Alabama Football Recruiting: Developing stories over next couple of days

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

The 48 hours leading up to the first day of the Early Signing Period on Wednesday will be filled with stories about Alabama football recruits.

To borrow an old phrase, the hay is not all in the barn for Alabama football, 2020 class recruiting. Even with 25 verbal commits as of Monday morning, many decisions have not been made. Players and their families often wait until the night before or even later to make a final decision. The Alabama football staff has more than a few decisions to make as well.

Rumors will fly during the first two days of the NCAA Dead Period. They will not stop on Wednesday or even Friday. They will abate somewhat when it becomes clear how many 2020 slots will still be open after Early Signing ends.

The word ‘flip’ will be too often used this week. Too often, that is, for schools getting flipped rather than doing the flipping. It is not always what it seems. When one school decides it no longer has room for a prospect, another school may claim to have ‘flipped’ him away. In that instance, the situation is nothing beyond making numbers work. With only a couple of exceptions, Nick Saban has been a master at making numbers work.

Will the Crimson Tide close big? Such an answer usually means bringing in one or more elite players late. If there is room, the Crimson Tide would love to close with five Top 50 players. They are 5-Star, DE, Jordan Burch; 5-Star, TE, Darnell Washington; 5-Star, WR, Rakim Jarrett; 4-Star, LB, Phillip Webb and possibly 4-Star, RB, Jase McClellan. Gaining two or three would be tremendous. However, the 2020 Alabama football class is already outstanding without them.

Speaking of flips, Jarrett and McClellan would be flips from LSU and Oklahoma. The Alabama football staff must guard against losing 4-Star, DT, Tim Smith and 4-Star, LB, Demouy Kennedy to flips. The biggest respective threats are from Florida and LSU.

Concerns over grades and a mutual parting of the ways may free up some slots in the class. The best guess, as of Monday, is up to three players will not sign early due to unfinished academic requirements. The 2020 class may also be tweaked with one or more grayshirts and potentially a blueshirt, though none appears imminent.

Around 20-23 players are expected to sign during the early period. It is possible a couple of those players will sign but make no official announcements. Darnell Washington is one who is expected to sign (where is not yet known) but will not announce until the Under Armour game. There are rumors, Rakim Jarrett may sign, but not announce until later. Or he may not sign until February. His high-school does not allow its students to early-enroll for college.

It is expected Nick Saban will hold slots until February for Jarrett (if needed) and DT, McKinnley Jackson. If the Tide were to sign another wideout this week, Jarrett is likely out, due to limited slots.

Speaking of limited slots, as high as the Crimson Tide staff is on Jase McCllellan, there may not be enough room for the running back. First, he will have to decide to flip from Oklahoma.

Next. Coaching continuity more important than a new DC. dark

If the pattern follows last year, virtually all the decision action will occur on Wednesday. The second and third days in the early period are not much used by top recruits and top programs.

As always, the star rankings in our Bama Hammer posts are from the 247Sports Composite.