Alabama vs. Auburn: Whose 2014 Recruiting Class Is Better Right Now?
Alabama will make the short trip to Auburn on Saturday, as the Tigers will host the Crimson Tide for the 2013 Iron Bowl. Already a bitter rivalry, this year's game has SEC and national championship implications.
Alabama is tops in the BCS standings, while Auburn is not far behind at No. 4. Both programs are also doing well off the field, as they have enjoyed great success on the recruiting trail.
With Saturday's game destined to be epic, it's time to see which Iron Bowl program has the superior recruiting class.
Alabama's 2014 Recruiting Capsule
'Bama has a 22-man class full of future studs. No place has been too far for Saban's reach on the recruiting trail, as 14 different states are represented in the class. The state of Alabama leads the way with four players, while Georgia and Louisiana each have three prospects headed to Tuscaloosa.
Saban's focus has been on the offensive line, as the group has a leading six commitments. Also, the defensive line and secondary each have four pledges.
Auburn's 2014 Recruiting Capsule
Former head coach Gene Chizik was a fantastic recruiter, so there was some doubt if Gus Malzahn could maintain Chizik's recruiting pace when he was hired. So far, Malzahn has proved to be a great recruiting head coach in his own right.
Auburn has 18 commitments, as this is a strong class for Malzahn. Nearly half the group is from the state of Alabama, plus states such as Georgia, Florida and Mississippi are also represented.
The Tigers class has five players who could see time in the secondary before they leave The Plains, plus it has four defensive line commitments.
Alabama's Top 2014 Commitments
Da'Shawn Hand is essentially the co-headliner of Alabama's class. From Virginia, the 5-star defensive end is a terror for offenses who is 6'4" and 254 pounds.
David Cornwell, a 4-star quarterback, is one of the nation's best passers. He could lead a huddle that features 4-star offensive linemen such as Ross Pierschbacher, Dominick Jackson, JC Hassenauer and Joshua Casher.
Kalvaraz Bessent is a 4-star cornerback who could play right away.
Auburn's Top 2014 Commitments
D'haquille Williams, a 4-star JUCO receiver, can easily be considered the Tigers' headliner. At 6'3" and 213 pounds, he has great size and speed to menace secondaries on the perimeter.
At 6'2" and 230 pounds, 4-star linebacker Tre' Williams should quickly carve a niche for himself on The Plains. Stephen Roberts and Nick Ruffin should become an impressive duo, as both 4-star cornerbacks stand at least 6'0".
Derrick Moncrief is a 4-star JUCO safety who can also play linebacker at 6'3" and 226 pounds. Stanton Truitt and Myron Burton are 3-star athletes who could play in the secondary, while 3-star JUCO defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey could help immediately.
Defensive end Justin Thornton and quarterback Sean White are 4-star prospects who are underrated at their positions, while linebacker De'Shaun Davis and running back Kamryn Pettway are overlooked 3-star recruits.
Alabama's 2014 Headliner
Robinson, who is 6'5" and 330 pounds, is an athletic blocker from Louisiana who could start immediately for the Crimson Tide. He has quick feet and good agility to mirror rushers in space to protect the quarterback. Robinson also has the quickness and athleticism to execute an array of blocks in the run game.
With his strength and impressive movement skills, Robinson should become an All-American left tackle early in his career.
Auburn's 2014 Headliner
The Alabama native runs like a horse at 5'11" and 196 pounds. Thomas has great quickness to and through alleys, as he can get to the second level in a flash. He also has the explosiveness and agility to jump to the edges, which is why he can turn the corner on defenses.
Thomas runs hard and tough, as he knows he has good strength to break tackles. Another reason he projects as such a dynamic player in Auburn's offense is because he's such a great receiver out of the backfield.
Auburn has one of the best classes in the country. It features players who should make an immediate impact, as well as good developmental talent.
However, the class Alabama is putting together is on pace to be one of the greatest ever. This group alone should keep the Crimson Tide in the national championship picture for five more years.
'Bama is easily the winner of this battle.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
The Crimson Tide and Tigers both have several commitments who can be found on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map!