Alabama will know where it stands heading into the 2016 season two weeks from now, as the majority of recruits across the country sign their letter of intent on National Signing Day.
The Crimson Tide currently have 16 commitments with seven of those being early enrollees. That means those seven players will participate in spring practice.
With only 16 commitments in place, the final two weeks leading up to National Signing Day will be hectic, especially with many uncommitted five stars remaining on the board for the Crimson Tide.
Before we get to the projected class, it needs to be noted that we are not including Raekwon Davis as part of the current class. For clarity purposes, we will list him as an uncommitted prospect, though he could be committed to Alabama, Mississippi State … or both. If you need to catch up on what’s going on with him, you can do so by clicking here.
Here is what Alabama’s recruiting class looks like as of Jan. 20:
Current class (**indicates early enrollee):
QB: Jalen Hurts**
RB: B.J. Emmons
WR: Tyler Simmons
WR: T.J. Simmons**
TE: Brendan Scales
TE: Miller Forristall**
OL: Jonah Williams**
OL: Charles Baldwin**
OL: Chris Owens**
OL: Deonte Brown
DT: Quinnen Williams
DT: Kendell Jones
LB: Riley Cole
S: Joshua Perry
ATH: Trevon Diggs
ATH: Shawn Jennings**
When National Signing Day rolls around, I think one of the above names will not be a part of Alabama’s class, and that’s Trevon Diggs.
Diggs took an unofficial visit to Alabama this past weekend and was recruiting players for the Crimson Tide, but what should be concerning to fans is his official visit to Maryland this weekend. His brother, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs, attended Maryland, and the Terrapins have been trying to flip him for some time now. There have also been reports that Diggs has to work on his academics before enrolling in school, so staying close to home and possibly enrolling in a junior college makes sense.
With that being said, here is my PREDICTION of the recruits Alabama will land on Feb. 3:
Projected class as of 1/20:
QB: Jalen Hurts** (four stars)
RB: B.J. Emmons (four stars)
WR: Tyler Simmons (three stars)
WR: T.J. Simmons** (three stars)
WR: A.J. Brown (four stars)
TE: Brendan Scales (three stars)
TE: Miller Forristall** (three stars)
OL: Jonah Williams** (five stars)
OL: Charles Baldwin** (five stars)
OL: Chris Owens** (four stars)
OL: Deonte Brown (four stars)
DE: Jonathan Kongbo (five stars)
DE: Jeffery Simmons (five stars)
DT: Michail Carter (four stars)
DT: Quinnen Williams (four stars)
DT: Kendell Jones (four stars)
DT: Jamar King (three stars)
LB: Riley Cole (three stars)
LB: Ben Davis (five stars)
LB: Terrell Hall (five stars)
CB: Shyheim Carter (four stars)
CB: Jared Mayden (four stars)
CB: Nigel Knott (four stars)
S: Joshua Perry (three stars)
S: Nigel Warrior (four stars)
ATH: Shawn Jennings** (three stars)
Here’s why I think the Crimson Tide will sign the following players come signing day:
On Brown: Alabama hosted Brown on an official visit this past weekend, and from other recruits, the Mississippi wide receiver seemed to enjoy his time in Tuscaloosa. It may be very hard to pull Brown away from Mississippi because history would tell you that elite prospects from the state don’t leave home often. In the end, I think his relationship with the Alabama coaching staff will be what puts the Tide over the top for him. It should be mentioned that Ole Miss hosts the receiver on an official visit the weekend before signing day, and right now, the Rebels are the biggest competition for the Crimson Tide.
On Kongbo: The nation’s No. 1 junior college player told SEC Country that Alabama will definitely be one of his final four schools. Nick Saban recently traveled to Yuma, Ariz. to meet with Kongbo, and the five-time national champion told him he’s one of his top priorities. He’ll visit Alabama the weekend before signing day, and that’s very encouraging for the Tide because it gives the coaching staff the last opportunity to pitch him before he makes his decision on National Signing Day.
