Class of 2009: Alabama Crimson Tide No. 1 Again?

Gary LloydSenior Analyst IMay 4, 2008

The incoming Crimson Tide freshmen make up what was the top class of 2008.

Wide receiver Julio Jones is the headliner. Jerrell Harris (linebacker), Burton Scott (athlete), and a few others should have an immediate impact on the program in 2008.

Despite these players from the 2008 class becoming stars in the next few years, their positions will not be easily secured.

The class of 2009 has a host of talent from the top of the rankings to the bottom. Young talent will fill depth charts across the country, especially at Alabama with Nick Saban playing the role of master recruiter.

Alabama already has four verbal commitments for 2009.

D.J. Fluker, a four-star defensive tackle playing at Foley (Ala.) High School, committed to Alabama in November 2007. Fluker is just a mammoth human being, and might be converted to an offensive lineman.

Kellen Williams and Darius McKeller, offensive linemen from Georgia, committed to the Tide in April 2008.

Alabama's most recent commitment, four-star quarterback A.J. McCarron, from Mobile, is very accurate and a sharp signal-caller.

Here is a rundown of some of the top uncommitted players from the class of 2009 that Alabama has a legitimate shot at signing.

Rueben Randle is one of the top-ranked wide receivers in the nation, and has the Tide on his short list.   

Dre Kirkpatrick, one of the top cornerback prospects in America, was a high school teammate of Alabama signee Jerrell Harris at Gadsden City (Ala.). Most seem to think he's an Alabama lock. We'll see in the coming months.

Another top receiver, Marlon Brown, ranks the Tide high among other high-profile schools.

From Louisiana, defensive tackle Chris Davenport recently trimmed his favorites list to a few schools. Though LSU is probably the favorite, Alabama is in the mix.

Morgan Moses, an enormous offensive lineman from West Virginia, has Alabama as one of his favorite schools. 

Nico Johnson and Tana Patrick, two of the top linebacker prospects in America (both from Alabama), are thought to be Bama locks, though they have not yet committed.

I could continue reeling off name after name of top recruits that like the transformation taking place in Tuscaloosa, but that would get old. You get the picture. Nick Saban is an awesome recruiter. It's that simple.

Back-to-back top-ranked recruiting classes would be amazing because of the parity in college football today, but I ultimately don't see it happening.

My prediction is that Southern California will have the top class in 2009. The Trojans already have verbal agreements from 10 players, four of which are five-star prospects (including quarterback Matt Barkley, the No. 1 overall prospect from the 2009 class).

Anything can happen, though. I didn't expect Alabama to sign 32 players this year, but it happened. I don't expect the Tide to sign all the players I mentioned above, but it could happen.

The Tide is slowly rising to the upper echelon of college football again, and I'm not going to bet against Nick Saban.