It appears very likely the 2018 cycle will indeed be but a hiccup for the recruiting machine that is the Alabama Crimson Tide.
From 2011-17, Nick Saban pulled in the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class to Tuscaloosa. Last year, however, Georgia and former UA defensive coordinator Kirby Smart knocked Saban off his recruiting perch and claimed the top class in 2018.
As we head into the second Early National Signing Day, Alabama once again sits atop 247Sports.com‘s team rankings with 304.52 points (24 commits, including two five-stars and 21 four-stars). The Tide is also poised to add to their recruiting riches as they are in play for five uncommitted five-star prospects:
- Florida running back Trey Sanders — No. 5 on 247Sports.com‘s composite board
- Louisiana defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher — No. 9 on 247Sports.com‘s composite board
- West Virginia offensive tackle Darnell Wright — No. 10 on 247Sports.com‘s composite board
- Mississippi linebacker Nakobe Dean — No. 14 on 247Sports.com‘s composite board
- Florida offensive tackle Evan Neal — No. 20 on 247Sports.com‘s composite board
Of the five, though, Alabama is only currently projected to corral two of them (Sanders, Neal). LSU is in line to land Sopsher (per 247 crystal ball projections), who is expected to wait until the February signing period to put pen to paper, while Tennessee is an overwhelming favorite for Wright. Dean is viewed to be a near tossup between UA and Georgia, with a slight lean toward UGA but also with other SEC schools (Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss) in the mix.
After Alabama, the rest of the current Top 10 consists of, in order from Nos. 2-10, Georgia (287.38), Texas A&M (282.55), LSU (274.12), Oregon (272.07), Clemson (269.57), Texas (268.18), Oklahoma (263.03), Michigan (262.36) and Ohio State (255.99).
Those last two rivals, incidentally, could make a big early splash as both are in the mix for the top uncommitted 2019 prospect, Ohio defensive end Zach Harrison (No. 4 on 247′s composite board). While Penn State is also a finalist, the home-state Buckeyes are the projected front-runners for Harrison, who will tweet his school of choice around 12:30 ET this afternoon.
And that’s it. A tweet. No dog-and-pony show, no elaborate signing ceremony. Just a tweet to announce where he will spend at least the next three years. Refreshing.