With a tradition of excellence that extends as far back as Alabama's does, trying to pin down the best football recruits of all time is a daunting task.
Just think about them. The Lee Roy Jordans and John Hannahs. The Joe Namaths and Bart Starrs. From Ozzie Newsome to Dixie Howell, the list is endless.
We would have to include Cornelius Bennett and Derrick Thomas in the 1980s and Shawn Alexander from the late 1990s. And don't forget the defensive line tandem of Eric Curry and John Copeland, or defensive backs George Teague and Antonio Langham from the '92 squad.
Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, knowing where these Alabama legends ranked coming out of high school is practically impossible to find.
The business that is college football recruiting has had explosive growth over the last decade. Most of the major recruiting services were not in business prior to 2002.
So for the purpose of this exercise, we are going to focus primarily on the top recruits of this most recent era.
Moreover, we are looking to find the most hyped recruits, not necessarily the most successful ones. Some of the names you are about to see may surprise you.
The amazing thing is that, upon review, some of the Tide's most recent recruits have garnered more attention at the high school level than most of the recent greats that now roam the sidelines in the NFL.