So the narrative this year is that Alabama’s recruiting class fizzled at the very end, didn’t finish strong, cookies are for closers, etc.
Never mind the fact that Nick Saban already beat that system and just totally filled out his class back in December other than three guys who had some eligibility circumstances to work around (but were by all accounts 100% in with Alabama the entire time). So when someone says that Alabama didn’t close the recruiting season strongly, think about who there was out there that Alabama “missed” on:
- A 5-star running back that no team actually wants because of some, uh, character concerns.
- A 3-star, 160-lb cornerback that wasn’t rated in the top 1000 just one month ago.
- A defensive tackle that technically dropped his commitment from Alabama, despite the fact that Alabama hasn’t actually recruited him since last summer.
- A 4-star defensive end that was never going to leave the midwest and only had Alabama on his list because they’re Alabama
- And a 4-star defensive tackle out of Mississippi that has apparently been silently committed to Texas A&M for over a year and just wanted to waste Alabama and Georgia’s time.
Past that, there weren’t really even any notable recruits out there uncommitted after December.
On top of that, Nick Saban himself had some very choice words for those mumbling that it was a “weak finish:”
“Did you guys take math? Do you have math class? Did you learn how to add when you did have math class. Like that 22 and 3 make 25. … Is that what we expected? We could only sign three guys, so that’s what we expected, based on math.”
Basically, while all the paywall recruiting guys kept saying that Alabama had 27-28 spots to sign more players, Alabama actually only had room for three. And they got the three that were already committed.
Those three are:
- 4-star receiver Javon Baker (6’1” 196)
- 4-star defensive tackle Jamil Burroughs (6’2” 323)
- 3-star offensive tackle Damieon George (6’7” 348)
By 247Sports’ composite class rankings, Alabama finished just a whisker behind Georgia for the #2 overall recruiting class, despite have the same number of signees and the higher average rating. So I dunno how they actually calculate that, but the two teams are basically neck and neck. The Tide brought in the nation’s top quarterback, the top two pass-rushing defensive ends, and the top rated “athlete” that can play any linebacker spot or tight end.
In-state wise, Alabama pulled in three of the top four to prevent rivals like Auburn, Ole Miss, Miss State, and Georgia from poaching the home-grown talent.
Alabama signed four 5-star players by the 247 Composite rankings:
WDE- Will Anderson
WDE- Chris Braswell
ATH/LB- Drew Sanders
On top of that, defensive tackle Tim Smith is a 5-star by 247’s in-house rankings and linebacker Demouy Kennedy is a 5-star according to Rivals.
In other words, this is a ridiculously good Alabama recruiting class that really focused on the Tide’s biggest weakness the last two seasons: the front seven and pass rush.
Oh, and the top overall player that’s also a QB never hurts.
Around the league, the SEC had three of the top four, four of the top six, and seven of the top ten classes in all of college football.
Every single team in the SEC West finished in the top 40 in college football, with over half the division finishing in the top 10.
And yet the rest of the nation still can’t comprehend that that the two best teams in the nation could ever possibly reside in the same conference, let alone the same division.
Anyway, Alabama finished, yet again, at the top of the nation in recruiting, and addressed their major areas of need. Regardless of what anyone trying to manufacture a story says, that’s what I’d call finishing strong.