Alabama Football: Recruiting numbers already tight for ’19 class

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Six months prior to the Early Signing Period, Alabama football is already having a numbers problem for some positions in the 2019 recruiting class.

Alabama football is in a great position with 2019 recruiting. The smaller 2018 class leaves room for the Crimson Tide to sign 27 or 28 players in the 2019 class. The currently ranked No. 1 class per 247Sports has 14 verbal commits. With more than six months until any recruit can sign, reversals can be expected.

The biggest current issue for the Crimson Tide is certain positions have more top prospects than available slots. How Alabama football coach Nick Saban handles that challenge will be interesting. The Tide got burned late in last year’s recruiting cycle. Two key commits flipped at the end and led to position shortages in the class. Saban has responded with arguably the most aggressive recruiting effort in several seasons.

Fueled by young, top recruiter, assistant coaches, the Saban push is working. Given the current commits and the large number of top prospects in play, 2019 could become a record-setting class for the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Why 2019 numbers are so tight

Alabama football is a strong contender for 10 of the top 30 recruits in the 2019 class. Those players and their overall national ranking by 247Sports are listed below.

  1. Kayvon Thibodeaux – No. 1 ranked player in the nation.
  2. Darnell Wright – No. 3
  3. Ishmael Sopsher – No. 4
  4. Nolan Smith – No. 6
  5. Trey Sanders – No. 7
  6. Quavaris Crouch – No. 11
  7. Clay Webb – No. 12
  8. Daxton Hill – No. 13
  9. Faatui Tuitele – No. 24
  10. Nakobe Dean – No. 27

Nolan Smith is a Georgia commit but the Crimson Tide is not expected to back off him anytime soon. Guessing about the Alabama football ‘Big Board’ for 2019 gives an expectation all ten of the above players will have slots held open for them.

If that is the case, the class has only three or four currently open slots. Here is a full list of Crimson Tide 2019 Verbal Commits.

The month of June is filled with camps in Tuscaloosa. Players from 2019, 2020 and 2021 classes will earn offers. The quandary for the Alabama football staff and some of the recruits becomes whether the offers carry an option to commit this summer. Three players caught up in the numbers situation are Stephon Wright, Kamaar Bell and Christian Harris.

Stephon Wright

Based on his recent camp performance, Stephon Wright, 4-Star, SDE earned a Tide offer. Wright is from California but has family in Alabama. He says the Crimson Tide is his dream school. All indications are he would commit if given a green light. The problem for Wright is the Tide is in the mix for higher rated SDE’s, Nathan Pickering and Jaren Handy. Alabama football already has a commitment from another in highly rated Antonio Alfano. Making room for Wright, at least for now, may not be possible.

Kamaar Bell

Another numbers dilemma is OL recruit, Kamaar Bell. Bell is rated as a 3-Star recruit but his camp showing this week proved he is far better than his rating. Like Wright and Webb from the list above, Bell would appear to be a great addition to the 2019 class. The problem is the Tide is not expected to take more than five offensive linemen and already has three. Darnell Wright and Clay Webb would fill up that position group. So Bell and the Tide will likely wait.

Christian Harris

The other June question is about Christian Harris. Harris is a 4-Star listed by the recruiting groups as an athlete. Alabama has him slated as an inside linebacker. For several weeks, recruiting insiders have been saying Harris is a Tide priority. The Tide has one ILB commit, Shane Lee and wants to add Nakobe Dean and Kayvon Thibodeaux. Tight overall numbers may mean there is only space for three at ILB. Will the Tide accept a commit from Harris when he visits with his family in late June? Again, a numbers crunch could put a very good player on hold.

Next: 10 Questions for the '18 CFB Season

Tight numbers are a good problem to have and they indicate a strong class. Other good news from the Tide’s first June camp were the reports 2019 commit, DT, D.J. Dale was dominant throughout the sessions.