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LSU vs. Alabama: Which Rival Will Finish with Better 2014 Recruiting Class?

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LSU vs. Alabama: Which Rival Will Finish with Better 2014 Recruiting Class?
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Each year, when national signing day passes and recruiting classes are finalized, the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers finish somewhere near the top of the class rankings.

That will be the case yet again this year, as the two SEC rivals have already combined for eight 5-star commits—and more are likely to come Wednesday on national signing day.

But when all is finished, will Nick Saban or Les Miles come out with the better overall class?

Scroll on to see a full breakdown of the 'Bama and LSU classes and the verdict on which coach will be smiling wider on signing day.

 

Note: All player and team rankings based on the 247Sports Composite ratings, unless otherwise noted. All rankings pre-signing day.

 

Which team has the better 2014 class?

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Alabama 2014 Class

Class rank: National: 1, SEC: 1

Commits: 26

5-stars: 5

4-stars: 15

Once again, it looks as if Alabama will have the No. 1-ranked recruiting class in the country. The Crimson Tide have pulled in several 5-star recruits and are vying for more on national signing day. 

As usual, 'Bama has a blue-chip for pretty much every position, starting with 4-star quarterback David Cornwell, who is enrolled early and will compete for the starting job right away.

To protect him, the Tide have the nation's top offensive lineman, 5-star Cameron Robinson, along with four 4-stars on the offensive front. The only area where this class is lacking is at the offensive skill positions. The Tide will bring in 5-star athlete Bo Scarbrough and 4-star receiver Cameron Sims but little outside of that duo.

Defensively, the class is highlighted by three 5-stars: defensive end Da'Shawn Hand and corners Tony Brown and Marlon Humphrey.

The Tide can field almost an entire 22-man team with a 4- or 5-star at every position.

 

Remaining Targets

After the recent commitment of Humphrey, the main target remaining for Alabama is 5-star linebacker Rashaan Evans.

The Tide have been making a strong push for Evans late in the process, and he'll announce on national signing day, choosing between 'Bama, Auburn and UCLA. Evans is the top linebacker in the country and the second-highest-rated uncommitted prospect.

Alabama is also targeting Miami (Fla.) 5-star defensive end commit Chad Thomas. It isn't likely that the Tide will be able to pull the Miami native off his commitment from the Hurricanes, but with UA's track record, it isn't out of the question.

 

LSU 2014 Class

Class rank: National: 4, SEC: 3

Commits: 19

5-stars: 3

4-stars: 11

While Alabama's class is No. 1 in the nation, LSU's class is highlighted by the No. 1 player in the nation: 5-star running back Leonard Fournette. With several departures at the running back position, Fournette might start (and star) in the Tigers' backfield immediately.

Quarterback Brandon Harris will be in competition for a starting job as well. A 4-star and the No. 3 dual-threat QB, Harris is already enrolled and vying to replace Zach Mettenberger.

On the other side of the ball, a 4-star safety Edward Paris is also enrolled early and will be joined by several other talented defenders, namely 5-star outside linebacker Clifton Garrett and 5-star safety Jamal Adams.

The class is a bit on the small side right now, but it brings in talent at every position, including two 4-star offensive linemen, two 4-stars on the defensive line and several touted skill players, with perhaps more still to come.

 

Remaining Targets

The biggest fish remaining for LSU is 5-star receiver Malachi Dupre. After missing out on 5-star New Orleans native Speedy Noil, reeling in Dupre became that much more vital for the Tigers, who must replace star receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. 

While Dupre is at the top of the board, several others remain below him, including 4-star defensive tackle Travonte Valentine, 4-star linebacker Kenny Young and a few 3-stars.

Additionally, the Tigers could flip a number of prospects verbally committed to other programs, namely 4-star linebacker and Ole Miss commit Breeland Speaks.

 

Verdict

Both Alabama and LSU have outstanding classes.

However, even with top recruit Fournette on board, the Tigers are just behind the Crimson Tide.

The Tide hold a comfortable lead in the 247Sports Composite rankings. Before signing day, their class comes in at 315.2 points, while no other team even has 300. The Tigers stand at 279.2. Their signing day best-case scenario, figured through 247Sports' class calculator, would put them just over that 300 mark, but it would still leave them shy of the Tide.

That doesn't take away from LSU's class—it will be one of the best in the nation. However, with the possibility of ending up with six or seven 5-stars, 'Bama won't be beat.

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