It's hard to count out the Alabama Crimson Tide on the recruiting trail, but the odds seem to be against Nick Saban's program when it comes to two big-time 2013 recruits.
Alabama is in the top two for both five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and four-star running back Alvin Kamara. Both players have immense potential, but the kicker is, both players also have Georgia as the other team on their respective 247sports interest lists.
Considering the year that the Crimson Tide have had, both on the field and on the recruiting trail, picking against them would seem almost counter-intuitive at this point. Alabama is arguably the biggest draw with elite recruits in the county, and it has a ton to offer. The chance to be coached by Saban is enough in many cases, but there's also the consistent and realistic national championship aspirations to consider. As if that's not enough, Alabama has developed quite a reputation for sending elite players to the NFL as well.
Those are all reasons why you shouldn't pick against Alabama on the recruiting trail. All that being said, though, the odds are still against the Crimson Tide in regards to both Kamara and Tunsil.
Let's break it down:
Alvin Kamara, 4-star RB, Norcross High School (GA)
Kamara has the chance to be a very effective change-of-pace back at the college level. The issue he's going to run into is finding ways to get into the backfield in game situations, because both of the programs that he's interested in have some great running backs that would initially be in front of him on the depth chart.
The logical choice for Kamara would be Georgia, if only because the depth chart is significantly less daunting. Kamara could be a very valuable third back behind Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, and Georgia can even throw him into the slot as a wideout in order to get him on the field a bit more as well.
If he committed to Alabama, Kamara would be the fourth running back to commit to the team this year. Derrick Henry is undoubtedly the star of the incoming freshman class, and he has elite potential with the Crimson Tide. Still, even Henry will be behind T.J. Yeldon, and that's not to mention that Kenyan Drake, Jalston Fowler and Dee Hart are still all on the depth chart as well.
It just makes more sense for Kamara to stay in-state and play for Georgia.
He just took a visit to Alabama that he ranked as an eight-out-of-10, according to Michael Carvell of ajc.com. The only reason that Alabama didn't get a 10-out-of-10 is because Kamara didn't get much sleep, per Carvell's report.
It's worth noting that his final scheduled visit is to Georgia, on January 25. That visit will be huge for Georgia in regards to establishing momentum in the final weeks before National Signing Day. One could only assume that Georgia will be aiming to get a 10-out-of-10 on Kamara's scale.
Odds Alabama Lands Kamara: Low
Laremy Tunsil, 5-star OT, Columbia High School (FL)
There was a time where I predicted that Tunsil would end up at Alabama, but my thoughts on that have slowly, but surely, changed. While Alabama would undoubtedly be a legitimate option for the elite tackle, all indications are pointing to him having a better connection with the Georgia Bulldogs.
In a recent report by Kipp Adams of ESPN.com, Tunsil admitted that "things are the same" with him and he doesn't yet know where to go because both programs are so similar. He also had this to say:
“I feel if I came in and put in the work, I could play left tackle for Georgia next season,” Tunsil said. “I guess it would be pretty cool to play opposite of John Theus.”
Tunsil just had an official visit to Georgia, and he'll finish the process off with visits to Ole Miss and Florida State. With Georgia getting the last visit between the two main contenders for Tunsil's commitment, the Bulldogs have to be feeling good about that. Tunsil's mother was also on the official visit, and she liked what Georgia had to offer, per Adams' report:
His mother accompanied Tunsil on his official, and the Bulldogs once again left a good impression on her.
“My mom loved it at Georgia, too,” Tunsil said.
Tunsil may not have officially given an edge to either Alabama or Georgia, but if you've been paying attention to the tone of his recruitment trail as of late, it has been rather pro-Bulldogs.
Odds Alabama Lands Tunsil: Not Great