What a strange new world we live in this National Signing Day is just a day away and Alabama apparently walked away from the Class of 2023 back in December. During the early signing period, The Tide signed 28 players, all but four of whom were already taking Capstone lessons. Bama basically settled into Recruitment Class #1 for this cycle, even if they are pat.
But one big question remains: Is Alabama done?
The easy/lazy answer is probably done, but don’t be surprised if something pops up at the last minute.
The longer, more convoluted answer is that it doesn’t look like it Nick Saban is still recruiting prospects for the Class of 2023, and hasn’t been for a while. Note that there aren’t even too many non-signed or non-signed players left to sign. There’s always a chance Bama will snag a diamond in the rough at the last minute like Saban did with tight end Miles Kitselmann last May.
Few untied players remain on the board, but none of them appear to be completing further training in Yellowhammer State this fall.
- 5 star TE Duce Robinson (Phoenix, AZ) flirted with the Crimson Tide for a minute, including an October OV. But he seems a little too Hollywood for Alabama. He will choose between Southern Cal and Georgia.
FORECAST: Shiny objects at UGA.
- 5-star ATH Nyckole’s Harbour (Washington, DC) plays both edge rusher and tight end. Problem is, he only weighs 225 pounds. For both positions he will probably have to put on a little weight. Alabama showed some interest this time around a year ago, but something happened to deter them and they withdrew in the spring. Oregon, South Carolina, Maryland and Michigan.
FORECAST: He’s a world-class runner who has a real shot at running in the Olympics. I think he’s going to pass out Oregon/Nike connection, although those kinds of dual-sport dreams never work.
- Top 100 4-Star QBs Jaden Rashada (Pittsburg, CA) – You’ve probably heard about this guy who canceled his commitment from Florida because they couldn’t come up with the money he wanted. Yes. This is the guy you want as the leader of your Ries. Happen.
FORECAST: MiamiDrug lord’s money.
- 5 star CB Cormani McClain (Lakeland, FL) who was recently downgraded to 4 stars by On3.com was fired from Miami and Bama recruited him the heck. ICYMI’s Nick Saban made some comments this past weekend about how “someone with one of the best corners in the nation[in high school]came up to me and asked if we’d pay them $800,000 to have the player sign here. I told him he could find somewhere else to play.” The consensus believes McClain was the recruit. Instead of playing for championships, he chose to follow the bright sparkles, dollar bills, and empty promises of Colorado. The Buffaloes are lucky to win 4 games in 2023. ENJOY!
Saban has moved on, so we should probably do the same. Last Saturday was the second of two January “Junior Days” in Alabama, bringing together up-and-coming seniors and even some up-and-coming juniors and sophomores. This event is the first step in getting to know prospects. If a guy wants to play in Alabama, he’d better hope to be invited to one of these, and he’d better skip his stupid, petty basketball game or prom with Mary Ellen Loudermilk and show up in Tuscaloosa.
Andrew Bone of on3.com lists the following recruits as top targets after Junior Day, Part Deux:
- OT Daniel Calhoun (Roswell, GA) 4-Star #55 Overall 247sports Composite
- S Corian Gipson (Lancaster, TX) 4-star #88
- cb Zabien Braun (Santa Ana, CA) 4-Star #138
- EN Kamaron Beaver (Bay Springs, MS, Pop. 1,670) not yet rated
“They might have beaten us 44-13, but this is Miami.” Kids don’t commit to bama for nightlife, my guy might want to change your mindset pic.twitter.com/LUbsPBQJ4P
— Ethan (@TySimpsonSzn) January 30, 2023
- QB Julian Sayin (Carlsbad, CA) 5-star #15 on the 247sports general standings for the 2024 class. And yes, Julian says it right.
“I love the tradition there, winning. I want to play for Coach Saban. How could you not want to play for him?”
“I’m locked up.”.
[Confirmed: he does not have a brother named “Jess” or “Justin”.]
- cb Jaylen Mbakwe (Clay-Chalkville/Pinson, AL) 5-Star #33
- WR Perry Thompson (Foley, AL) 4 stars #94
- TE MartinCollins (Rome, GA) 4-Star #174 – It seems solid, but The Tide has had some trouble recruiting in this part of the world.
- EDGE, EDGE Sterling Dixon (Mobile, AL) 4-Star #214 – Hmm… An edge rusher with such a low rank? Either the crootin pundits didn’t see him play, or he ends up somewhere else.
A COUPLE MUST SEE
- WR Aeryn Hampton (Daingerfield, TX) 4-Star #77
- WR Mario Craver (Clay-Chalkville/Pinson, AL) 4-star #147 – Can be underestimated.
- S Travaris Banks (Northridge, Tuscaloosa, AL) 4-Star #176
- WR Ryan Williams (Saraland, AL) 5-star #24 – Teammate of… ↓↓↓
ONE TO WATCH
It is usually a futile attempt to track the movements of 15-16 year olds. However, do three things KJ Lacey, a guy to look at. First, recruiting for the quarterback position is different than any other position. It has a knock-on effect and it’s important not to be at the bottom of the stack. Second, he is from Saraland High School in BY GOD Alabama. And third, he’s damn good.
Lacey led Saraland to the Class 6A state championship after completing 200 of 314 pass attempts for 3,177 yards with 40 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Is it good? I think that’s pretty good.
The 2025 ranking is currently incomplete, but when it does, he could be ranked as the #1 signal caller. He received an offer from the Tide last weekend. If you get the chance, see him play this fall.