Alabama heading toward another No. 1 class
Alabama is poised to win another offseason national championship in college football.
With National Signing Day less than a week away, Nick Saban and his coaching staff have once again put together a star-studded class of high school seniors, making it very likely that the school will bring in its fifth straight No. 1 class when all of the major recruiting sites put out their Top 25 rankings at the end of signing day.
ICONNick Saban and his staff are bringing in a load of new talent to Tuscaloosa.
The Crimson Tide arguably wrapped up the No. 1 spot months ago. That's just how great things have been on the recruiting trail for Saban and his staff in recent years, as the team is able to get verbal pledges from more blue-chip recruits more often and earlier than any other program.
'Bama currently occupies the top spot nationally in the 247Sports Composite team rankings for 2015, and that's even after the program lost three pledges from its incoming class on Thursday: offensive lineman Isaiah Prince as well as cornerbacks Rico McGraw and Montrell Custis. Three decommitments in a single day would usually send shockwaves through a program's fanbase. But it's different in Tuscaloosa.
Despite losing pledges to the aforementioned high school seniors, Saban and Co. have 23 commitments and what is still considered an elite haul even if the group doesn't add another one or two top-tier talents by next Wednesday. Among the 23 commitments, six are five-star and 13 are four-star players based on the 247Sports Composite rating scale. That's, quite simply, incredible.
Even though Prince decommitted, the team still has five O-Line pledges, including Richie Petitbon. And though the team needs to improve its secondary play and depth, the losses of McGraw and Custis are negated a bit by the fact that Kendall Sheffield and Minkah Fitzpatrick are two of the better corners in the nation. The Tide will also bring back Tony Brown and Marlon Humphrey at corner from last year's class.
And do not be shocked at all if Saban and his staff get a signing day commitment as big as last year, when linebacker Rashaan Evans chose the Crimson Tide over Auburn. Keep in mind that stud defensive end CeCe Jefferson remains in the mix as next Wednesday approaches. The staff is also trying to get Ole Miss commit Drew Richmond to flip. As one of the better offensive tackles in the country, the Memphis native would make up for the loss of Prince and make the rich even richer.
Overall, this is a very balanced class, with high-star players at several key positions. The Tide snagged a quarterback from California in Blake Barnett, went to Texas to get Sheffield, added a few running backs and have plenty of beef across both the offensive and defensive lines.
Just another year at the office for Saban and his staff, and just another offseason title for the Tide.
Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.