No college football team has matched the success of Alabama in the last six seasons, winning three national titles and averaging 12 victories a season. The Crimson Tide have a good chance to continue that success over the next few years, having recruited the best class in 2015.
According to ESPN’s rankings, head coach Nick Saban has given Alabama the best group of commitments for next year. The school didn’t exactly make the biggest splash on National Signing Day 2015, failing to sign a player in ESPN’s top 10 list of recruits, but the overall quality of their 25 new players puts them ahead of everyone else.
Cornerback Kendall Sheffield leads the list of incoming Alabama recruits. He ranks No.12 in ESPN’s top 300, choosing the SEC powerhouse over the likes of Florida State, Ohio State, USC and Texas A&M. Quarterback Blake Barnett is ranked No.14, while wide receiver Calvin Ridley and cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick also fall in the top 30.
Auburn’s 2015 recruiting class isn’t quite as good as their rival’s, coming in at No.8 in ESPN’s rankings. However, the Tigers did land the biggest player on National Signing Day, getting a commitment from the top player in this year’s class.
Byron Cowart chose Auburn over Florida, giving head coach Gus Malzahn a possible future defensive superstar. The defensive end from Seffner, Florida is listed at 6’4 and 258 pounds. He recorded 11 sacks and 21 tackles for a loss in his final year of high school football.
In addition to Cowart, 25 other recruits have decided to play for the Tigers. Kerryon Johnson joins Cowart as Auburn’s only other five-star recruit, according to ESPN’s ratings. He’s ranked No.20 overall, out of Madison, Alabama. Outside linebackers Jeffery Holland and Richard McBryde are other notables that have signed with Auburn.
LSU rounds out the top 10 recruiting classes with 25 total recruits. Last year, the Tigers landed ESPN’s top ranked recruit in running back Leonard Fournette. Head coach Les Miles hopes the school’s best recruit this year is just as good, considering Fournette rushed for over 1,000 yards in his freshman season.
Cornerback Kevin Toliver II leads the LSU class. He verbally committed to LSU more than two years ago, and has finally made his intention to play at LSU official. Defensive end Arden Key also signed with the Tigers, and No.30 ranked Tyron Johnson is the team’s top offensive recruit, playing wide receiver.
Five of ESPN’s top 10 classes come from the SEC, with Tennessee and Georgia also cracking the list, but both schools brought in 29 recruits, while Alabama and LSU each received 25 commitments and Auburn landed 26.
Florida State ranks No.2 overall, followed by Clemson and USC.