Alabama Football Recruiting: The Good and Bad of National Signing Day
As has seemingly been the case with nearly everything in the college football galaxy recently, national signing day saw the Alabama Crimson Tide win the day and emerge with the nation’s best collection of talent for the class of 2013.
Nick Saban landed 26 recruits (plus one player that will grayshirt)—including six players tabbed as 5-star prospects according to 247 Sports Composite rankings.
Alabama added three late pledges in the afternoon headlined by Norcross (Ga.) running back Alvin Kamara.
However, the day was filled with ups and downs.
Some early-morning misses were offset by the additions in the afternoon.
Where were the Tide’s biggest hits and misses on the recruiting trail?
Find out in this recap of the good and bad for the Tide on national signing day.
Good: No Decommits
After 5-star linebacker Reuben Foster reaffirmed his commitment to Alabama on Monday night, the Tide entered signing day with 15 verbal pledges in addition to seven players that had already enrolled last month.
Aside from waiting a little longer than expected on Foster’s letter of intent, there was minimal sweating for Tide fans on a day that is known to get a little nutty.
Bad: 5-Star Losses
Although it seems like Alabama has essentially gotten everyone they have wanted in recruiting, the early morning hours of signing day saw three heavily recruited prospects head elsewhere.
A trio of 5-star talents—offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil and safeties Vonn Bell and Tony Conner—were all players that had Alabama on their respective short lists before their announcements.
Tunsil and Conner will face the Tide over the next few years as members of the Ole Miss Rebels, while Bell opted for Ohio State.
Good: Quality Additions
While the morning hours weren’t memorable for the Tide faithful, the afternoon saw a trio of prospects that are all ranked among the nation’s top 50 players according to 247 Sports Composite announced their intentions to head to Tuscaloosa.
In-state defensive tackle Dee Liner kicked things off by selecting the Tide before later being joined by Georgia running back Alvin Kamara and Texas offensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson.
Robinson’s announcement was particularly entertaining as he had a little help in showing school spirit for his new college home, according to Max Olson of ESPN via his Twitter account.
Well done, Mr. Robinson!
Bad: Jarran Reed Picks Florida
One of the more underrated aspects of Saban’s recruiting genius is his ability to cherry-pick the JUCO ranks and find players that fill immediate needs.
Although the Tide gained offensive tackle Leon Brown as an early enrollee, Saban was hoping to get another impact contributor from the JUCO ranks in the form of defensive tackle Jarran Reed.
The 6’4”, 302-pounder spurned the Tide in favor of Florida.
That loss puts guys like Liner and Darius Paige—as well as the four defensive linemen signed in the 2012 class—under the microscope to step in and contribute right away up front.
Good: No. 1 Class
Alabama still has a big target left on their board in California defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes, who will reveal his choice later tonight.
Rivals pegged the Tide’s group as the country’s best recruiting class for the fifth time in the last six years (h/t, Adam Gorney, Rivals).
Bad: Not Enough Room
With the fact that Alabama closed with the consensus top recruiting class in the nation, the only potential negative is that scholarship limits were perhaps the only thing that could stop signing day’s version of a crimson-clad freight train.
Overall, there’s not a lot to complain about for Tide fans after a haul that adds to a roster already stacked with future NFL talent.
With the book nearly closed on national signing day, Alabama remains where they ended each of the last two seasons—second to none.