Recruiting Question of the Day: Why did Alabama slip in rankings for majority of this cycle?
The early signing period is approaching and Alabama is trying to obtain another No. 1 recruiting class. With recruiting ramping up, SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner will answer the Recruiting Question of the Day every day of the week. You can ask him your questions on Twitter or on Facebook.
even if alabama ends up in the top 5, what made them slip so far back for the majority of this recruiting period? they weren't even in the top 25 for over 2 months. Is this going to become a common thing?
— Roddy Richardson (@RodTheGod24) December 11, 2017
This definitely has been a common question for me throughout this recruiting cycle. There were several stretches when Alabama was ranked in the 30s or 40s, according to the team rankings on 247Sports.
The Tide are currently ranked ninth and will climb because several top targets have yet to make their commitments known.
But as far as why Alabama was ranked so low for the majority of the cycle? There are multiple reasons why the Tide got off to a tremendously slow start. Coaching changes were the biggest reason, in my opinion.
Remember, Brian Daboll, Brent Key, Karl Dunbar, Derrick Ansley and Mike Locksley are still fairly new to Alabama. None of them have been in Tuscaloosa for more than two seasons. That’s not that much time in recruiting because it’s all about relationships in this business. Some recruits, especially the ones Alabama targets, start building relationships with assistant coaches as freshmen in high school. All of these assistants had to form new relationships with recruits. Doing that takes time.
Alabama also has to play a numbers game in this class after taking Hunter Brannon, Joseph Bulovas and Jarez Parks in the 2017 class. Those three players count against the Tide’s 2018 scholarship numbers because they either blueshirted (Brannon and Bulovas) or greyshirted (Parks). Add in the fact that Alabama had to get a punter on scholarship with JK Scott’s eligibility expiring at the end of this season, and the Tide could sign only 21 other players. Teams can now sign only 25 players. I know Alabama is trying to sign more than that by extending blueshirts.
Because spots were limited, the Tide focused heavily on evaluations before accepting commits. I know of several blue-chip prospects who have tried to commit to Alabama this cycle but were turned away. So it’s not like Alabama has lost its luster with recruits.
It’s also the first year of the early signing period and numerous targets are just waiting until Dec. 20 to make their decisions and sign then.
I don’t think this is going to become common for Alabama moving forward. The Tide just had a lot to combat in this cycle, and they still should have one of the nation’s top 5 classes when February rolls around. I believe everything will go back to normal in the 2019 class and Alabama should have the nation’s No. 1 or 2 class.