Nick Saban's 2014 recruiting class is almost full, but there are still a handful of the nation's top prospects Alabama will have a shot to add by national signing day.
With just two weeks left until national signing day, Alabama sits in prime position to land its fourth consecutive top-rated recruiting class.
As many as five players with a 5-star ranking from 247Sports are among the talents still heavily considering the Tide.
Which are the most important players to keep an eye on until the ink dries on their letters of intent?
*All recruiting info courtesy of 247Sports.
Saban and Kirby Smart have already assembled a strong and versatile group of defensive linemen. However, similar to the situation with Rashaan Evans, defensive tackle Matt Elam remains a priority for the Tide heading down the stretch.
Elam is a perfect fit at nose guard in the Tide’s 3-4 scheme, but he’s athletic and versatile enough to play in a 4-3 scheme despite his 6’5”, 372-pound frame.
The Tide will have to battle home-standing Kentucky for Elam’s signature, and in what has been a nip-and-tuck battle throughout, this race appears to be too close to call with signing day rapidly approaching.
With standouts such as Shaun Hamilton, Keith Holcombe, Ronnie Clark (who could also play safety) and Christian Miller currently committed, Alabama already has a strong group of linebackers bound for Tuscaloosa.
However, in-state 5-star product Rashaan Evans is a player who may be too talented to pass up. The Auburn (Ala.) standout has the Tide among his final three choices, with Auburn and UCLA still in the mix to land Evans on signing day.
The crystal ball page for Evans shows that the hometown Tigers hold a commanding edge for the 6’3”, 220-pounder, who racked up 17.5 sacks as a senior.
With the recent decommitment of Zach Whitley to UCLA, snaring Evans would go a long way toward filling the void created by Whitley’s departure.
After falling short in landing dynamic receiver prospects such as Johnnie Dixon and Travis Rudolph, the Tide are still trying to land one of the nation’s most electric playmakers in 5-star wideout Malachi Dupre.
The 6’2.5”, 187-pound Louisiana product is considered a lean to LSU. However, he’s scheduled to make an official visit to Tuscaloosa on Jan. 20.
At this late stage, Dupre appears to be a long shot to leave the state. However, with standout pass-catchers Derek Kief and Cameron Sims already in the fold, Dupre represents a luxury recruit whom Saban and new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will aggressively pursue until signing day.
The biggest fish left on Alabama’s recruiting board is a name all too familiar to Tide supporters.
Hoover (Ala.) cornerback Marlon Humphrey, a 5-star product who is rated as the nation’s top corner according to 247Sports, is the son of former Tide All-American running back Bobby Humphrey.
Given the younger Humphrey’s roots and the Tide’s needs at corner in this cycle, it would be devastating if his letter of intent ended up anywhere other than Tuscaloosa on Feb. 5.
Florida State represents the biggest threat to lure Humphrey, who also plans to run track in college, away from his home state. As Jeff Sentell of AL.com notes, even with the recent departure of defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to Georgia, the ‘Noles are still a legitimate contender for the nation’s top corner.
However, given that Pruitt was Humphrey’s recruiter of record at FSU, according to his 247Sports profile, his absence in Tallahassee puts Saban and Kirby Smart in a strong position to close the deal on a Tide legacy and the top talent available at a position of need.