4 Biggest Questions Alabama Needs to Answer Before 2014 National Signing Day

Sanjay Kirpalani@@SanjayKirpalaniNational Recruiting AnalystDecember 15, 2013

4 Biggest Questions Alabama Needs to Answer Before 2014 National Signing Day

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    Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide are closing in on another top-ranked recruiting class.
    Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide are closing in on another top-ranked recruiting class.John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

    With Alabama preparing to conclude the 2013 season in the Sugar Bowl against No. 11 Oklahoma, the current focus for Nick Saban and his staff has shifted to continuing to build another top-rated recruiting class.

    The Tide currently have 23 commitments and rest comfortably atop the 2014 247Sports class rankings.

    However, there are still several big-time recruits that Alabama is in a strong position to land on national signing day.

    What are some of the biggest questions the Tide need to answer before signing day?

Will Marlon Humphrey Follow in His Father’s Footsteps?

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    One of the biggest needs in the Tide’s 2014 class is at corner.

    That need has intensified recently with former commitments Stephen Roberts and Kalvaraz Bessent flipping to Auburn in the last month.

    However, Birmingham (Hoover HS) 5-star corner Marlon Humphrey is the nation’s best player at his position. He’s also the son of former Tide great and running back Bobby Humphrey.

    Alabama is positioned well to land Humphrey, but Florida State will make the Tide sweat until signing day.

Which Big Fish Currently Leaning Elsewhere Ends Up in Tuscaloosa?

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    Last year, Alabama was able to pull players late who were either leaning elsewhere or committed to other schools, with players such as Jonathan Cook, Dee Liner and A’Shawn Robinson flipping to the Tide just before signing day.

    This year, current Ole Miss pledge and 4-star safety C.J. Hampton is the most likely candidate to flip his commitment to Alabama, with 247sports still ranking his interest in Alabama as "warm."

    Other highly touted players, such as running back Leonard Fournette and corner Tony Brown—both of whom are thought to be leaning to SEC West rival LSU—are worthy of keeping an eye on down the stretch.

    With Saban and the Tide in the hunt for so many elite prospects at this point, it would be a shock if they didn’t pull a kid who is currently committed to or leaning to another school.

Any Current Commitments Wavering?

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    There are precious few spots remaining in Alabama’s class, and several top-flight talents are still considering the Tide.

    On the flip side, there are a few Tide commitments who are taking visits to other schools. While none of them appear to be wavering, anything is possible in recruiting when the door is left open.

    One commitment taking visits is Bradenton, Fla. (IMG Academy) athlete Bo Scarbrough. The 6’2”, 225-pounder has made visits to schools such as Notre Dame, UCLA, Ole Miss and Florida State.

    While he remains committed, Scarbrough’s recruitment is one that will present a little intrigue until he signs in February.

Which Top Targets End Up in Tuscaloosa?

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    Alabama couldn’t finish the job and earn its third straight BCS national title. However, a nice consolation prize could come in February with the Tide in position to earn its fourth consecutive top-ranked recruiting class.

    Alabama is heavily involved with several 5-star standouts such as defensive tackle Matt Elam, linebacker Raekwon McMillan and corner Jalen Tabor.

    All three prospects have the Tide in their final group, and the odds favor at least one of them playing their college football at the Capstone.

    Regardless of which players the Tide are able to add, their haul is sure to be one that adds talent and depth across the board to what is already one of the strongest rosters in the country.