Former South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier once suggested Alabama head coach Nick Saban was “the greatest recruiter in the history of college football” for having claimed the No. 1 recruiting class in the country year after year.
Saban has delivered four national titles to Alabama and according to a story written by AL.com’s Rainer Sabin, the Crimson Tide owned Rivals.com’s top-ranked recruiting class five times between 2011 and 2016.
But in order for Saban to be labeled the greatest, there should be a coach Saban surpassed to obtain that title, right?
Sabin’s story delves into the notion that Alabama rose to the top of the recruiting world as Southern California’s dynasty began to fade in the aftermath of Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart heading to the NFL in 2006 and head coach Pete Carroll departing for the NFL shortly after in 2009. There was also the decline of the University of Florida, that also boasted a pair of national titles in 2006 and 2008.
“I think that’s what is scary for opponents,” 247Sports director of football scouting Barton Simmons told AL.com. “There are still a generation of players who have watched Alabama’s dominance who have yet to be prospects. A lot of guys we talk to grew up watching Reggie Bush or grew up watching Tim Tebow….But we have still yet to see that generation of players from outside of the southeast region that became Alabama fans just based on their success. We see that with schools like USC in the past or schools like Florida. But with Alabama, that generation is still coming of age.”