Recruiting classes have an unpredictable value until the players actually have the chance to make an impact on the field. With that in mind, SEC Country is taking a look at Alabama’s last 3 recruiting classes (2013-2015). We’ve already broken down the 2014 and 2015 classes.
Here’s how the stock of Alabama’s 2013 recruiting class has gone up, down, remained even or is still to be determined as the players head into their fourth season on campus. (Guys who are no longer on the team were not included — Derrick Henry, A’Shawn Robinson, Alvin Kamara, Dee Liner, Altee Tenpenny, Grant Hill, Tyren Jones, Maurice Smith, Darius Paige, Leon Brown, Jonathan Cook, Brandon Hill, Walker Jones and Parker McLeod)
Reuben Foster, 5-star linebacker
Portfolio: According to 247Sports composite, Foster was the highest-rated player (slight edge over Derrick Henry) in Alabama’s 2013 recruiting class. After struggling to stay healthy early on because of poor tackling technique and waiting behind older players, Foster got his chance as a junior last year and made the most of it. He finished second on the team with 73 total tackles, including eight tackles for loss, two sacks and nine pass breakups. Foster served as the inside linebacker in Alabama’s nickel package alongside Reggie Ragland. With Ragland gone, Foster won’t come off the field much this season.
Jonathan Allen, 5-star defensive lineman
Portfolio: Despite being one of the more consistent defensive linemen on the team, Allen was overshadowed by more high-profile guys. That ends this year, as Allen returns as one of the top dogs on Alabama’s defense.
Last season, Allen finished second in the SEC with 12 sacks. He’s one of the few defensive linemen who is an elite pass rusher and run stopper.
Allen decided to stay in school to boost his draft stock. With another solid season, he’ll be a first-round pick in next year’s NFL draft.
O.J. Howard, 5-star tight end
Portfolio: It’s still crazy to think that a guy like Howard hasn’t fully reached his potential. He’s so big and so fast and such a matchup nightmare that Alabama must find a way to consistently involve him in the offense this season.
Based on what he did in the national championship game alone, Howard returns as one of the top tight ends in the country and could possibly be a first-round pick in next year’s NFL draft.
Robert Foster, 5-star wide receiver
Portfolio: Foster was on the cusp of breaking out last season, but a shoulder injury sidelined him after 2.5 games. Foster caught a touchdown pass in the two full games he played. He has the ability to be a go-to receiver. If he can stay healthy, Foster should have a big season.
Cooper Bateman, 4-star quarterback
Portfolio: Bateman started a game last season and was right in the middle of the quarterback competition. Heading into this season, he’s the favorite to win the starting job. But because the quarterback battle is still open, we’ll hold off on judging his stock now.
Bateman is an athletic quarterback who could be a playmaker behind center for Alabama.
Tim Williams, 4-star outside linebacker
Portfolio: There may not be a hotter NFL prospect in the country than Williams. He only played on third downs but still managed to get 10.5 sacks. Just imagine what he could do playing full time. Williams is one of the premier pass rushers in the SEC and the country.
ArDarius Stewart, 4-star wide receiver
Portfolio: Stewart proved to be a valuable player last season, making tough, important catches in Alabama’s win against Tennessee and Clemson in the national championship game. He’s the team’s best blocker, and he’s not afraid to do all of the little things. Stewart will be one of the offensive leaders this season.
Anthony Averett, 4-star cornerback
Portfolio: It’s still too early to judge Averett because he’s had so many players ahead of him in the past. But this could be the season we see the speedster emerge and earn a spot in one of Alabama’s packages on defense.
Eddie Jackson, 3-star athlete
Portfolio: From 3-star prospect to defensive MVP of the national championship, it’s been a long road for Jackson. Making the move from cornerback to safety may have been the best thing for Jackson’s long-term future. He still has the cover skills of a corner, but his natural playmaking ability fits better at safety because he has the instincts to read where the ball is going and to go get it. Jackson intercepted six passes and returned two for touchdowns last season.
Raheem Falkins, 3-star wide receiver
Portfolio: Falkins hasn’t been able to stay healthy, and plenty of young guys have passed him on the depth chart.
Bradley Bozeman, 3-star offensive lineman
Portfolio: Bozeman may serve as the sixth offensive lineman this season because he can play so many roles, but it doesn’t look like he’ll get a starting job this year.
Cole Mazza, 3-star long snapper
Portfolio: Mazza has been consistent at his position and is even one of the better tacklers on special teams.