Alabama football has the number one recruiting class for 2019. Alabama football head coach Nick Saban is making a compelling case for the best recruiting class ever.
College football cannot prepare for what is happening in Tuscaloosa. Alabama football isn’t going anywhere. The “king is dead” chants can stop. Saban has 13 of ESPN 300 players committed for 2019. Unfortunately for other head coaches, 11 slots still are not filled. The Tide is gaining steam like a runaway locomotive.
On Monday, the Tide picked up another commitment from Top 100 safety DeMarcco Hellams of Hyattsville, MD.
Since 2008, 48.3% of the five stars who played for Alabama have been drafted in the first round. The rest of college football is 17%. The difference alone is staggering. This statistic shows the player development program that Alabama runs compared to the rest of the nation.
Since Saban arrived, 77 Alabama players have been drafted. LSU is second with 72, followed by USC with 66. Saban has produced 26 first round draft picks which is 15 better than LSU and ten more than Ohio State. Twelve players drafted this past April set an Alabama and SEC record.
The iconic Saban even has produced 30, consensus All Americans during his eleven years at the Capstone. Oklahoma has 14 and Florida State is third with 12. Every school on the list below has had their head coach replaced except Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State during Saban’s eleven years.
Why not Alabama?
After Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs finished the 2018 recruiting season with the number one class in the country, the nation thought the beginning of the end had arrived for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama finished sixth, Saban’s lowest-ranked recruiting class since 2007. The Tide were able to fill crucial needs especially with the losses of six key players in the defensive secondary.
The major coup for the 2018 class was the signing of a former NFL All-Pro cornerback’s son, Patrick Surtain Jr. Ed Orgeron and LSU were confident he would suit up for the Tigers. The lure of playing in a great NFL development program swayed him to the Tide.
Saban does not care about stars in front of the name of a recruit. He makes sure that he does his homework. The system that he learned under Belichick and the Cleveland Browns has benefited him nicely.
Winning is fun, isn’t it?
Why were fewer 2018 recruits no longer interested in Alabama football? Mind you; the Tide were the national champions. Teams were negatively recruiting against the Tide, placing bugs in the recruit’s ears that Saban did not have much time left coaching college football.
Another criticism is that the Tide is too businesslike and never has any fun. The same allegation was used against the New England Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick by now San Francisco 49er Cassius Marsh. He said there was nothing “fun” or “happy” in playing with the Patriots. The two head coaches have set very high standards for all their players. If you desire to have fun and lose, go ahead and play elsewhere.
Some top recruits viewed an upstart like Georgia as the ultimate destination to replace Alabama as the best team in the country. Pump your brakes. The Bulldogs had a sensational season and was second down and 26 yards away from the national title. Consistency is the key, and this year Georgia will not sneak up on anyone.
Adapt and Overcome
Not having a strong social media presence was another complaint used against Alabama. All world strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran joined Twitter and has displayed a strong presence. The opportunity to see him motivate the Tide players during workouts is must-see TV.
Wide receiver coach Josh Gattis is a fixture on social media either using quotes from Michael Jordan, breaking down the wide receiver position or gloating about another recruit that just committed to Alabama. Offensive line coach Brent Key has stepped up his game on Twitter as well.
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram now present a strong Alabama social media presence on its platform.
Fans looked forward to episodes of Bama Cuts with former Alabama players and current stars talking about cutting their teeth in Tuscaloosa. Whether it was Julio talking about how many 100s they had to run or seeing Tony Brown enter the barber shop with six cups in his hand, it was entertaining. The show allowed fans to look at the players off the field. Saban even made a few guest appearances.
LeBron James entered into the fray mentioning copyright infringement of his “idea” of talking sports in a barbershop. If Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes adopted this idea, I am pretty positive King James would have remained quiet. For the King to mention Bama Cuts, it gave the Tide show even more viewers.
Not Going Anywhere
Alabama football enters the season as heavy favorites to win the College Football Playoff Championship trophy again. It does not matter if Tua or Jalen are receiving the snaps from center Ross Pierschbacher.
The Tide are recruiting favorites again in 2019 and this Alabama class could surpass the culture-turning class of 2008.
Nick Saban is dropping jumpers on ESPN personality Marty Smith in his afternoon basketball game. He is probably laughing when he hears that the dynasty is over. To Nick, it is just beginning. He has six reasons not to be worried at all. Everybody else can just keep hating!