Alabama Football: Crimson Tide recruiting tests Nick Saban’s patience

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Alabama football coach Nick Saban has no patience with a lack of attention to detail or with anything less than total effort. He is, however, patient when it comes to recruiting.

In the 2022 offseason, Saban is being more patient than ever. The Alabama Crimson Tide has only three verbal commits for the 2023 class. Saban is known to caution recruits to be sure before committing. That is likely to still be a factor. Another factor is schools recruiting a smaller number of elite prospects often lead in the team rankings, months away from the Early Signing Period.

For example, with 20 verbal commits, Texas Tech is No. 2 in the 247Sports Composite team rankings. But the average player ranking for the Red Raiders is way down the list.

The highest-rated recruits are rarely in a hurry to make a decision. Using the 247Sports Composite as a guide, only nine of the 50 highest-rated players have announced for a school. The Crimson Tide has one of them, 5-Star, Jahlil Hurley.

Among SEC schools, Alabama football has the eighth highest class, at No. 38. The seven SEC teams ranked higher than the Crimson Tide have between five and 11 verbal commits. Only three SEC schools have fewer commits than the Tide. Ole Miss and Auburn have two, while South Carolina has one.

Arkansas with 11 commits is the highest-ranked SEC program at No. 5. Georgia is No. 6, with eight commits; Tennessee is No. 9 with nine verbals; LSU is No. 12 with six; Texas A&M is No. 23 with five; Kentucky is at No. 26 with six and Florida is No. 22 with five commits.

The six other SEC schools are ranked below the Crimson Tide: Mississippi State, No. 39 (4 commits); Vanderbilt, No. 42 (4 commits); Missouri, No. 43 (4 commits); Ole Miss, No. 50 (2 commits); Auburn, No. 52 (2 commits) and South Carolina at No. 71, from one 3-Star commit.

On the minds of Crimson Tide fans is whether NIL is affecting Nick Saban’s recruiting efforts. Saban has been adamantly against NIL being used to recruit players.

Nick Saban wants Alabama Football to do NIL right

In challenging Texas A&M’s recruiting in the 2022 cycle, Saban appears to be holding fast to the ‘do it right’ position, no matter what other programs are doing. What Saban said last week was,

"I don’t want to go down that road of bidding for players out of high school. I don’t. But if we go through this recruiting class this year and we lose all the players, because they’re making a hundred thousand dollars going someplace else, then what can you do?"

Will offers of big money from other programs prevent the Crimson Tide from signing a top-class? Arch Manning and his grandfather Archie have said NIL is not a factor in recruiting. With a projected value of $3.1M, Arch said he will not consider NIL deals now because he,

"doesn’t want it to look like he was induced."

Is Nick Saban seeking the impossible?. dark. Next

The Nick Saban pitch is NIL payouts and other potential financial rewards will come later for Alabama Crimson Tide players. Hopefully, more prospects than Arch Manning agree.