On Simmons: Simmons is down to a final four of Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee. He’ll visit Alabama on Jan. 22. I think Simmons ends up signing with Alabama because of the potential to get significant playing time on the defensive line next season. He’s intrigued by that. The Crimson Tide have made Simmons a major priority. The day after the national championship, he received a phone call from Nick Saban. There’s always pressure from elite recruits to leave the state of Mississippi, so it’s not going to be easy for Alabama to pull him away.
On M. Carter: Carter says Alabama is recruiting him the hardest, and Nick Saban just paid the Jackson, Ga. native a visit. Like Simmons, Carter believes out of the schools he’s considering (Georgia, Georgia Tech and Clemson), Alabama gives him the best opportunity to see the field as quickly as he can. He also mentioned that his relationship with Alabama defensive line coach Bo Davis is one of two bonds with coaches that stand out among the rest.
On King: The three-star defensive tackle will visit Alabama this weekend, and this could move pretty quickly soon after that. Depending on how his visit goes, King could be a part of Alabama’s class as soon as Sunday. He has family in Tuscaloosa, and Saban paid him a visit earlier this week. He’s one to watch.
On Davis: Davis is the son of Alabama’s all-time leading tackler, Wayne Davis. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be attending Alabama like his father, though. The nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker actually has Georgia as his leader because of his relationship with Kirby Smart. When he does make his decision, I don’t see him leaving the state of Alabama. He’ll be on the Crimson Tide’s campus this weekend.
On Hall: The Washington, D.C. prospect will visit Alabama on Jan. 22, and the prospect from the nation’s capital is very high on the Crimson Tide. He told SEC Country that he is intrigued by Alabama’s versatile defensive players. He wants to drop into pass coverage and play with his hand in the ground on the next level. After an official visit to Maryland this past weekend, it would appear as if the Terps are the biggest competition for the Tide
On S. Carter: Carter was once committed to Alabama, and it was looking like he was leaning toward Georgia or Ole Miss, but that changed when Jeremy Pruitt was hired to be the Tide’s defensive coordinator. Carter has told SEC Country that he considers Pruitt to be one of the best men around. It would not be surprising if he ended up back with the Tide. We’ll have a clearer picture of where things stand after his official visit this weekend. Consider Ole Miss Alabama’s biggest competition. Carter, who has two children, said the Rebels coaching staff treats his kids the best out of any school.
On Mayden: Alabama’s chances of landing the four-star corner from Texas improved after hosting him on an official visit this past weekend. He had a chance to speak with Saban one-on-one, and the coach told him that he had a good chance of making an impact from Day 1 if he were to choose Alabama. The former Oregon commit did however say that he was unsure if Alabama would be one of his finalists, but the Tide are likely the favorites to land him depending on how his official visit to Oklahoma goes this weekend.
On Knott: A couple of months ago, Knott was very close to committing to Alabama, but he decided to back off of that. Saban recently traveled to Germantown, Miss. to meet with Knott, as he is one of the team’s biggest priorities. Like the other Mississippi natives above, it’s going to be hard to pull him away from the state, but I think after his official visit to Alabama this weekend, the Crimson Tide will like where they stand with the four-star cornerback.
On Warrior: A couple of days ago, I would not have projected Warrior to be a part of this class. I thought he was bound for Georgia. But his mother, Tangie Warrior, said his relationship with Kirby Smart has “died” a little bit. Whereas, his relationships with Davis and Saban have been really the only constants throughout his recruitment. I think Alabama holds the edge right now.
Again, this is just a prediction for where I think Alabama stands right now. So before you yell at me about why a certain player didn’t make the list, anything can change over these next two weeks.
If Alabama were to sign the players I have predicted it to, the Crimson Tide would have one of the nation’s best recruiting classes.
Have any questions about this list or who didn’t make the list? Hit me up on Twitter: @ChrisK_AJC.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite.