Fifteen are in the barn, but the door is still open and more horses are expected to come in beginning Wednesday morning.
The 2018 recruiting class has been a learning experience for the student-athletes, college coaches and media alike, but for those who feared there’d be no drama on the traditional National Signing Day, that’s not the case. With approximately eight spots remaining in the class and some big-name recruits still on the board, there is intrigue for the Crimson Tide.
“Wow. This could be one of the more dramatic finishes actually, in my opinion,” TideInsider recruiting expert Rodney Orr said. “I heard some people say, ‘This could be boring,’ but when you look at what Alabama has left, all eight spots could be filled tomorrow. A lot of really high-profile prospects left on the board that they’re targeting, and ‘Bama sits No. 6 in the country right now. If everything went perfectly, there’d be an outside shot at No. 1.”
Alabama ranks sixth in the 247Sports composite rankings and No. 4 in the ESPN rankings.
One position that is not expected to be addressed is quarterback. Alabama has three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster in junior Jalen Hurts, sophomore Tua Tagovailoa and redshirt freshman Mac Jones.
When asked during the early signing period about the subject, Saban was non-committal.
“I would always like to have four on the roster,” Saban said. “That may or may not be possible. We’ll have to make that decision based on how recruiting continues to go.”
Reading the tea leaves Tuesday afternoon, that doesn’t look likely.
“I think they pass,” Orr said. “I’ve kind of had the feeling that the decision has been made that they have priorities at a lot of positions that they have to fill. They feel like there are great players at those positions that you can’t pass up. That’s where their priorities are right now. So I don’t think they sign a quarterback in this class.”
The clear needs of the class — cornerbacks and defensive linemen — have been met. Alabama signed three defensive backs (Jalyn Armour-Davis, Josh Jobe and Saivion Smith) in the early period and have the versatility with the type of defensive athletes they signed to bolster the front. Saban and staff are still recruiting defensive linemen and defensive backs, including Bobby Brown, Malik Langham, Patrick Surtain, Tyson Campbell and Eddie Smith (pictured). If they land four of those names, UA will he happy.
“I think they have a chance to emphatically answer those needs,” Orr said. “I think when you look at who they got in the early signing period and if they hold onto to Bobby Brown that certainly would be big. I think certainly the defensive front would have been addressed. When you look in the secondary they signed three outstanding players early and (Wednesday) with the opportunity they’re going to have with Eddie Smith, and five stars players in Patrick Surtain and Tyson Campbell, they certainly could fill those needs in a very significant fashion.”
Reach Aaron Suttles at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.