Alabama Football: Power Ranking Tide's Best Recruits Before National Signing Day

Ian Berg@@ShugJordanPkwyCorrespondent IFebruary 4, 2013

Alabama Football: Power Ranking Tide's Best Recruits Before National Signing Day

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    Alabama is loaded with talent in the 2013 recruiting class, giving the Tide the No. 1 rated class heading into national signing day, according to the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings. 

    There are a number of top athletes that line the commit list, and this is a look at how they stack up against each other heading into the 2013 signing period. 

    Alabama is closing strong and should finish with the No. 1 class on signing day. These five players will help that happen. 

No. 5: Cooper Bateman, Quarterback, 6’3”, 195 lbs.

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    Cooper Bateman is an early enrollee for Alabama and is walking into a major position of need for the Crimson Tide. Alabama has a star in AJ McCarron, but the future behind him has a lot of questions. 

    With Bateman in the fold, the Tide can rest easy knowing that a talented signal-caller will now be waiting in the wings. 

    Entering school in the spring gave Bateman an edge in the backup quarterback race and should lead to him taking over the spot behind McCarron by the beginning of the season.

    Bateman is rated the No. 4 quarterback and the No. 80 overall player in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. 

No. 4: Jonathan Allen, Outside Linebacker, 6’3”, 260 lbs.

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    Jonathan Allen is a physical specimen at the linebacker position and fits extremely well into the Alabama 3-4 scheme. He has the athleticism to make an impact immediately. 

    Look for Allen to be a force on special teams and to earn some situational work on defense. His size and quickness may also allow him to earn time as a hybrid defensive end for Alabama. 

    The Tide are getting a field-ready prospect in Allen. He is rated the No. 3 outside linebacker and the No. 16 overall player in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. 

No. 3: Robert Foster, Receiver, 6’2”, 185 lbs.

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    Robert Foster is an elite receiver in the 2013 class and has the ability to earn time immediately for the Tide. Alabama has a lot of talent at the receiver position, but Foster will be tough to keep on the sideline. 

    He is a crisp route runner, and he is very efficient at finding holes in zone coverage. 

    Foster is dangerous in space, and he will remind Alabama fans a lot of last year’s impact freshman Amari Cooper. Foster has the speed and burst off the line to gain the advantage on deep routes and leave coverage yards behind him. 

    According to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, Foster is the No. 2 receiver and the No. 23 overall player in the country. 

No. 2: O.J. Howard, Tight End, 6’6”, 221 lbs.

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    O.J. Howard is a very talented tight end prospect. He is an elite pass-catcher, but is also aggressive at the point of attack along the line in blocking scenarios. 

    Howard will need to add bulk to his frame to be consistently effective as a blocker. He is an early enrollee, helping him develop early and make it to the field this fall. 

    He will be dangerous for Alabama in the middle against soft zone coverages.

    The Tide lost impact tight end Michael Williams to graduation after this past season, so finding an immediate replacement was necessary for the Tide. They found that player in Howard. 

    According to 247Sports Composite Rankings, Howard is the No. 1 tight end and the No. 19 overall player in the country. 

No. 1: Derrick Henry, Athlete, 6’3”, 240 lbs.

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    Derrick Henry is listed as an athlete in this class because of his frame and skill sets, but he is a bruiser of a running back and would be impossible to stop in the Alabama downhill running game.

    There are few athletes that come around with this body type that can run and shift as fast as Henry. He has a great one-cut ability and is dangerous in the passing game.

    Henry will be able to walk in and help the Alabama ground game immediately. He is an early enrollee for the Tide, and he should be the next freshman phenom that comes through Tuscaloosa at the running back position. 

    According to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, Henry is the No. 1 athlete and the No. 12 overall player in the country.