With signing day roughly two months away, Alabama is poised to put the finishing touches on another top-rated recruiting class.
While Nick Saban’s club emerged from its showdown last weekend against LSU unblemished, that game also served as a showcase for the Tide’s efforts on the recruiting trail.
As Matt Scalici of AL.com noted, a bevy of prep talent made their way to Bryant-Denny Stadium to get an up close and personal look at Nick Saban’s team dominate the Tigers.
So what lies ahead for the Tide's recruiting efforts?
Regardless of how the Tide’s 2014 class finishes up, Saban and his staff have already done a tremendous job at filling its primary needs at offensive line and linebacker.
The major additions that would put this class over the top would be an impact pass-rusher at defensive end, another space-eating defensive tackle and a lockdown corner.
Landing another quality offensive tackle and a ball-hawking safety wouldn’t hurt.
With a loaded group of commitments already in the fold, Saban has the luxury of focusing on the players left at the top of the board.
Most Important Commits
Rankings, data courtesy of 247Sports
The headliner of the 2014 class is the nation’s top player, 5-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson.
Getting Robinson to commit was beneficial for two reasons.
First, he’s the best player in the country at a position of need, and he’s also a Louisiana native that Alabama was able to pry away from rival LSU.
Cornwell is a 6’5”, 241-pound quarterback who gives the Tide a strong-armed passer with great mobility who can come in and challenge for the right to succeed AJ McCarron next season.
Scarbrough, who previously played his high school ball in Tuscaloosa before transferring to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. prior to his senior year, is a bruising 225-pounder who fits the mold of the punishing rushers that Saban loves to use in his backfield.
Miller backed off an early pledge to Florida and chose to head to Tuscaloosa instead. The 6’4”, 222-pounder is a terror off the edge who recorded 121 tackles and 14 sacks as a junior.
Bessent is a physical corner with tremendous instincts when the ball is in the air. The Georgia native hauled in six interceptions as a junior.
Most Important Targets
Rankings, data courtesy of 247Sports
While the Tide will heavily pursue impact players on offense such as 5-star running back Leonard Fournette, their most pressing concerns involve targets on the other side of the ball.
Finding a stud defensive end and another defensive tackle are priorities for Saban and his staff.
Both players have visited Tuscaloosa within the last month, and Alabama is firmly in the top group for both players.
According to Steve Lorenz of 247Sports, Hand will decide on Thursday from a group that includes the Tide with Michigan and Florida. Carter also has the Gators on his short list, in addition to Georgia and Florida State giving chase.
In the middle, 5-star defensive tackle Matt Elam is the perfect fit as a plugger in Saban’s three-man front. The 6’6”, 350-pound Kentucky native has the home-state Wildcats and Alabama as his top two.
Finally, the Tide would love to add some playmakers in the secondary, and they are in the running for a handful of the nation’s top corners and safeties.
Humphrey, the son of former Tide running back Bobby Humphrey, has long been considered a Tide lean and the more likely of the two to end up in Tuscaloosa at this stage.
Jones is scheduled to decide later this month between Alabama and LSU, while Hampton has visited Tuscaloosa with great frequency this season. Expect Saban to seal the deal with at least one of the two play-making defenders.
All recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports.