Even with Nick Saban involved, all good things must come to an end.
Beginning with the 2011 cycle, Alabama has pulled in the top-ranked recruiting class according to 247Sports.com’s composite team rankings each and every one of those years. With National Signing Day, Part 2, on tap Wednesday, that streak of seven straight recruiting crowns is very likely coming to an end.
Entering today, ‘Bama sits at sixth nationally (275.92 points) in the team rankings, behind the likes of No. 1 Ohio State (311.6), No. 2 Georgia (309.23), No. 3 Texas (298.17), No. 4 Penn State (280.44) and No. 5 Miami (279.13). Rivals.com has them at ninth, while ESPN.com places them in the No. 4 hole.
The last time the Crimson Tide didn’t finish with the top-ranked class, they were fourth in 2010; the worst finish under Saban came in his first year in Tuscaloosa (2007, No. 12). UA also pulled in the No. 3 classes in 2008 and 2009.
All is not lost for Saban & Company in 2018, though. Maybe — especially if more four-stars decommit like one did overnight.
After the first-ever early signing period this past December, four five-star prospects remain unsigned. Three of those four — cornerbacks Patrick Surtain Jr. (No. 6 on 247Sports.com‘s composite board) and Tyson Campbell (No. 12) as well as offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere (No. 7) — have Alabama as finalists. According to most recruitniks, however, Surtain and Campbell landing anywhere other than LSU and Georgia, respectively, would be more than a mild upset.
The top unsigned quarterback in this class, Corona Calif., high schooler Tanner McKee (No. 46), also has Alabama in his group of five finalists, which also includes Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M and Washington. The Cardinal is viewed as the front-runner for a player who whichever team he signs with will have to wait on as McKee will serve a two-year LDS mission before enrolling in college.
A trio of four-star wide receivers, Jaylen Waddle (No. 39, No. 5 receiver) Justyn Ross (No. 45, No. 7) and Jacob Copeland (No. 69, No. 12), are also possibilities for the Tide, as is four-star defensive lineman Malik Langham (No. 315, No. 14 strongside defensive end).
All told, there are 29 four-star recruits who remain unsigned, so the team recruiting rankings outside of Alabama will certainly change throughout the course of the day. One thing, though, is a near-certainty — Alabama’s reign as the Kings of Crootin’ will surely (for now) to come to an end.
Guess they’ll just have to take solace in getting sized for yet another national championship ring. Poor fellers.