Is this Nick Saban’s best class since he has been at Alabama? Per the 'experts,' it is.
I think the proof comes much later down the road. However, this class will prove that Alabama will be in playoff contention for at least four more years.
We always talk about meeting needs. Did this class meet those needs? I will answer that with a resounding, YES!
Everyone mentioned defensive line as an area of significant need. Losing Allen, Tomlinson, and Williams will be impossible to replace. The hardest thing to replace is experience. The talent is on campus…..and is continuing to arrive. While many wanted more, this DL class filled exactly what we needed. An instant contributor in Buggs. A true DT in Mathis who reminds me of Tomlinson. Another Johnathan Allen type in Ray. Ray was the true gem on the DL in this entire recruiting class, IMO, not Solomon. People will be pleasantly surprised by the DL next season-- heck, most missed how many snaps the 2s played in the Clemson game….did you notice a drop off? (they shouldve played more). Not to mention how well Davis looked after missing 4 weeks of any team related activity and the praise heaped on Quinnen Williams, who redshirted. Next year should be a deeper, more talented DL class and we will add probably 4 more.
The fact that the staff turned down DBs in Harris and Henderson should tell you how they feel about what is on campus, in addition to what we have in McDonald-- who to me is the most underrated kid in the class. McKinney and Wright are Star/Safety position guys.
LBs, LBs, LBs. With Wilson, Hamilton, Davis, Evans, Holcombe, etc on campus, we might not see our new signees on the field at the Mike or Will. However, I could see a guy like Moses or Allen or Benton or Cowan rush the passer and definitely play on special teams. The fact that the staff got a guy like Parks to agree to greyshirt is incredible...which may play to his advantage with the Jacks on campus and another year in between them.
I love this OL class. Like, love love it. Wills will be a terror at guard or RT, IMO. Bulldozer. Leatherwood looks like he should be a college starter already. Baker will instantly be in the two deep and maybe our next RT if we slide Williams over to LT. Randolph adds needed depth to the interior. While it looks like Brannon may come on scholarship later, I guarantee he will start at center sometime down the line.
Recall Trent Richardson’s recruitment. Mouth watering size. Hard to tackle. Nimble for someone that big. That’s Najee Harris in a taller frame. Special. And oh yeah, there’s another back from the hometown that in any other year would be celebrated as a huge get in Robinson. Reminds me of 2016 version of Nick Chubb.
WRs. Holy cow. Speed speed speed in Ruggs, Smith and Jeudy. Size in Shavers, who is extremely overlooked and underrated. I expect huge things from him. Ruggs has an unlimited ceiling because of his relatively low football experience. Let’s put it this way: For all the hype Nico Collins got in Alabama. We had four guys rated higher on our board, and signed all four.
The TE position. After Forristall’s surprise year, we added James and Tennison (who automatically gets on the All-Name team). I like to see this because it should mean a continued usage (I hesitate to say focus) on the position.
QB. Tua. Mac. Love that both will be able to go through spring because you are looking at the backups for 2017. Mac gets overlooked be he has a great touch, but needs to get in the weight room. Tua has received all sorts of praise because he is athletic, but also shows promise with his arm. I will reserve calling him able to compete with Hurts day one, but some people think he has the stuff.
Special Teams. We signed Mazza’s replacement and Fletcher has big shoes to fill. Tinker and Mazza maybe had one poor snap….EVER? Bulovas, whenever he officially joins the team, will be in line for kicks, though I believe Papa will cover short kicks and JK Scott long ones in 2017.
The distance between Bama, and let's say, Awbun at 9th is staggering. It's not close.
UGA did well. I like the look of the class, depth up the middle and picked up some nice skill on the outside. Kirby did learn a thing or two.
LSU had a nice class. Added some depth to the interior OL and some more solid DBs. But, is the QB worth a hoot? It looks like a microcosm of their current roster.
If you take away Stidham and the 5 star OT, Awbun's class isn't that great. Though I do like that in-state LB whose name escapes me.
Clemson signed 14 players. 14. 14? They have only signed 78 over the last four years. I know, I know they just beat us with a great team....but, that is poor roster management, IMHO.
Ole Miss. bahahahaha
UF had a great day to go from upper 20s to 10 during the day. However, UF should be top 5 every year. FSU had a nice class, coming in at 6th.
UT is sandwiched in between Clemson and Maryland......yes, Maryland. If the end has four stages, Butch is in stage 3.