Thursday, February 3, 2011
SEC recruiting rewind: Alabama
By Chris Low
Recruits: 23 (Alabama announced 14 signees on Wednesday, all high school players. Nine players were already enrolled in school, including three junior college transfers.)
Top prospects: Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix is ranked by ESPN as the No. 2 safety nationally. Trey DePriest is ranked as the No. 2 outside linebacker. Xzavier Dickson is ranked as the No. 4 defensive end, Bradley Sylve as the No. 5 receiver and Demetrius Hart as the No. 8 running back.
Needs met: The Crimson Tide were looking to improve their pass rush and get more athletic along the defensive front and believe they've done that with Jeoffrey Pagan, LaMichael Fanning and Dickson. DePriest also factors into that equation potentially as a rush linebacker. With Julio Jones leaving early for the NFL, Alabama picked up three ESPNU 150 receivers in Marvin Shinn, Danny Woodson and Sylve. Junior college signee Aaron Douglas could end up being the Tide's left offensive tackle next season, and Clinton-Dix looks like the ideal safety in Saban's system.
Analysis: It's already a stellar class full of promising pass-rushers and coveted playmakers on the perimeter. But Alabama is still in it for top offensive tackle prospect Cyrus Kouandjio, who announced he was going to Auburn, but started having second thoughts and has yet to sign. The top overall prospect in the country, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, also has Alabama in his final three and will announce on Feb. 14. Regardless of what happens with those two, this is still the fourth straight top 3 class nationally that Saban has assembled.
ESPN recruiting grade: A