Category: Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama defensive back Cyrus Jones (5) is mobbed by teammates after intercepting a pass in the end zone during the first half against Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl NCAA college football semifinal playoff game, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News via AP

Alabama reportedly fills defensive assistant vacancy with Derrick Ansley

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When Alabama lost defensive coordinator Kirby Smart to a head coaching position at Georgia, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban stressed his program always manages to find good coaches to fill spots left by coaches going to accept other positions. Needing to fill out its staff following the latest changes in the coaching carousel, Alabama looks to have filled a defensive assistant role with the addition of Derrick Ansley.

According to a report Sunday morning from TideSports.com (a Rivals affiliate covering Alabama), Ansley will join the coaching staff at Alabama after serving as a co-defensive coordinator for Kentucky. While in Lexington, Ansley coached the secondary for the Wildcats. It is reported he is expected to fill the same role with Alabama under new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. Ansley previously coached under Saban as a graduate assistant in 2010 and 2011 before moving to Tennessee for one season. He joined the Kentucky staff in 2013. At Alabama, Ansley will fill the vacancy left by Mel Tucker, who moved to Georgia with Smart. Tucker was Alabama’s secondary coach as well.

Alabama lands nation’s top class for seventh time in nine years

TUSCALOOSA, AL - APRIL 19:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide watches action during the Alabama A-Day spring game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on April 19, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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Nick Saban needs no help in the recruiting space. But give him a fresh national title to sell — because, you know, the other three were getting stale — and, brother, look out.

Alabama landed the nation’s top class yet again, as pronounced by Rivals.com. It’s the Tide’s seventh recruiting title in 10 years.

“They didn’t get everybody they wanted, which people think Alabama always does, but they closed very strong,” Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell said in a statement.

Saban confirmed his plight on Wednesday afternoon.

Alabama closed its 2016 class with 24 signees — including five five-stars (no one else signed as many as four) and 10 four-stars. Their star average was a national-best 3.83.

“We expected that to happen. We knew those in-state linebackers were going to go, we had the assumption they’d be able to get Terrell Hall, although Maryland gave them a good fight on that one.

“Add those guys to players they got these last few days like Nigel Knott, they got Jared Mayden on Signing Day, Shyheim Carter as expected. I wasn’t really surprised by anything. The amazing thing about Alabama is they’re still No. 1 and they whiffed on some guys they really wanted like A.J. Brown and Jeffery Simmons.

“Even when ‘Bama strikes out, they’re still able to put together the best class in the country and there is really no argument because the star rankings bear it out as well. Their average star ranking is No. 1, their class is No. 1 and that’s the barometer to use.”

Farrell says — and, really, he’s stating the obvious here — Alabama’s recruiting championships have informed their actual championships.

“Four of seven national championships and seven of nine team recruiting titles perfectly fits together,” Farrell said.

“People think being No. 1 doesn’t matter. They should go back and look at Texas in 2002, LSU in 2003, USC, Florida, the Alabama dynasty. Recruiting team rankings equal national championships, bottom line.”

 

Nick Saban on recruiting: You don’t get everything you want all the time

Alabama football coach Nick Saban talks with the media, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/AL.com, Vasha Hunt)
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… but when you are Alabama you do most of the time.

You have to really feel bad for Alabama head coach Nick Saban. With multiple national championships, multiple recruiting national championships and the highest-paying contract among college football coaches, Saban says you don’t always get what you want.

During a press conference Wednesday afternoon as Alabama’s latest masterpiece recruiting class was just settling in, Saban said “You don’t get everything you want all the time,” referring to potential recruits that ended up elsewhere. Despite missing on a recruit or two, Alabama still was on track to land the top-ranked recruiting class, which has become the norm for Saban in Tuscaloosa.

You don’t know what kind of class you have until these guys develop,” Saban said. “It’s everybody’s “guesstimate” right now.”

Well, the good news for Saban is Alabama has been one of the best at developing talent, routinely helping its top incoming talent eventually reach its potential before sending it off to the National Football League. It is expected Alabama’s latest haul will turn out just fine in the next couple of years.

Saban’s statements will surely rub some people the wrong way, but there is some truth in what he said, even at Alabama. In recruiting, even programs like Alabama are going to have scholarship offers that are not accepted in favor of an opportunity at another program. With that being the case, of course Saban and Alabama will lose a couple of recruits they would love to have join the program. Fortunately for Alabama, Saban has built a strong enough force that Alabama can still manage to pull in top-tier talent to plug the holes anyway. And if Alabama happens to miss out on a spot one year, the next recruiting class will certainly fill the void.

FSU pushes past Ohio State as surging Bama closes

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher reacts to a play against the Oregon Ducks during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2015 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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It ain’t over until it’s over, a mantra Alabama is hoping to prove by day’s end.

When National Signing Day 2016 began, Ohio State held an 88-point lead on No. 2 LSU and a nearly 300-point lead on No. 3 Florida State in the Rivals.com team recruiting rankings.  With more than half of NSD in the books, FSU had not only caught OSU, but the Seminoles had put a seemingly comfortable margin between themselves and the Buckeyes.  And the rest of the field for that matter.

At around 2 p.m. ET, and after a hugely successful start to the day, FSU sat atop Rivals‘ rankings with 2,816 points, 112 points ahead of an OSU class that was essentially signed, sealed and delivered before lunch — they picked up commitments today from a three- and four-star in an uneventful day, in a good way, for Urban Meyer.  At the same time, surging Alabama, which began the day No. 12, had climbed to No. 3.

Shortly thereafter, however, five-star linebacker Lyndell Wilson announced his commitment to Alabama over Georgia, pushing the Tide past the Buckeyes and within striking distance of the Seminoles. UA remains in the running for at least five more prospects who will make their decisions over the next five or six hours, meaning that the 66-point edge the Seminoles currently hold on the Tide could potentially be erased as FSU’s class is essentially complete.

Thus far today, the Tide has picked up commitments from a pair of five-, four- and three-star recruits each.  FSU’s commitment haul Wednesday consists of five four-stars and a three-star.

Alabama has claimed the Rivals recruiting crown six times the past eight years, and is looking to regain its title after being stripped by USC last cycle.

Rivals Rankings

UPDATED 3:23 p.m. ET: As of this upate, Alabama has moved past Florida State and into the top spot as the Tide has taken a 69-point lead on the Seminoles.

Miss. St. lands five-star DE Jeffery Simmons over Bama, Ole Miss

Jeffery Simmons
Rivals.com
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Alabama began National Signing Day with the No. 12 recruiting class in the country, and has since climbed to No. 3 with a handful of key commitments.  Ole Miss had climbed to No. 2 at one point before settling in at its current No. 4.

Mississippi State?  A fairly nondescript day… until now in a much-needed development for the football program.

In what some recruitniks consider more than a mild surprise — or even borderline shocking — Jeffery Simmons revealed during his announcement ceremony that he will play for Dan Mullen at MSU in 2016.  Simmons is a five-star defensive end rated as the No. 1 strongside defensive end in the country.

More importantly, perhaps, for the Bulldogs is that Simmons is the No. 1-rated player at any position in the state of Mississippi, and the Rebels had been one of his three finalists.  Not only that, but the Rebels were considered the frontrunners by most observers.

The other finalist, of course, was Nick Saban‘s Tide.