Three of the last five seasons, Alabama has walked that aisle and held the crystal ball as national champions at season’s end.
Five-star joined the Alabama class on Signing Day and is one of the headliners in a talented group of defensive signees.
The Crimson Tide didn’t win it all this year, but they laid the groundwork to possibly do it again in the years to come as they won their fourth consecutive recruiting title.
As the ink dried on the National Letters-of-Intent this afternoon it was Alabama again on top of the 247Sports Team Rankings (powered exclusively by 247Sports Composite rankings) and capturing the 2014 Recruiting National Championship.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s philosophy of one-third talent acquisition (recruiting), one-third player development (improving the talent while its on campus) and one-third personnel use (putting the talent in its best position to succeed) continues to be the formula that keeps the wins rolling to Tuscaloosa.
The first third was again especially strong this cycle, including the stunning signing of the nation’s top outside linebacker, Rashaan Evans of Auburn (Ala.) High, beating the hometown Tigers.
The strength of Alabama’s class lies in the trenches. Led by offensive line coach Mario Cristobal, the Crimson Tide inked the nation’s No. 1 offensive line class.
They went into Louisiana and pulled five-star franchise tackle Cameron Robinson. Saban, a West Virginia native, continues to compliment his offensive line stable with talent from “offensive line” heaven in the Midwest. Alabama landed two of the region’s best, securing four-star center JC Hassenauer out of Minnesota and four-star road grader Ross Pierschbacher out of Iowa.
The Tide landed the top in-state center with Joshua Casher, gained a steal in Florida with Montel McBride and will get immediate depth with Dominick Jackson, the nation’s No. 1 JUCO offensive tackle.
Not to be outdone, the Tide also inked the nation’s No. 1 defensive line. They dipped into the JUCO ranks to get a pair of four-star gems with Jarran Reed and D.J. Pettway.
The d-line haul was highlighted by the nation’s No. 1 defensive end Da’Shawn Hand. That was arguably Alabama’s biggest splash this cycle as they went into Virginia and beat out the longtime leader, Michigan, for the five-star recruit.
The Crimson Tide also landed three of the best defensive tackles in the Southeast with Josh Frazier, O.J. Smith and Johnny Dwight.
Alabama, a program known for its elite defense, figures to stay put with that branding as they signed one of the nation’s best linebacker and secondary classes.
No one in America inked a better cornerback than Alabama with the five-star duo of Tony Brown and Marlon Humphrey.
Offensively, the Tide inked a four-star QB in David Cornwell, two four-star wide receivers (Cameron Sims and Derek Kief) and Tuscaloosa four-star running back Bo Scarbrough. This on the heels of signing four of the nation’s top running backs last cycle.
Overall, the 2014 class kept Alabama in a familiar place: on top.