Alabama would like to forget last week.
The Crimson Tide lost two of their top recruits: QB Jake Fromm flipped to Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs, which should sting Alabama fans a little harder; and four-star RB Cam Akers, who some consider the best tailback in the country, de-committed from the program. The loss of those two recruits dropped Alabama from No. 2 to No. 5 in the national rankings.
It’s March. The rankings shouldn’t matter to anyone, but if anything, last week showed Alabama that it has work to do in order to secure a seventh consecutive year with the nation’s top recruiting class.
With the loss of Akers and Fromm, the work to get back on top might just have to get started a bit earlier than last year.
As soon as Smart took the Georgia job, the Crimson Tide and the Bulldogs were going to battle it out for one of the nation’s top quarterbacks. Georgia took that one.
Fromm, a four-star prospect from Houston County High School (Warner Robins, Ga.), announced that he had de-committed from Alabama and committed to Georgia, the school he had rooted for his entire life.
There are several options for Alabama: in-state QB Jake Bentley, and two Georgia QBs in Bailey Hockman and Davis Mills. This list will grow as summer approaches. You better believe that if Alabama wants one of these quarterbacks, the Crimson Tide will put on a full-court recruiting press.
On the same day Fromm announced his commitment to Georgia, Akers de-committed from Alabama. The two prospects are friends, and Akers’ decision, interestingly enough, came after a visit to Georgia. To be frank, Alabama fans should have expected Akers to back off his pledge at some point. It was just a matter of when he was going to de-commit.
The Crimson Tide still have two other running backs committed in this year’s recruiting class, with the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit in Najee Harris and four-star Brian Robinson, who is from Tuscaloosa.
Even when Alabama had all three committed, the Crimson Tide were recruiting four-stars D’Andre Swift and Anthony McFarland, to name a few. Running back is one of the team’s biggest priorities in the class of 2017.
At one point, Jerry Jeudy named Alabama as his top school, but things have changed for the wide receiver.
Jeudy, a four-star prospect from Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High School, told SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi at The Nike Opening Regionals in Miami that Alabama is no longer at the top of his list, but it’s nothing Crimson Tide fans should worry about.
“I don’t have a leader,” Jeudy said. “All of the schools are equal right now, but Alabama is a lovely school. Every time I go up there, they treat me like family.”
Even if Jeudy doesn’t want to publicly name a leader, several recruiting experts believe the South Florida prospect is a strong lean to Alabama with Miami trailing.