What a strange new world that we live in that National Signing Day is one day away and Alabama has seemingly moved on from the 2023 class back in December. During the Early Signing Period, the Tide signed 28 players with all but four of them already attending classes at the Capstone. Bama has basically locked in the No. 1 recruiting class for this cycle even if they stand pat.
But one big question still remains: Is Alabama done?
The easy/lazy answer is: Probably done but don’t be surprised if something pops up at the last minute.
The longer more convoluted answer is that it does not appear that Nick Saban is still recruiting any Class of 2023 prospects nor has he been for awhile. Note that there are not too many unsigned or uncommitted players even left to sign. There is always the outside chance that Bama picks up a last minute diamond in the rough like Saban did with tight end Miles Kitselman last May.
Few uncommitted players are still on the board but none of them appear to be heading towards a continued education in the Yellowhammer State this fall.
- 5-star TE Duce Robinson (Phoenix, AZ) flirted with the Crimson Tide for a minute including an October OV. But he seems a little too Hollywood for Alabama. He’ll choose between Southern Cal and Georgia.
PREDICTION: Shiny objects at UGA.
- 5-star ATH Nyckoles Harbor (Washington, DC) plays both edge rusher and tight end. Problem is, he is only 225 lbs. For either position, he probably needs to put on a little weight. Alabama showed some interest this time a year ago, but something happened to turn them off and they backed off in the spring. Oregon, South Carolina, Maryland and Michigan.
PREDICTION: He is a world class runner who has a real shot at running in the Olympics. I think he swoons over the Oregon/Nike connection, even though these sort of two-sport pipe dreams never work out.
- Top 100 4-star QB Jaden Rashada (Pittsburg, CA) – You probably heard about this guy decommitting from Florida because they could not come up with the money he wanted. Yeah. That’s the kinda guy you want leading your ream. Pass.
PREDICTION: Miami’s drug lord money.
- 5-star CB Cormani McClain (Lakeland, FL), who recently dropped to a 4-star by On3.com, decommitted from Miami, causing Bama to put the recruiting machine into fifth gear. ICYMI, Nick Saban allegedly made some comments this past weekend about how “someone with one of the best corners in the nation (in high school) came to me and asked if we’d pay them $800,000 for the player to sign here. I told him he can find another place to play.” The consensus belief is that McClain was the recruit. Instead of playing for championships, he chose to follow the bright sparkly things, dollar bills, and the empty promises of Colorado. The Buffaloes will be lucky to win 4 games in 2023. ENJOY!
Saban has moved on, so we probably should too. This past Saturday was the second of two January “Junior Days” at Alabama, which is a get together of rising seniors and even a few rising juniors and sophomores. This event is the first step in getting to know prospects. If a guy wants to play at Alabama, he’d better hope to get invited to one of these and he better skip his dumb insignificant basketball game or his school dance with Mary Ellen Loudermilk and show up in Tuscaloosa.
Andrew Bone of on3.com lists the following recruits as the top targets following Junior Day, Part Deux:
- OT Daniel Calhoun (Roswell, GA) 4-star #55 overall 247sports composite
- S Corian Gipson (Lancaster, TX) 4-star #88
- CB Zabien Brown (Santa Ana, CA) 4-star #138
- DE Kamaron Beavers (Bay Springs, MS, population 1,670) not yet ranked
“They might’ve beat us 44-13 but this is Miami” kids don’t commit to bama for the night life my guy might wanna change your recruiting pitch pic.twitter.com/LUbsPBQJ4P
— Ethan (@TySimpsonSzn) January 30, 2023
- QB Julian Sayin (Carlsbad, CA) 5-star #15 overall 247sports composite for class of 2024. And, yes, Julian is sayin all the right things.
“I love the tradition there, the winning. I want to go play for Coach Saban. How could you not want to go play for him?”
“I’m locked in.”.
[Confirmed: he does not have a sibling named “Jess” or “Justin”.]
- CB Jaylen Mbakwe (Clay-Chalkville/Pinson, AL) 5-star #33
- WR Perry Thompson (Foley, AL) 4-star #94
- TE Martavious Collins (Rome, GA) 4-star #174 – He seems firm but the Tide has had some difficulties recruiting in this part of the world.
- EDGE Sterling Dixon (Mobile, AL) 4-star #214 – Hmm… An edge rusher ranked this low? Either the crootin experts have not seen him play or he may just end up somewhere else.
A FEW UNCOMMITTED TO WATCH
- WR Aeryn Hampton (Daingerfield, TX) 4-star #77
- WR Mario Craver (Clay-Chalkville/Pinson, AL) 4-star #147 – may be underrated.
- S Travaris Banks (Northridge, Tuscaloosa, AL) 4-star #176
- WR Ryan Williams (Saraland, AL) 5-star #24 – teammate of… ↓↓↓
ONE TO WATCH
Normally, it is a fruitless effort to follow the moves of 15-16 year olds. However, three things make KJ Lacey, a guy to watch. One, the recruitment of the quarterback position is different from any other position. It has a domino effect and it is vital to not be at the back end of the pile up. Two, he is from Saraland High School in BY GOD Alabama. And three, he is pretty f**king good.
Lacey led Saraland to the Class 6A state championship after completing 200-of-314 passing attempts for 3,177 yards with 40 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Is that good? I’m kinda thinking that’s pretty good.
The rankings for 2025 are currently incomplete, but he might just be ranked the No. 1 signal caller when that time comes. He earned an offer from the Tide this past weekend. If you get the opportunity, go see him play this fall.