Nick Saban “Out of Touch?” Crimson Tide Closing In on Top-5 Recruiting Class
On July 8, 5-star defensive lineman from Thompson High School Peter Woods declared his commitment to join the Clemson Tigers.
Woods is one of several 5-star prospects in the state of Alabama and for most of his recruitment it seemed he was destined to end up in Tuscaloosa wearing the Crimson and White.
Woods credited Swinney for being, "a lot more lively" and, "a lot more understanding of teenage life" after his commitment.
Losing Woods to Swinney and seeing Alabama legacy Elliot Washington II flip his commitment to the Penn State Nittany Lions on the same weekend beget some to question if Nick Saban was starting to slip.
The seven-time national championship winning coach is 70-yars old after all. After 15 years of dominating the recruiting trail, the Goat has to lose touch at some point with the kids, right?
In the 14 full recruiting cycles since Saban has been at the helm he has never had a class ranked worse than No. 5 overall, according to 247Sports. In fact, he's led the Crimson Tide to eight, No. 1 recruiting classes in that span.
According to 247Sports, Nick Saban's average recruiting class finish is 1.92, and he is, once again, well on his way to securing another top five recruiting class with the 2023 cycle.
The Crimson Tide has secured five commitments since losing Woods to Clemson. Quarterback Dylan Lonergan, running back Justice Haynes, kicker Conor Talty, offensive lineman Olaus Alinen and safety Caleb Downs.
Yes, universities like Miami, Texas A&M, Texas and USC have made strong recruiting pushes in the current cycle, thanks to taking advantage of the NCAA's new policies on name, image and likeness, but nothing will stop Alabama's dominance on the recruiting trail while Saban is in charge.
“Their message to me from the beginning was how they are different from every other program,” Downs told On3 Sports after committing. “Others try to copy what they do, but nobody will be able to have the discipline and consistency that coach Saban brings to Alabama."
Entering his 16th season at The Capstone, Saban still knows exactly what recruits want, NFL opportunities, national championships and college degrees.
Saban has been boisterous this offseason, when reminding the media, that his Crimson Tide alums have earned $1.7 billion in NFL salaries. Additionally, the Tide holds a record 41 first round draft picks in the last 14 seasons.
The Goat has won six national championships in his tenure with the Crimson Tide. Every single recruit that has spent three seasons under his watch in Tuscaloosa can point to their jewelry box and call themselves a national champion. Alabama needs to win another title by the 2023 season to keep this statistic alive, good thing the Crimson and White are heavy favorites for the 2022 title.
Lastly, according to the Graduation Success Rate figures released by the NCAA in December 2021, the Alabama football team posted a score of 86. It was the 13th consecutive year that the Tide has finished in the top four in the SEC.
The Tide is far from finished with the 2023 class, with a total of 15 commits on board to date. Alabama is still working on 5-star prospects such as Cormani McClain, James Smith, Jaquavious Russaw and Richard Young. Additionally, it appears Saban and his staff are making headway with 4-star prospects Kelby Collins, Makari Vickers and Hunter Osborne.
To merely suggest that Saban is out of touch with today's player is not only ludicrous, but shows a deep lack of understanding for the recruiting process that Saban has put in place and followed to perfection throughout the course of time.
The 2023 recruiting cycle is still five months away from the early signing date and seven months away from closing. Allow Saban to adhere to his process and watch the Crimson Tide finish, once again, with one of the best classes in college football.