Everyone and their mother knows Nick Saban and the University of Alabama annually bring in the nation’s top recruits. Since 2011, the Crimson Tide have had every number one class, an unprecedented streak that will likely never be beaten.
At this point in the 2018 cycle, the Tide’s class is only ranked at 23. Bama has 11 commits, half of which are certainly destined to become All-Americans, but Saban has also missed out on some big-time recruits.
Part of this is because of the amount of assistant coaches that have come and gone so recently. Since 2015, Kirby Smart, Steve Sarkisian, Lane Kiffin, Mario Cristobal, Billy Napier, Bo Davis, Mel Tucker and Bobby Williams have all either left the school or been assigned to other roles.
When recruits commit, most of the time it is because of the relationship they have with a certain coach. If there is no solidity in that coach’s job, there is not much reason for the recruit to go to said school.
Of the 5-star recruits still uncommitted, there is not one that we would be shocked if they went somewhere else than Alabama. KJ Henry, Patrick Surtain, Jr., and Micah Parsons are all top-ten recruits who are favored to head to other power houses. Xavier Thomas and Trevor Lawrence were also two huge targets for Alabama, and both of them will be heading to Clemson this winter.
Another reason the Tide aren’t doing too swift is the lack of spots in this year’s class. Saban was forced to offer a punter because it’s JK Scott’s final year. Hunter Brannon, Joseph Bulovas and Jarez Parks did not sign a letter of intent in 2017 and will count against the class of 2018’s numbers. As a result, Alabama hasn’t really been pushing kids to commit early because of the lack of spots.
By the end of the season, I’m sure Nick Saban and crew will have a top-five recruiting class. However, I do not believe they will finish the cycle with the best class. The streak will be broken, yet Alabama most likely won’t skip a beat when it comes to play on the field.