Alabama Football under Nick Saban has become a college football recruiting Goliath. The parade of elite players marching into Tuscaloosa appears to never end. Elite 5-Star players are expected to shine, 4-Star players are expected to fight their way to Tide greatness.
In the Saban process, all those stars must be discarded no later than the first day of Scott Cochrane’s 4th quarter strength and conditioning program. From that day forward, talent has no privilege. All that matters is work, rep after rep after rep.
In this college football meritocracy, some 5-Stars fail and some 3-Star players rise. Let’s look back and assess which 3-Star recruits achieved the most success.
A little background is needed before we move on. In the analysis that follows, the standard for defining a 3-Star player is the 247 Sports Composite rating. Every recruiting season, 247 Sports takes their own player ranking and melds it with the ranking of Rivals, Scout and ESPN. The result is the 247 Sports Composite ranking of the nation’s recruits.
Recruit rankings go back to the 1970’s but 247 Sports did not rank players below the 4-Star level until 2002. The following list of players was compiled from all the 3-Star players signed by Alabama going back to 2002.
In counting down from No. 30 to No. 1, each player’s college and professional career was considered. Added credit was given to All-Americans and National Championship starters.
A quick explanation before we get started. D.J. Hall was a 3-Star recruit as the result of a high school injury. Prior to his injury, he was a 4-Star recruit. We begin our countdown with D. J. at No. 30, simply due to lack of clarity about his high school ranking.