Alabama football fans want to see the 2019 Big Board

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Alabama football fans wish for a sighting of Nick Saban’s Big Board for 2019 recruiting. Since that is impossible, we have the next best option.

The odds of an Alabama football fan getting a glimpse of Saban’s recruiting ‘Big Board’ is roughly the same as a theft of gold at Fort Knox. The Big Board, as we understand it, is a list by position of Tide recruiting targets from most sought to less sought. We are not even sure it is an actual board any longer, following the Kirby Smart photo-theft of the information, just before the door should have hit him on the ass.

In whatever form it exists, the Big Board is the inside scoop of the focus for each recruiting class. Since none of us can see it, we are offering a capsule version of the names we believe are at the top of each position group.

Alabama football has 16 verbal commitments in the 2019 class. From a point six and eight months out, there is always attrition. Players and coaching staffs change their mind some. So for discussion, we will use 14 solid commits. The Tide is expected to sign 28, so that leaves 14 open slots.

Bama Hammer Big Board – 2019

For the projected 14 open slots, we have 18 names on our Big Board. Plus we have one more name that is a longshot, elite player committed elsewhere now. Current commits are not listed, which explains why we have no QB names. That position group is filled.

We could list another 18 top targets but our projection is for those at the top of the Big Board. As in all our recruiting posts, the player ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.

Defensive Backs

  • Akeem Dent – 5-Star committed to FSU. Rated as the No. 3 CB and No. 31 player overall.
  • Daxton Hill – 5-Star; No. 1 Safety and No. 8 overall.
  • Devonta Lee – 4-Star; rated as a WR and the No. 89 player overall

Defensive Line

  • Kayvon Thibodeaux – 5-Star; No. 1 WDE and No. 1 player overall
  • Ishmael Sopsher – 5-Star; No. 1 DT and No. 3 player overall
  • Faatui Tuitele – 5-Star; No. 3 DT and No. 29 player overall
  • DeMarvin Leal – 4-Star committed to TAMU. Rated No. 4 Dt and No. 52 overall
  • Khris Bogle – 4-Star; No. 4 WDE and No. 81 overall

Thibodeaux and Bogle could be outside linebackers for the Crimson Tide. Sopsher is expected to come down to the Tide, LSU or TAMU. Tuitele will likely announce his commitment to the Tide soon.

Inside Linebackers

  • Nakobe Dean – 5-Star; No. 1 ILB and No. 20 player overall
  • Christian Harris – 4-Star; No. 8 ATH and No. 124 player overall. ILB is his planned Tide position.
  • Mohamoud Diabate – 4-Star; Rated as No. 10 OLB and No. 154 player overall

Offensive Line

  • Clay Webb – 5-Star; No. 1 rated Center and No. 11 player overall
  • Darnell Wright – 5-Star; No. 1 rated OT and No. 5 player overall
  • Kamaar Bell – 3-Star; No. 21 OG and No. 575 player overall

Almost every recruiting insider has Webb as a Tide lock. Wright is expected to be a battle between Nick Saban and Jeremy Pruitt. Bell is valued far higher than his rating by Tide coaches, but there may not be room for him in the class.

Running Back

  • Trey Sanders – 5-Star; No. 1 RB and No. 7 player overall

Alabama football remains very much in play for Sanders. There are other options but Sanders is the big play for 2019.

Wide Receiver

  • George Pickens – 4-Star, Auburn commit. No. 8 WR and No. 51 overall
  • John Metchie – 4-Star; No. 42 WR and No. 277 player overall

Tight End

  • Jaheel Billingsley – 4-Star; No. 11 TE and No. 295 overall

The 19th name is another 5-Star. He is 5-Star defensive lineman Chris Hinton. He is rated the No. 2 SDE and the No. 22 player overall and is committed to Michigan.

There will be many changes throughout the cycle. We will comment on any significant change as information becomes known.

Next: 30 Great Tide Players who were 3-Star Recruits

Most of these players will not announce a decision until official visits next fall. In the case of Nakobe Dean, he has already used his official to Tuscaloosa.