TAMPA, Fla. — On the 59th second of the 59th minute of the College Football Playoff national championship, Alabama’s hopes and dreams of repeating as national champions were snapped by Clemson.
Deshaun Watson rolled to the right and found former walk-on wide receiver Hunter Renfrow for the game-winning touchdown. Alabama’s 26-game winning streak and Nick Saban’s perfect record in championship games all gone in one play with one second left on the clock.
Not all is lost, though. The Crimson Tide are bringing in arguably the greatest recruiting class on paper in the Saban era. Alabama has the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit in 5-star running back Najee Harris, the nation’s top outside linebacker in Dylan Moses, the top dual-threat quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa and a prototypical 5-star offensive tackle in Alex Leatherwood.
Because of that group and all of the underclassmen coming back, Alabama should be back, once again, next season competing for the national championship.
Here’s how some of the nation’s top recruits reacted to the game:
Tide QB commit Tua Tagovailoa:
— Tua Tagovailoa (@Tuaamann_) January 10, 2017
Tide LB commit VanDarius Cowan:
We lost an I'm even more hype about playing at The University of Alabama ???
— VanDarius Cowan?? (@vandarius98) January 10, 2017
Tide LB commit Dylan Moses:
— King Ⓜ️oses (@Dylan7Moses_) January 10, 2017
Tide safety commit Xavier McKinney, who was strongly considering Clemson:
It's still RTR ! ?? still got mad respect for Clemson and the whole staff ?
— X® (@mckinney_xavier) January 10, 2017
Tide offensive line commit Jedrick Wills:
right back next year like we never left ✌? #RollTide
— Jedrick Wills ii® (@JWills73) January 10, 2017
Tide 4-star DL target Javon Kinlaw:
I can't lie.. that loss hurt me bruh??
— Javon Kinlaw??FYO™ (@9_thegreat) January 10, 2017
Tide long snapper commit Thomas Fletcher:
Roll Tide Roll.
— Thomas Fletcher (@longsnapfletch) January 10, 2017
4-star DL target LaBryan Ray:
That's was a great game tho maybe the best one ever I saw ?
— R.I.P. Bat (@LabryanRay) January 10, 2017
4-star safety target Devon Hunter:
Congratulations CLEMSON ???
— 7️⃣ Hunter (@devonhunter11) January 10, 2017
4-star DL target Ryan Johnson:
Bama is coming back with a vengeance next year… Mark My Words ?
— Ryan Johnson 4⃣4⃣ (@ryanjohnson_50) January 10, 2017
Tide WR commit Tyrell Shavers:
Say less…see y'all next year?..#RoadTo18
— TyrellShavers (@rell4six) January 10, 2017
4-star DL target Phidarian Mathis:
Good job #ROLL T?DE
— GC PHIL???? (@phildarianmathi) January 10, 2017
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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