For a program accustomed to leading the recruiting rankings and setting records year after year for average class strength, the 2020 class for Alabama was about as ho-hum as top-three/top-four classes can get (TideFans.com/NARCAS ranked Alabama's class in a tie for third with Ohio State, behind No. 2 Clemson and No. 1 Georgia).
Alabama's setback in the national championship game did not carry over to its 2019 recruiting class. Signing 27 players between the early and late signing periods, Alabama claimed the top spot in the 2019 TideFans.com/NARCAS recruiting rankings, narrowly edging out Georgia in the process.
Among the questions that arose immediately following Alabama's win over Georgia in the College Football Playoff was one of longevity – both in regards to Alabama's already-extended position at the top of the sport, and also in regards to Nick Saban's remaining career. If early returns on the 2018-2019 recruiting trail are any indication, both paths have a lot of miles remaining on them.
The Bulldogs probably signed the best recruiting class, top to bottom, in modern college football history, eclipsing the class Alabama brought together a year earlier.
A year after signing what was at the time, the best class in Alabama history on paper – a heralding that backed itself up on the field once the fall came – Alabama couldn’t repeat its past glories, and ended up signing the lowest-ranked class since Nick Saban’s first class at Alabama in 2007.
By Jess Nicholas TideFans.com Editor-In-Chief Dec. 22, 2017 With the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision adding an early signing period for prospects beginning this fall, the question was...
Since Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s already undisputed place atop the SEC landscape has only grown in altitude. Saban, who had won a national title at LSU prior to taking the Alabama job, has won four more national titles since 2007. Had Alabama knocked off Clemson in January, Saban would have tied Paul “Bear” Bryant for total number of titles, but would have done it at a substantially quicker pace. Many already believe Saban has supplanted Bryant as the best college coach that ever was; a win over Clemson would have galvanized those opinions.
Over the last seven years, TideFans.com has taken a look back at old recruiting rankings, partially as a self-check, but also to see how players had progressed since arriving on campus.
Sometimes, a headline says it all without the need for additional commentary: On paper, Alabama signed the highest-rated class since TideFans.com/NARCAS started tracking classes 20 years ago. The 2012 and 2015 classes both recorded average scores of 9.86, setting a bar few people thought even Nick Saban could break. But the 2017 class did just that, finishing with an average score of 9.9 (9.904, to be precise) among 25 prospects signed (TideFans.com/NARCAS does not rate specialists, so LS Thomas Fletcher was not included in the class score).
Alabama Analysis: For maybe the first time ever, the conference leader didn’t get “excellent” ratings in both Total Talent Level and Needs Filled. Alabama struck out in cornerback recruiting, a sin serious enough to draw a mention from Nick Saban himself in post-Signing Day press conferences.