Alabama is on the hunt for its seventh straight recruiting championship. Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of Alabama recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes, and for a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Alabama has most blue-chip players in college football
How do you know if your favorite college football team has a chance to seriously compete for a national championship? Since 2005, one very important statistic has been common with each national champion.
If a team is comprised of over 50 percent of 4- or 5-star prospects, you’re going to be one of those programs in the hunt for a national championship. No national championship team since 2005 has had a roster of less than that 50 percent threshold. This year, Alabama’s roster is 77 percent of players who were ranked 4- or 5-stars in high school. For those fans that say stars don’t matter, they, indeed, matter.
According to data comprised from SB Nation’s Bud Elliot, here are the 13 teams in college football this season that have met that standard: Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Georgia, Texas A&M, Southern California, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Florida State, Michigan, UCLA, Clemson, and Texas.
So, if that stat holds up as it has for the past 10 years, only THIRTEEN teams have a chance at winning a championship. Now those 13 teams are not necessarily the most talented in college football, but again, every team that has won a championship has met that 50 percent mark.
Alabama has had the top recruiting class the past six years. Because of the Tide’s success getting the nation’s best players, they will have a good chance at winning their fifth championship in the past eight years regardless of who’s under center.
Commitment finally coming for offensive lineman?
SEC Country was told from someone close to Jedrick Wills’ recruitment that a commitment should come before Lafayette High School’s game Friday night.
Wills, a 4-star offensive tackle from Lexington, Ky., has been trending toward Alabama for over a month now. When he does make his commitment, I am expecting Alabama to be the choice. Kentucky is the biggest competitor for Wills. His high school is two miles from the Wildcats’ campus and community pressure to stay home is high.
The Under Armour All-American was expected to make his decision last week but decided to push it back for a reason that remains unknown. Still, that should not hurt the Tide’s chances of landing Wills.
If he ends up committing to Alabama, the Tide would have five offensive line commitments in the Class of 2017: 5-star tackle Alex Leatherwood, the nation’s No. 1 junior college prospect Elliot Baker, 4-star guard Kendall Randolph and 3-star guard Hunter Brannon and Wills.
Alabama target likely out for the season with broken fibula
Anthony McFarland, Jr. received some terrible news on Tuesday. An injury he suffered in DeMatha Catholic’s scrimmage turned out to be a broken fibula. It’s an injury that will require surgery and one that will likely sideline him for his entire senior season.
McFarland, a 4-star running back, is strongly considering Alabama despite the Crimson Tide having 5-star Najee Harris and 4-star Brian Robinson committed in the Class of 2017. With him suffering a serious injury, it’s unknown whether the Crimson Tide are going to continue recruiting him hard. What I can say is that prior to his injury, Alabama would have accepted his commitment if he would have wanted to choose the Tide.
The all-purpose back was considered a nice change-of-pace compared to Harris and Robinson. McFarland is a do-it-all type of running back, like what Kenyan Drake was to Alabama. He can line up in the slot, catch passes out of the backfield and return kicks.
McFarland is expected to visit Alabama for the Iron Bowl and take an official visit to Tuscaloosa after the season ends. But again, his status with Alabama may look different at that time now that he’s injured. Here’s to hoping McFarland has a speedy recovery.
Best feeling ever.. I love my brothers pic.twitter.com/uaVzNxFw7q
— MaccⓂ️ (@AnttMacc_) August 18, 2016
Tide commit leads team to victory
Running back commitment Brian Robinson rushed for 55 yards and scored two touchdowns in Hillcrest High School’s 42-7 win over Demopolis.
4-star target knew NOTHING about football?
Jarez Parks, a 4-star prospect from Sebastian River (Fla.) High School, knew that a touchdown netted six points, and that was pretty much the extent of his football knowledge before picking up the sport his sophomore year, according to this Bleacher Report video.
Parks is now one of the most coveted recruits in America.
Though he’s listed as the nation’s No. 4 weakside defensive end, Alabama wants Parks to play JACK LB for it. For those that are unfamiliar with the JACK, it’s a hybrid of defensive end and outside linebacker.
The Crimson Tide are in good position to land Parks when he decides to make his commitment. According to someone close to Parks’ recruitment, he thought of committing to Alabama last month during the Tide’s invite-only cookout. He decided to hold off on making that decision to make sure that was the right choice for him.
I am projecting Parks, a U.S. Army All-American, to be in Alabama’s Class of 2017 class when he commits. Florida and Florida State are Alabama’s biggest competitors for Parks at this time.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.