Alabama looks to defend its back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back recruiting championship next season when National Signing Day 2017 rolls around.
The Crimson Tide will always sign top prospects year in and year out as long as Nick Saban is there and as long as the national championship trophies keep piling up in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Alabama already has nine commits in next year’s class, eight of them are ranked four-stars or higher. The class is led by five-star running back Najee Harris, who is considered by some to be the best high school football running back since Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. Here’s Harris’ stats as a junior: 2,744 yards, 228.7 yards per game, 11.3 yards per carry and 36 touchdowns, per MaxPreps. Yeah, he’s good. Harris’ commitment to Alabama isn’t the strongest right now, though. He is still visiting other schools and being courted by schools like USC, Notre Dame and UCLA. Signing top running backs in next year’s class is important for Alabama, and Harris must be a part of this class.
So, who are the uncommitted targets that Alabama fans should keep an eye on next season? Here are five:
Dylan Moses, five-star linebacker, Bradenton, Fla.
Previously committed to LSU, the nation’s No. 1 player in the class of 2017 told SEC Country that Alabama was his leader back in December.
“They lead because of their defense,” Moses said. “For me, I see myself in it, thriving and being pushed to the absolute limit. I also think Nick Saban is a fantastic coach and can adapt to any situation. If I could learn everything he has to teach me and master it, I feel like I can improve not only as a great player but later on as a better man as well. It’s not just about football with him.”
Moses, originally from Baton Rouge, La., transferred to football factory IMG Academy for his senior season. That should be good news for Alabama now that he isn’t playing his high school ball less than a mile away from Tiger Stadium.
Jeffrey Okudah, five-star safety, South Grand Prairie, Texas
Alabama didn’t sign a true safety in this year’s class after Joshua Perry de-committed the night before signing day, though four-star cornerback Jared Mayden could play safety when he gets on campus. The Crimson Tide will be all in for Okudah. He already lists Alabama as one of his favorite schools.
Marvin Wilson, five-star defensive tackle, Houston
Wilson was offered by the Tide in June, and he took a visit to Alabama this past season for the Tennessee game in October. Alabama has already made the five-star a priority and you can expect defensive line coach Bo Davis to stay on Wilson throughout his recruitment.
Devonta Smith, four-star wide receiver, Amite, La.
When National Signing Day 2017 rolls around, don’t be surprised if Smith is a five-star. In a recent showcase in New Orleans, Smith balled out and showed why he should be considered one of the best receivers in the country. Smith recently de-committed from Georgia after director of player personnel Sam Petitto left for Alabama and Mark Richt was fired. The good news for Alabama is Petitto, who Smith is extremely close with is now on Alabama’s staff and his very good friend, Shyheim Carter, is a signee in the 2016 class.
Nate McBride, four-star linebacker, Vidalia, Ga.
It’s very early in his recruitment, but it’s a tight two-team race right now for one of the nation’s top linebackers. Georgia and Alabama are battling it out to land his commitment. McBride has already said that Alabama will “be in it to the end.” Look for the Alabama staff to put the full-court press on McBride.