Alabama Football November Recruiting Update

Sanjay Kirpalani@@SanjayKirpalaniNational Recruiting AnalystNovember 12, 2013

Nick Saban has Alabama poised to land its fourth consecutive top-ranked recruiting class.
Nick Saban has Alabama poised to land its fourth consecutive top-ranked recruiting class.

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 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.

Heading down the stretch of the 2014 cycle, Alabama has 22 pledges and remains firmly in the No. 1 spot of the 247Sports class rankings.

So what lies ahead for the Tide's recruiting efforts? 

Key Needs

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

Alabama 2014 Current Commitments
Cameron Robinson5OT6'5"330
Christian Miller4OLB6'4"222
Bo Scarbrough4ATH/RB6'2"225
David Cornwell4QB6'5"241
Kalvaraz Bessent4CB6'0"170
Ross Pierschbacher4OT6'4"290
Ronnie Clark4OLB/S6'3"210
Zach Whitley4ILB6'2"220
Viane Talamaivao4OG6'3"310
Dominick Jackson4OT6'7"304
Cameron Sims4WR6'3"199
JC Hassenauer4C6'2"292
Stephen Roberts4CB6'0"177
Derek Kief4WR6'5"197
Johnny Dwight4DT6'2"303
Shaun Hamilton4ILB6'0"240
Joshua Casher4C6'1"297
Keith Holcombe4ATH6'3"210
O.J. Smith3DT6'2"320
Montel McBride3OG6'4"329
Chris Williams3S6'1"181
J.K. Scott3K/P6'5"185
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.

Joining Robinson as pillars of the Tide’s offensive class are 4-star quarterback David Cornwell and 4-star athlete/running back Bo Scarbrough.

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.

On defense, 4-star linebacker Christian Miller and 4-star corner Kalvaraz Bessent are cornerstones that Kirby Smart can reload with.

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

Alabama's Top Uncommitted Targets
Leonard Fournette5RB6'1"226
Brian Wallace4OT6'6"305
Da'Shawn Hand5DE6'4"254
Lorenzo Carter5DE6'5"235
Matt Elam5DT6'6"350
Raekwon McMillan5ILB6'2"242
Marlon Humphrey5CB6'1"175
Tony Brown5CB6'0"188
Laurence Jones4S6'2"214
C.J. Hampton4S6'1"195
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.

Dynamic pass-rushers and 5-star standouts Da’Shawn Hand and Lorenzo Carter top the wish list at defensive end for Saban.

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.

Topping the list at corner are 5-star defenders Marlon Humphrey and Tony Brown.

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.

At safety, 4-star standouts Laurence “Hootie” Jones and Ole Miss pledge C.J. Hampton are ball-hawks who have Saban’s attention.

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.


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