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Alabama Football Recruiting: Why Tuscaloosa Is Ultimate Destination for 5-Stars

Nick Saban's success on the recruiting trail has fueled his team's dynasty on the field, and in turn, has turned Tuscaloosa into the nation's premier destination for 5-star recruits.
Nick Saban's success on the recruiting trail has fueled his team's dynasty on the field, and in turn, has turned Tuscaloosa into the nation's premier destination for 5-star recruits.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Sanjay KirpalaniNational Recruiting AnalystFebruary 6, 2013

Its only fitting that the first two signings to hit Alabama’s fax machines this morning came from 247 Composite 5-stars Jonathan Allen and Robert Foster, according to Charles Power of 247 Sports.

Two #247Composite five-stars, Jonathan Allen and Robert Foster, are the first faxes to roll in for #Alabama #NSD #SigningDay

— Charles Power (@CharlesGPower) February 6, 2013


After all, Nick Saban’s track record with 5-star players makes Tuscaloosa the premier destination for the nation’s top prep prospects. 

That message has become crystal clear—with the Tide’s unprecedented run of success on the field materializing with three BCS national championship trophies in the last four years beginning with their victories on the recruiting trail. 

According to Andrew Gribble of, the Tide entered the day nearly matching their brethren in the mighty SEC when it comes to accumulating 5-star prospects.

Per 247Sports' rankings, Alabama has commits from five 5-stars. The rest of the SEC combines for six.

— Andrew Gribble (@Andrew_Gribble) February 5, 2013


With former 5-star products such as Trent Richardson, Dee Milliner and Julio Jones, and the current success of players like T.J. Yeldon, Cyrus Kouandjio and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Saban and his staff have shown the ability to develop talent and prepare kids for the NFL at a level currently unmatched across the nation. 

That history of success is a small part of why the Tide have loaded up on impact players in the 2013 class. 

Aside from Allen and Foster, Saban brought in early enrollees in running back Derrick Henry and tight end O.J. Howard—with linebacker Reuben Foster rounding out the group of 5-stars heading to the Capstone. 

That list could grow considering four more players designated as 5-star prospects according to 247 Composite’s rankings are considering the Tide (safety Tony Conner, offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, offensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson and defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes).

Considering their biggest needs this cycle were adding depth to positions like the offensive line, running back and at linebacker, the Tide should end the day with at least one 5-star at each of those positions.

Even though tight end is a position where Alabama has traditionally lacked an elite presence, getting Howard—who is the nation’s top tight end according to 247 Sports—gives the potential for an added dimension for an offense that’s already loaded for the future. 

Despite the wealth of talent already on campus, Saban has fostered a culture that thrives on competing against the best players on a daily basis in practice.

That competition is the foundation of the Tide program, and it begins with the coaching staff grinding and outworking their peers in recruiting. 

With another bumper crop of the nation’s top prep talents set to make their way to Tuscaloosa, Saban’s relentlessness on the recruiting trail has turned Alabama into the ultimate destination for the nation’s top-tier recruits. 


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