Only a week remains before Round 1 of the 2019 college football signing cycle begins
The second year of the early-signing period begins Dec. 19 and it appears as if Alabama’s in better position to sign a top-ranked class compared to last December. In fact, it’s almost a certainty the Crimson Tide will top all recruiting rankings coming out of next Wednesday’s round of signings.
Now seems as good a time as any to update the status of Alabama’s 2019 recruiting class in the dead period between the SEC title game and bowl practice.
Alabama has the No. 1 class in 247Sports’ composite of recruiting rankings with 304.52 points to No. 2 Georgia’s 287.38.
That’s a considerable jump from the No. 6 ranking Alabama had exiting last season’s first experiment with the December signing day. It finished No. 5
The Crimson Tide has 10 of the top-100 players in the 247Sports composite. Last season’s class finished with four.
Of the 24 verbal commitments, 23 are four- or five-star prospects. The only three-star is kicker Will Reichard of Hoover, the No. 1 player at a position that rarely has anyone better than 3 stars.
Five-star safety Dax Hill of Tulsa became Alabama’s top-rated commit last week when the No. 8 player flipped his pledge from Michigan.
Antonio Alfano, a defensive end from New Jersey, is the only other five-star commit in the 247Sports Composite though tackle Pierce Quick of Hewitt-Trussville is the highest-rated 4-star as the No. 35 overall recruit.
More to come?
As many as four other five-star prospects could opt for Alabama before the recruiting cycle is complete. A list of prospects (with their overall 247Sports composite ranking) who still have the Tide on their list
— No. 2 Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE from Thousand Oaks, California. Alabama is battling Oregon (and former assistant coach Mario Cristobal) along with Florida and Florida State for the top uncommitted recruit. Thibodeaux will announce his pick Saturday.
— No. 5 Trey Sanders, RB from Bradenton, Florida. The top running back in the class will announce his decision on signing day. A survey of 31 recruiting experts on 247Sports.com gives Sanders a 90 percent chance of signing with the Tide. The other 10 percent say Florida.
— No. 9 Ishmael Sopsher, DT from Amite, Louisiana. Alabama’s had success in Amite, the hometown of DeVonta Smith that’s just up the road from Baton Rouge. LSU is also very much in the competition to keep him home. According to 247Sports, he’s not expected to sign until February.
— 14. Nakobe Dean, MLB from Horn Lake, Mississippi. The top uncommitted middle linebacker in the country still has Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss and LSU high on the list but AL.com reported Wednesday he wasn’t giving any hints about favorites. Dean will commit on the Dec. 19 signing day.
— No. 20 Evan Neal, OT from Bradenton, Florida. Like Sanders, Neal is at IMG Academy that has sent several recruits to Alabama in recent years. The 6-foot-7, 360-pound tackle is considered a favorite to pick the Tide, according to 247Sports.
— No. 41 Henry To’oto’o, OLB from Concord, California. The outside linebacker likely to pick Alabama, according to the 247Sports projection.
— It’s still unclear how many players will enroll early, but a few have already made plans to arrive before classes begin in the spring. Quarterback Paul Tyson will be in Tuscaloosa starting Friday while Quick, Thompson offensive lineman Amari Kight and receiver John Metchie of New Jersey are also planning to enroll early.
— Taulia Tagovailoa, younger brother of Tua, also plans to start classes in January, AL.com reported Tuesday. He’s still recovering from a shoulder injury suffered Nov. 23 in the Class 7A semifinal win at Hoover.
— Alabama defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi is the highest-ranked Tide recruiter in the 247Sports rankings. He’s currently No. 7 with 77.85 points and six commits while No. 1 Dell McGee of Georgia has eight pledges and 85.98 points. Lupoi is still heavily involved with several of the battles for the remaining five-star prospects so his ranking could still climb.
— Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, who is heading to Maryland as head coach, is No. 19 in the ranking while Tide receivers coach Josh Gattis is No. 30, Joe Pannunzio is No. 33.