Alabama currently has the fifth-best recruiting class, but when National Signing Day rolls around come February, there’s a good chance that the Crimson Tide end up with the nation’s No. 1 group.
One of the reasons: The Tide are in the mix for some of the best uncommitted prospects in the country. Not only are the recruits listed of elite talent, but they’re also high on Alabama.
Here are the five most important recruits Alabama has to sign to finish its 2016 class:
5-star DT Rashan Gary, Paramus Catholic (undecided)
- Resides: Paramus, N.J.
- Ranking: Nation’s No. 1 prospect
- Measurements: 6-foot-4, 311 pounds
- Main schools competing for him: Alabama, Michigan, Auburn, Ole Miss, LSU, UGA
- Odds on landing him: 20-1. Michigan is the team to beat here. Gary has some ties to the Wolverines program, his former coach is a staff member and two former Paramus Catholic players (Jabrill Peppers and Juwann Bushell-Beatty) attend Michigan. Alabama is still in the running, but getting him on campus for an official visit in December or January is going to be key to landing him.
- Why Alabama needs him: There are a few can’t-miss prospects every single year and Gary is one of them. He is elite. He may be over 300 pounds, but he still ran a 4.74 in the 40-yard dash this past July. You want to double-team him? That’s fine. Gary will blow by both offensive linemen. Whichever school lands him immediately gets better. Alabama hopes it’s that lucky school.
5-star OT Greg Little, Allen (undecided)
- Resides: Allen, Texas
- Ranking: Nation’s No. 2 prospect
- Measurements: 6-foot-5, 305 pounds
- Main schools competing for him: Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, LSU
- Odds on landing him: 5-1. On Nov. 4, his commitment date, we will know where the nation’s No. 2 player will play college football. From where his recruitment stands now, Alabama has a very good chance of landing him. Since he de-committed from Texas A&M in July, Alabama was seen as a likely landing spot, and I think that’s where he will choose in one week.
- Why Alabama needs him: When watching Little’s film, it’s clear that this is a guy that can step on to any campus and compete for a starting job from Day 1. He has very quick feet for someone of his size, but needs to work a bit on staying low. He was also instrumental in protecting former 5-star quarterback Kyler Murray, who is now at Texas A&M. Alabama already has one 5-star tackle committed in Jonah Williams, but the Tide would definitely love to have two of them in this class.
5-star LB Ben Davis, Gordo (undecided)
- Resides: Gordo, Ala.
- Ranking: Nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker
- Measurements: 6-foot-3, 240 pounds
- Main schools competing for him: Alabama, Auburn, UGA
- Odds on landing him: 2-1. It would be one of the most shocking moments in college football recruiting history if Davis didn’t commit to Alabama. For one, his father, Wayne Davis, is Alabama’s all-time leading tackler. According to his 247Sports Crystal Ball, 100 percent of recruiting analysts have him pegged to Alabama right now. Davis to the Crimson Tide should be a fast break windmill dunk.
- Why Alabama needs him: Alabama already has one inside linebacker commit in Jaquan Yulee, but you’d better believe there’s room for Davis when he is expected to announce his commitment on National Signing Day in February. He is a three-down linebacker. Need him to drop into coverage? He can do that. Need him to put his hand in the ground and rush off the edge? He can do that, too. There aren’t many flaws in his game right now.
5-star LB Lyndell Wilson, Carver (undecided)
- Resides: Montgomery, Ala.
- Ranking: Nation’s No. 1 outside linebacker
- Measurements: 6-foot-2, 220 pounds
- Main schools competing for him: Alabama, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, Florida State
- Odds on landing him: 25-1. Wilson released his top eight schools earlier this month and Alabama was listed in the No. 4 position, behind Florida, LSU and Ole Miss. The Crimson Tide has some work to do in order to land the top outside linebacker in the country, as it seems Florida has a substantial lead right now. That was surprising because most thought Alabama was the clear favorite.
- Why Alabama needs him: Alabama has a commitment from 3-star outside linebacker Riley Cole, but Wilson is an elite linebacker that can contribute in Year 1. Watch his film and you can see how good a job he does at reacting to reading the snap and getting after the ball. The Tide are going to recruit him hard until National Signing Day.
4-star S Nigel Warrior, Peachtree Ridge (undecided)
- Resides: Suwanee, Ga.
- Ranking: Nation’s No. 4 safety
- Measurements: 5-foot-11, 188 pounds
- Main schools competing for him: Alabama, Tennessee, UGA, Florida, LSU, Ohio State
- Odds on landing him: 12-1. Alabama is considered by most to be the favorite to land the son of former Tennessee star Dale Carter, but his recruitment is wide open right now. I think when he trims his list, he will choose from Alabama, UGA and Tennessee. The in-state Bulldogs are trailing both of those schools right now, but I wouldn’t count them out right now. Warrior likes the idea of playing for his home state and being close to his parents. But right now, I think Alabama coaches like where they stand.
- Why Alabama needs him: If you are a quarterback going up against Warrior on Fridays, good luck. He shuts down the entire middle of the field. He is a ball-hawking safety that can cover sideline-to-sideline. If you’re a ball carrier, prepare to get popped by him. Warrior is a must-sign for the Tide.