Alabama Football Recruiting: The Dead Period feels like a Dead Zone

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

When the cloak of summer covers the south, heat rises and pace slows. For Alabama football fans, the NCAA Dead Period feels like something akin to a dead zone for recruiting information.

For Alabama football, the big recruiting event of the summer has come and gone. Adjusting to a new NCAA recruiting calendar, Nick Saban moved up the schedule for the annual Champions Cookout. Elite recruits from across the nation trekked to Tuscaloosa at their own expense.

The talent level of the Cookout visitors was impressive. A few elite targets, like 5-Stars Trey Sanders, Ishmael Sopsher and Darnell Wright did not make it to Tuscaloosa. Other elite prospects did, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Clay Webb and Faatui Tuitele attended. None of them appear close to a decision and the Tide remains in the mix or leads for all six.

Message boards have been buzzing since Friday, driven by the insatiable appetite of Alabama football fans for another No. 1 class. Credible insiders predicted the Cookout weekend would yield two to four commits in the 2019 and 2020 classes. So far, there have been no public announcements. Tide fans need not be concerned.

Nick Saban is known to pump the brakes on commitments from players who visit without family members. He also prefers a recruit to wait until they are sure about joining the Tide. In an already tight 2019 class, not every player offered has the green light to commit. A glimpse of Saban’s Big Board would clarify where players are in the pecking order. Since the Kirby photo episode, we suspect the Big Board has 24-hour surveillance.

Are Jimbo and Coach O catching up to Saban?

Based on the Team Rankings from the 247Sports Composite, the Aggies have the No. 2 class for 2019. LSU is right behind them at No. 3.

The Bengal Tigers never fail to recruit lots of talent. Orgeron has two 5-Star commits but his group of 18 verbal commits includes only four Top 100 players. The LSU class is heavy in 3-Star recruits. Alabama football fans well know some 3-Stars become great players, but that is not the norm. Seven of Coach O’s 2019 recruits are outside the Top 400 players in the nation.

The situation is almost the same in College Station. Eight of Jimbo’s 18 commits are 3-Stars. The Aggies have only three Top 100 commits and one of them, 4-Star, DeMarvin Leal is a top candidate to flip to the Crimson Tide.

How dead is the Dead Period?

The Dead Period is not really a dead zone. The recruiting process slows a bit because there can be no in-person contact between recruits and coaches. It does not stop. Communication is ongoing between recruits and coaches. It is just accomplished electronically or theoretically by regular mail, to whatever extent it is still used.

What happens next?

Long before the oppressive heat of a southern summer relents, the Tide will add commits. It could happen anytime. Top 2020, 4-Star recruit, Jayson Jones will announce on July 2nd.

Until then, stay glued to your favorite message board. Or better yet, don’t sweat the heat and recruiting at the same time. The Alabama football staff has a high level of confidence the 2019 and 2020 Alabama football classes will be historic. We’ll keep updating with pertinent and credible information.

Next: 2019 Verbal Commits

There are rumors Saban plans another Champions Cookout this year. It is expected to be at the end of July.