The Alabama Crimson Tide have been the national leader in recruiting since the arrival of Nick Saban in 2007. The Tide have consistently landed the No. 1 class in the country during the Saban tenure, but this year looks to be breaking that mold.
The rest of the country is not rolling over for Alabama on the recruiting trail despite its reputation and success reeling in top athletes. In fact, the Tide won’t finish with the No. 1 recruiting class in 2013.
According to the 247Sports.com Composite Team Rankings, Alabama is the current No. 1 class. The Tide currently has 21 commitments secured, of which seven are early enrollees.
There is a little room left to sign some players in this year’s class, but the Tide will sign as many of the nation’s top athletes as possible.
Alabama is still in position to pull in a few more highly touted players, but its class is solid and shouldn’t have many, if any signing day surprises.
Teams like Notre Dame, Ohio State, Florida State and USC are all climbing the recruiting rankings as the 2013 season winds down. Ohio State is a close second to Alabama in the 247Sports.com Composite Team Rankings, and Notre Dame, Florida State and USC are all in the Top 10 with more space in their classes needing to be filled.
Urban Meyer and Brian Kelly have proven that they can recruit the best in the country to play in the cold, and Jimbo Fisher has pulled together a crack staff of recruiters in Tallahassee.
Last year the Seminoles were the major challenger in the recruiting race against Alabama, and before this cycle closes, they may be the biggest threat yet again.
Florida is also loaded with Will Muschamp leading a resurgence in Gainesville, and could stand to pick up a few more top recruits in the 2013 class.
The Gators are in the running for the No. 1 overall recruit in the country as Robert Nkemdiche is looking at the Florida program. Montravius Adams is another top defensive lineman that is also considering the Gators.
Add in the possibility of landing outside linebacker Quinton Powell and Florida could easily launch themselves into the No. 1 position by signing day.
Alabama is holding onto No. 1 by a thread, and it will loose its grip before signing day. The Tide have two recruits left on the board that could boost their score and keep them at the top.
One player to keep an eye on throughout the remaining days of the recruiting process is Vonn Bell. Bell is a 5-star safety and is the No. 2 at his position according to the 247Sports.com Composite Rankings.
Will Alabama finish 2013 with the No. 1 recruiting class?
Bell is set to decide between Alabama, Tennessee and Ohio State. If he lands at Ohio State, the Buckeyes should jump Alabama. If he goes with the Tide, they will secure the No. 1 position for this year’s recruiting cycle.
On January 18 Bell visited Alabama, but his final visit will come January 25 when he visits childhood favorite Tennessee. Alabama is making a push, but the final visit to Knoxville will be tough for Bama to overcome.
Another player to watch is Laremy Tunsil. He is set to decide between Alabama, Georgia and Florida State. The 247Sports.com Composite Ranking has him listed as the No. 1 offensive tackle and the No. 4 overall player in the country.
If Tunsil lands in Tuscaloosa there is no denying Alabama the No. 1 class. If he lands with Florida State or Georgia, they could begin to challenge the Tide for the top class this year.
Other players remain on the board with Alabama offers, and the Tide have a legitimate shot at finishing as the No. 1 class in the country. The problem for Alabama is that there are a number of other programs in the running for top talent that could easily leap the Tide in the final standings.