Whether or not Alabama will repeat as national champions on the field this season remains to be seen, but their march towards another No. 1 finish on top of the recruiting rankings gained considerable steam yesterday.
Nick Saban was able to secure commitments from a pair of top targets—with verbals from 4-star Sugar Land (TX) Dulles corner Maurice Smith and 3-star Marietta (GA) Walton quarterback Parker McLeod becoming the 15th and 16th members of Alabama’s 2013 class, according to Alabama 247 sports.
The 5’11”, 178-pound Smith chose the Crimson Tide over offers from LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, Florida and Florida State among others.
A 2013 Under-Armour All-American and recent selection to the ESPNU 150, Smith fits the mold of bigger defensive backs that Saban prefers in the secondary.
Meanwhile, McLeod is the second Walton High product (running back Tyren Jones is the other) to pledge to play their college football in Tuscaloosa.
The 6’3”, 190-pound Georgia native joins Salt Lake City signal-caller Cooper Bateman as the second quarterback to commit this cycle—and like Bateman, he plans to get a head-start on his college career by enrolling next January.
McLeod completed slightly less than 65 percent of his passes as a junior and threw 18 touchdown passes against just four interceptions in helping lead his team to the Georgia Class AAAAA state title game.
The Peach State product has seen his stock rise recently—with offers coming in from the likes of Oklahoma State, Maryland, Louisville and Boston College among others before he decided to roll with the Tide.
As an added bonus, the recent additions were enough to push the Crimson Tide into the No. 1 spot on 247 Sports team class rankings, where they leapfrogged Michigan—who they will face in their season-opener on Sept. 1.
The good news for the Crimson Tide may not be done just yet, as they hosted one of the nation’s top prospects who is committed to another SEC power.
Yulee (FL) running back Derrick Henry—who is currently committed to Georgia—was in Tuscaloosa this weekend and sent the twitterverse into a frenzy about a potential switch in favor of the Crimson Tide.