Alabama or Georgia: Which Team Should Be Favorite for 5-Star OT Laremy Tunsil?
No news is becoming the norm in regards to the recruiting process for 5-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, but someone will eventually come out as the favorite, right?
That's the question many of us have been asking ourselves, as Tunsil has been locked on Georgia and Alabama for a while now, and that doesn't seem to be changing. His desire to wait until National Signing Day to make a decision doesn't appear to be changing either, and there are precious few clues we can gather to determine which of the two SEC schools may be the favorite for the elite offensive tackle.
Still, in the end, one of these two schools is going to have the advantage, so even though he says he can't put one over the other, according to Jake Rowe of 247Sports, which school should be considered the favorite?
To be quite honest, both programs would be exceptional choices for the 6'6'', 295-pound lineman.
Alabama doesn't need me to tout them up—their recent National Championship and current No. 1 ranking in the BCS rankings will do just fine—and Georgia is right there as far as National prestige is concerned in football. Their 17-9 win over the previously undefeated Florida Gators should help as well.
One could look to the friend front, as oftentimes recruits are swayed by being able to play with people they know, but according to Rowe's report on 247Sports, his associations with both schools seem to be fairly even as well:
Much has been made about (Derrick) Henry's influence on Tunsil's recruitment, and a lot of that chatter could be justified according to the Sunshine State prospect.
"You never know. I have to go where I feel comfortable," said Tunsil when asked about whether or not Henry would influence his decision. "I mean, yeah, he will definitely have a role in my decision."
Tunsil's connections to Alabama, however, aren't his only connections, as he has built a relationship with a couple of current Georgia players as well.
"I know their running backs, Gurley and (Keith) Marshall," said Tunsil. "They are really cool guys, and I could see my self playing with them."
With both schools still unable to find the advantage in my estimation, let's turn to the running game.
Offensive lineman generally do not get a ton of credit—one of the only times they're mentioned is if they give up a sack. So at least gathering from the ones I know, much of their pride comes from what the running back is able to do.
A running back's stat line can many times be attributed to the success or lack thereof of the offensive line.
Alabama is currently rushing for 214.4 yards per game, while Florida is averaging 194.9 on the ground. Not surprisingly enough, both programs have great running games. Both current Freshman T.J. Yeldon and 5-star commit Derrick Henry have superstar potential at the running back position, but if this season has shown us anything, it's that the Bulldogs' have two stellar backs in Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall as well.
No advantage has been found to this point.
With everything still appearing even, we have to go look at one last factor, and that's the potential of winning big. This is where we find some separation between the two programs.
Until Georgia can prove otherwise, the road to the SEC title and oftentimes the National Championship goes through Alabama, not the other way around. Alabama is arguably the best college football program in the country. They are coached by arguably the best college football coach in the country in Nick Saban, and they usually possess the inside track to the National Championship on an almost yearly basis.
Georgia still has to go through Alabama if they want to be a dominant team, and that may be the deciding factor for the elite 5-star offensive tackle recruit.
Who should be the favorite for Tunsil?
As good as the Bulldogs have been, Alabama is still one step ahead of them. That's not just in terms of the here and now though, either. Saban is known for stockpiling talent and recruiting as if he's an NFL team drafting players, so his 2013 class will only serve to replenish an already talented depth chart.
Tunsil would be surrounded by other elite level prospects at Alabama, and that would make him even better in the long run.
Georgia is close, but they aren't yet on Alabama's level, and in the end, that's why I believe the Crimson Tide should be considered the favorites for the 5-star recruit.
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