Alabama currently has the nation’s 55th ranked class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. The Crimson Tide have never finished outside the top five since Nick Saban has been in Tuscaloosa. Alabama has also had the No. 1 recruiting class for seven years running.
That streak looks like it’ll end this year. I have two reasons to believe this. Nick Saban has said the team can only sign 22 players this cycle. That’s because three 2017 signees: Hunter Brannon, Joseph Bulovas and Jarez Parks had their enrollment delayed and will count against the 2018 class. Also, there aren’t any 5-star prospects that are surely going to sign with Alabama when signing day rolls around. Last year, Alabama signed six 5-star prospects.
The Tide have only five commitments, but it’s nothing to worry about. The majority of the team’s prospects are taking much longer to make their decisions this cycle.
Without further ado, here’s SEC Country’s first crack at who will end up in crimson when signing day has completed:
Predicting Alabama’s 2018 signing class
QB (1) — Tanner McKee, 5-star prospect, Corona, Calif.
Reasoning: Tanner McKee makes a lot of sense for where Alabama’s quarterback recruiting efforts are. The team’s depth chart at the position is very young with sophomore Jalen Hurts and freshmen Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones. That situation is not very appealing for any 2018 quarterback, except McKee. He’ll do a two-year Mormon mission trip after graduating from high school which effectively makes him a 2020 prospect. That means the current depth chart will play zero factor for McKee when he makes his decision. Alabama is recruiting McKee very strongly and he has told SEC Country that he can see himself playing for the Tide.
RB (1) — Asa Martin, 4-star prospect, Decatur, Ala.
Reasoning: Since Asa Martin picked up an offer from Alabama at A-Day, the Crimson Tide have gained significant steam with the in-state prospect. Before he got his offer, he told SEC Country that he didn’t think he fit in the Tide’s offense. He has changed his mind on that. He’ll announce his commitment on Aug. 24. All signs are pointing to Alabama as of today.
WR (3) — Justyn Ross, 5-star prospect, Phenix City, Ala.; 4-star prospect Seth Williams, Cottondale, Ala.; 4-star prospect Xavier Williams, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Reasoning: Justyn Ross is Alabama’s top wide receiver target. Most people believe his recruitment will come down to Alabama and Auburn. Clemson is a big threat, too. His mother is an Alabama fan and the team has done a very good job at developing a relationship with her.
Seth Williams was going to commit to Florida State earlier this year but decided to hold off on making a commitment. Since then, he’s had a hot-and-cold relationship with the Alabama staff. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has made Williams a priority over the past several months. He grew up an an Alabama fan.
Xavier Williams is committed to Alabama and hasn’t made any intentions of changing his commitment. He’s actively recruiting for the Crimson Tide.
TE (1) — Dominick Wood-Anderson, 4-star prospect, Yuma, Ariz.
Reasoning: Dominick Wood-Anderson will take an official visit to Alabama on July 21. He’ll make his commitment on Aug. 1. He’s heavily influenced by visits and it’s likely that the Alabama visit is his last one before his commitment. He’s the Tide’s top target at tight end, so expect the team to roll out the red carpet on his visit.
OL (3) — Tommy Brown, 4-star prospect, Santa Ana, Calif.; 4-star prospect Jerome Carvin, Cordova, Tenn.; Penei Sewell, 4-star prospect, Saint George, Utah
Reasoning: Tommy Brown’s father is an alum of Alabama and it’s the offer he was waiting on. He got it earlier this month. The tackle has said he wants to take official visits before committing, but it wouldn’t come as a surprise if a decision came before then.
Jerome Carvin has emerged as a big target for Alabama after a good performance in front of offensive line coach Brent Key at his spring game against Hewitt-Trussville, which is one of the best high school teams in Alabama. He’s being recruited as a guard. It should be noted that he and commit Jordan Davis call themselves “blood brothers.”
Penei Sewell visited Alabama earlier this month and his father strongly suggested that the Crimson Tide should be considered the team to beat. Interestingly, Sewell’s nickname is “Bama.”
DL (4) — Coynis Miller, 4-star prospect, Birmingham, Ala.; Bobby Brown, 4-star prospect, Arlington, Texas; Jalen Cunningham, 3-star prospect, Odenville, Ala.; Cameron Latu, 4-star prospect, Salt Lake City
Reasoning: Alabama and Auburn are the perceived favorites to land Coynis Miller. He grew up a Tide fan and has said that Alabama is recruiting him the hardest. With him being an in-state kid and defensive tackle being a big priority, it’s hard seeing him choose the Tigers.
Bobby Brown has emerged as a giant priority for the team, especially after his dominant performance in camp earlier this month. The team is confident with where it stands for Brown, who will announce his commitment on Nov. 2.
There are some question marks surrounding Jalen Cunningham’s weight. At last check, he weighed 362 pounds. Alabama wants him to lose around 15 pounds and the staff wants to see him work out in person before receiving a committable offer. He is battling turf toe right now, so it may take a little while for him to earn that offer.
Cameron Latu has visited Tuscaloosa multiple times, which is significant for a prospect west of the Mississippi River. He’s a big priority for the Tide.
LB (4) — JJ Peterson, 4-star prospect, Moultrie, Ga.; Eyabi Anoma, 4-star prospect, Baltimore; Quay Walker, 4-star prospect, Cordele, Ga.; Jordan Davis, 4-star prospect, Memphis, Tenn.
Reasoning: JJ Peterson has had Alabama on top for several months now. He wants to continue taking visits elsewhere, which is the reason he hasn’t committed. It would be a surprise if he chose any team other than the Tide.
Eyabi Anoma visited Tuscaloosa over the weekend. He is shy around the media but sources maintain that the Tide are in the driver’s seat for his commitment when he decides.
Jordan Davis usually tweets something Alabama-related every single day. He is Alabama’s longest-tenured commitment.
DB (4) — Jalyn Armour-Davis, 4-star prospect, Mobile, Ala.; Josh Jobe, 4-star prospect, Miami; Jaycee Horn, 4-star prospect, Alpharetta, Ga.; Kelvin Joseph, 4-star prospect, Baton Rouge, La.
Josh Jobe is committed to Miami but is in constant communication with the staff and attended a satellite camp recently to get face-to-face contact with the staff. He’ll finish his high school career in Connecticut where there will be no pressure to stay committed to the hometown Hurricanes.
Jaycee Horn is down to Alabama and South Carolina. He grew up a major Tide fan. He’ll announce his commitment on July 15.
Kelvin Joseph is committed to LSU and nearly flipped to Alabama last summer. He is still being strongly pursued by the staff. How the Tigers perform this season will be critical if they can hold on to his commitment.
P (1) — Skyler DeLong, 3-star prospect, Fort Mill, S.C.
Reasoning: Skyler DeLong has told SEC Country that he’s locked in with his commitment. He will not take any additional visits.
If we use 247Sports class calculator, Alabama would have a total of 301.92 points if it signed all of the players listed above. That score would have ranked the Crimson Tide third in the rankings for the Class of 2017 and first in the Class of 2016.
Because the team can only sign 22 players in the Class of 2018, it’s going to be hard to get the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, but the team will surely have one of the best classes in the country.