It was a disappointing recruiting season by Alabama’s ridiculously high standard. Is there reason for Crimson Tide recruiting panic?
Daily Cavalcade of Whimsy
Sorry if this take sucks, it’s not my fault …
I won the national championship again, but I can’t even finish in the top five in the recruiting rankings. Obviously, my football program should just close up shop now.
“Crikey! I’ve lost my mojo!”
Alabama JUST WON THE NATIONAL TITLE.
Not only did Alabama just win the national title, it did it with a seriously young team that did big things in big spots.
The national title-winning walk-off touchdown pass? Freshman Tua Tagovailoa to freshman DeVonta Smith.
The No. 2 receiver last year? Freshman Jerry Jeudy. The No. 3 guy in receiving yards? Freshman Henry Ruggs.
Out of the top eight Alabama players in receiving yards last year, five were underclassmen.
Jalen Hurts was a sophomore. Running backs Najee Harris and Brian Robinson were freshmen, and Josh Jacobs a sophomore.
Years and years of wonderful recruiting, means lots and lots of depth, lots and lots of options, and yet another team that’s going to be No. 1 in the nation going into the season, has a favorable schedule that should ensure at least an 11-1 regular season, and it’s a foregone conclusion that the team is going back to the College Football Playoff for the fifth straight season.
And you’re worried that some recruiting service has Alabama’s class of NFL talent is ranked outside outside of the top five?
IT’S RECRUITING. As long as you’re above the fold in the rankings, you’re more than fine.
I hate to be the one to do this, but who was No. 1 in the Rivals 2015 recruiting class? USC. Who was No. 5? Tennessee.
Tennessee was ranked fifth in 2014 and LSU second. Notre Dame has been hovering around the top ten for the last several years, Michigan loaded up with top five classes, and Florida has been among the clubhouse leaders, and it all amounted to a fat load of jack squat.
Vanderbilt has occasionally been a top 20 team.
Recruiting rankings are simply a snapshot. That’s all. It’s the job of all the recruiting services to rate and evaluate talent, and then it’s the job of the programs and coaching staffs to do something with it all.
Yes, Kirby Smart and Georgia are the big recruiting cheese at the moment, and that matters. Having a great recruiting class doesn’t mean you’re going to win anything, but not having consistently great ones all but ensures that you’re never going to win a national title.
Ask Wisconsin how living the “recruit to a type” life is translating into College Football Playoff wins.
Nick Saban only signed 19 players. That alone is going to all but ensure being knocked out of the top spot according to the formulas of the recruiting rankings – the more players the top teams get, the more good players, and the higher the ranking.
18 of the 19 Alabama recruits were three stars or better, and 15 of them were four stars or higher. That means 79% of the signings were among the elite of the elite.
Only Georgia, Ohio State, and with a perfect 100%, USC, had a higher percentage of signings with four and five stars.
Of course Georgia is even more of a player now with Kirby Smart creating a juggernaut.
Of course USC and Ohio State are always going to bring in the top talent.
But now, it’s as if Alabama is slipping if it doesn’t get every five-star recruit to sign. That’s not a crazy, off-the-wall hot take – after all, Saban is going to be 72 by the time a large portion of this latest class graduates. But for the moment, relax.
Is anyone saying Clemson had a bad recruiting season? No. Notre Dame had a great class, Washington is ecstatic with its haul, and Oklahoma, Florida State and LSU had great seasons.
And they all had lesser classes – at least on the surface – than Alabama.
Now. if Georgia wins the national title this year, then it’s time for Bama panic, because that might be the moment when the SEC and championship world really does make a transition to Athens.
Until then, remember, Alabama barely slipped into the top ten in most 2007 recruiting rankings.
It’ll be okay, Crimson Tide fans.