Alabama Football Recruiting: Tracking Biggest Needs for Tide in 2013 Class
Stocking the shelves is one of the things Nick Saban does best. Since taking over in Tuscaloosa five years ago, all he's done is win two national championships, lead the Crimson Tide to four straight double-digit-win seasons and restore Alabama to national prominence.
That's what he was hired to do and he hasn't disappointed.
The SEC is hands down the best conference in the country, and Saban has made it a habit of winning games by running the football and absolutely dominating opposing offenses with an NFL-caliber defense.
It's quite impressive how he's handled a change-over to these uptempo, spread-style offenses with a combination of dynamic playmakers at every level of the defense.
And the reason he can still play that defense, and run the football, and count on his quarterback to not make mistakes is because he recruits so dang well.
Their 2012 class was the best in the nation, and they can only hope they repeat that success in 2013. They've already seen 18 recruits commit, but here's a look at the biggest needs, whether or not they've been filled already and who to watch for in the coming months.
The Tide didn't bring in as many tackles as they wanted to last year and only one, Brandon Greene, was a 4-star recruit.
They landed 5-star Cyrus Kouandjio back in the 2011 class, but haven't landed an elite talent since.
So far in 2013, their only offensive tackle commitment has come from JUCO transfer Leon Brown. One tackle certainly isn't enough and they're out to land some serious talent.
The top offensive tackle in the class is unanimous 5-star Laremy Tunsil. The Florida native has named 'Bama, Florida and Georgia as his final three, but the Gators hold a slight edge there as the in-state program.
All in all, tackles are needed in the 2013 haul.
Saban's proven you can never have too much talent in the secondary and he continue to push players from high school stars to potential NFL stars.
'Bama landed two JUCO corners and one 4-star cornerback in last year's class, meaning they still need more youthful depth seeing as the JUCO kids will be out in two years.
The Tide have a number of athletes considering a commitment to Tuscaloosa and three other cornerbacks in the ESPN 300, two of which are in the ESPN 150.
Talented depth is a must at this position, so even with the Tide potentially moving some current in-house players around, we can be sure they'll look for at least two more cornerbacks.
Saban always has to have options here and he looks to bring in one or two talented QBs every year.
Alabama is also not afraid to start youngsters under center, so players with elite talent don't shy away from the opportunity of competing here.
They've already earned the commitment of two quarterbacks for 2013, including 4-star Cooper Bateman of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Where will the Crimson Tide finish in 2013 recruiting rankings?
Parker McLeod, an ESPN 3-star from Murrieta, Ga. is the other QB pledged to the Tide.
Bateman has the look of potential star and it is unlikely he'll be flipped by another program in the next seven months.
All in all, the reigning champions have addressed the quarterback position, but still have plenty of work to do at cornerback and tackle.
With 18 commitments already, there isn't too much room left, but there is work to do.
If their success thus far is any indication, they'll finish with another top-five class come national signing day.
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