a few including high 4-star DT Nesta Silvera who flipped to Miami.

Texas A&M - Jimbo did okay, wrangling 15 Texans from a total of 23 signees. However, the Texas Longhorns lassoed six of the Lone Star state’s top seven players (Jaylen Waddle is #3 in the state). Montgomery-Lanier QB James Foster is among that Aggies bunch.

South Carolina - Look out for the Gamecocks. Will Muschamp has got something going on there. They are crootin way better than they should be. Their rankings could go higher if SC can get 4-star Bryce Thompson qualified.

Tennessee - Jeremy Pruitt knew it would be an uphill battle. His first victory was getting Bama favorite 4-star linebacker JJ Peterson. He also nabbed 4-star juco TE Dominick Wood-Anderson who looked like an Tide lean at one time.

Mississippi State - You have to hand it to a new coach from up north with zero ties to the South taking over in Godforsaken StarkVegas. MS. The Bullies did alright, outdoing their upstate rival. Joe Moorhead grabbed the Magnolia State’s top two and five of the top seven. MSU also got dual-threat quarterback Jalen Mayden, brother of Alabama DB Jared Mayden.

Ole Miss - Dark days in Oxford when you get trounced by clanga-clang. The one saving grace might be 4-star QB Matt Corral who curiously signed with the Rebs in the ESP. Also of note is the signing of 3-star LB Kevontae’ Ruggs, brother of the Tide’s Henry Ruggs.

Kentucky - The Wildcats signed more players from Australia (one punter) than their own state (0). You can’t blame Alabama this time.

Vanderbilt - It’s Vandy, but at least they weren’t last in the league. They did manage to steal 4-star ILB Alston Orji out of Texas and former Vols DB commit Brendon Harris.

Missouri - Every single recruit Barry Odom signed is rated 3-stars by 247 Comp. At least he is consistent, unlike Mizzou’s performance on the field last season.

Arkansas - What a mess. Not only is Arky stuck paying Bert $11.935 million to go away, but they made an uninspiring hire to replace him (free refunds for a year if you can name him without Googling). The Hogs have the 55th best class in the nation, behind such stalwarts as Pitt, Cincy, Indy, Purdue, Syracuse and Illinois.

HIGH SCHOOL HIGH

There are a couple of Sunshine State high schools who could probably win the Sunbelt Conference:

IMG Football Factory is sending 21 players to FBS schools. However, three are going to Syracuse and two each to Illinois, Minnesota, and Rutgers with one to Northwestern. The other 11 are going to Alabama (Stephon Wynn), Clemson (2), Oklahoma (2), Tennessee, Texas, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Miami, and Ohio State.

American Heritage in Plantation, FL is sending 9 players to the FBS ranks. One each to Alabama (Surtain), UGA, Auburn, Miami, Florida, Nebraska, WKU, UCF, and NC State.

KEY & PEELE ALL-STARS

  • Zadock Dinkelmann QB UTSA
  • Rachad Wildgoose DB Wisconsin
  • Dejmi Dumervil Jean OT Louisville
  • Peace Addo OT Duke
  • Luqman Barcoo ATH San Diego State
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown WR Southern Cal
  • Palaie Gaoteote LB Southern Cal - say that name ten times fast.
  • DeMarvion Overshown S Texas
  • Justice Dingle LB Georgia Tech
  • Colson Yankoff QB Washington
  • Messiah Swinson TE Missouri - no pressure, bruh.
  • Quindarious Monday ATH Auburn
  • Tyler Friday DT anOSU
  • Komotay Koffie CB New Mexico State
  • V’lique Carter DB Pitt
  • Hansky Paillant DE Appalachian State
  • Mustapha Muhammad TE Michigan - Austin Powers anyone?
  • Isaah Crocker WR Oregon - birth certificate typo?
  • Atanza Vongor S TCU
  • Shocky Jacques-Louis ATH Pitt
  • Habakkuk Baldonado DE Pitt
  • C’Bo Flemister RB Notre Dame
  • Dakereon Joyner QB South Carolina
  • Tennessee Pututau DE Utah
  • Atrilleon Williams ATH Syracuse
  • Aron Cruickshank WR Wisconsin
  • Master Teague RB anOSU - not with a ten-foot pole.
  • Lyn-J Dixon APB Clemson - real name is Anderius Lyn-Dequan Dixon.
  • Tevailance Hunt WR TCU
  • Iverson Clement ATH Florida - “practice???
  • Luqman Barcoo ATH San Diego State
  • Bumper Pool LB Arkansas - Yes, that is his real name: Bumper James Morris Pool.

NEXT GENERATION

Wanna feel old? Many 2018 signees have have dads you may have heard of:

  • Patrick Surtain Jr., Alabama - Patrick Surtain Sr., former All-Pro; Dolphins and Chiefs; 11 NFL seasons.
  • Asante Samuel Jr., FSU - Asante Samuel Sr., former All-Pro; Patriots, Eagles, Falcons; 11 NFL seasons.
  • Jaycee Horn, South Carolina - Joe Horn, former All-Pro; Saints and Chiefs; 12 NFL seasons.
  • Al Blades Jr., Miami - Al Blades Sr., best know for playing for the Miami Hurricanes and being a brother of Brian Blades and Bennie Blades; Two seasons with the 49ers; tragically died in a car wreck at age 26.
  • Taron Vincent, anOSU - Troy Vincent, former All-Pro; Dolphins, Eagles, Bills, Redskins; 15 NFL seasons.
  • Mike Jones Jr., Clemson - Mike Jones Sr., Raiders, Rams, Steelers; 12 NFL seasons; made a famous tackle on the final play of Super Bowl XXXIV.
  • Luke Matthews, Texas A&M - Lawd, how many Matthews are there??? Bruce Matthews, Oliers/Titans; Pro Football Hall of Fame; 19 seasons.
  • Jake Venables, Clemson - Brent Venables, current defensive coordinator for Clemson.

IT AIN’T OVER, TIL IT’S OVER...

ESP and NSD are over and done but players can still sign up until April 1, 2018. Saban’s cryptic remarks today leads one to think he might be pulling an ace or two out of his sleeves. Stay tuned...

UPDATE: It could be nothing but former Alabama lean Vernon Jackson has yet to turn in his LOI to Texas A&M. He is not on the Aggies website.

Poll

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