Another recruiting cycle, and another dominant year for Nick Saban and Alabama.
Based off reports throughout National Signing Day on Wednesday, Saban and his staff once again have the top ranked class in the country. Pulling in six five-star ranked recruits among their 27 player haul, the Tide spent most of their time in the South, with all but six signed players plucked from the talent rich region.
Top programs like Notre Dame, Texas, and closest Tide rival Auburn, also had big days, but it would be hard to argue they eclipsed Alabama’s. Sabana and his staff even pulled off one of the bigger switches of the day, swiping Auburn HS linebacker Rashaan Evans from the Tigers at the last minute.
Defense end Da’Shawn Hand out of Woodbridge High School in Virginia, along with defensive back Tony Brown, and all-around athlete Bo Scarbrough put Saban and the Tide in line to extend their torrid run in college football. In his last two years at Woodbridge, Hand totaled 37 sacks and 110 total tackles, including 40 tackles for a loss.
The Fighting Irish also picked up a huge haul on the defensive side of the ball, signing Crete-Monee HS inside linebacker Nyles Morgan out of Illinois, and defensive end Andrew Trumbetti from Demarest, N.J. Out of Tennessee, offensive lineman Alex Bars might be Brian Kelly’s biggest steal out of the South. At 6-foot-6, 290 lbs., Bars was a second-team All-American showing of his outstanding quickness and overall movement for his position.
The Longhorns Charlie Strong made the most from his limited recruiting time, and spent most of his time keeping top in-state talent. Strong got commitments from defensive end Derick Roberson, and outside linebacker Edwin Freeman out of Bowie HS in Arlington.
Defense was an especially big target for Texas, as they struggled all year long to stop opposing offenses. Four-star recruit Freeman committed to the Longhorns and Strong last month, but made it official on Wednesday.
Despite the loss of Evans, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn put together an excellent class that could keep help keep the Tigers atop the SEC and amongst the best rushing attacks in the country. Malzahn may have found his sucessors for Tre Mason in Racean Thomas and Kamryn Pettway. Thomas, out of Oxford HS in Ala., stands at 5-foot-11 and 202 lbs. with a clocked 40-yard dash of 4.48, and Pettway rushed for 1,402 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior at Prattville HS in Ala.
Versatile receiver Stanton Truitt out of Monroe Area HS could also give the Tigers offense more balance. Truitt graduated early and enrolled last month after rushing for 1,551 yards and 24 touchdowns at quarterback for Monroe.
Some of the top signees for Alabama, Texas, Auburn, and Notre Dame are below.
Cameron Robinson, OT, West Monroe HS, West Monroe, LA
Da’Shawn Hand, DE, Woodbridge HS, Woodbridge, VA
Tony Brown, CB, Ozen HS, Beaumont, TX
Bo Scarbrough, ATH, Tuscaloosa County HS, Northport, AL
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Hoover HS, Hoover, AL
Nyles Morgan, OLB, Crete-Monee HS, Crete, IL
Alex Bars, OT, Montgomery Bell Academy, Nashville, TN
Corey Holmes, WR, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Andrew Trumbetti, DE, Northern Valley Region High, Demarest, NJ
Derick Roberson, DE, William J. Brennan HS, San Antonio, TX
Armanti Foreman, WR, Texas City HS, Texas City, TX
Edwin Freeman, OLB, Bowie HS, Arlington, TX
Jerrod Heard, QB-DT, John H. Guyer HS, Denton TX
Lorenzo Joe, ATH, Cooper HS, Abilene, TX
Racean Thomas, RB, Oxford HS, Oxford, AL
Sean White, QB-PP, University Shool of Nova South, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Tre’ Williams, ILB, St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Mobile, AL
Kamryn Pettway, RB, Prattville HS, Prattville, AL