Savor these times, friends.
JC Shurburtt, the former national scouting director at 247Sports, said it’s still not impossible for Alabama to pull a signing day straight and steal another No. 1 spot. It’s just a real longshot at this point.
“Where I would caution people, is don’t think this is a down year for Alabama,” Shurburtt said. “This is a situation where Georgia is getting their share of guys because of their success and it’s always been that way in the state of Georgia. Georgia is the preferred team for a lot of these guys who grow up over there. And you can’t take advantage of them under-achieving with them playing for the national championship and Kirby Smart and his staff do an excellent job.”
The Kirby Smart factor is hard to ignore in this whole dynamic.
One of Alabama’s best recruiters in his eight seasons as defensive coordinator, Smart was a big reason the Tide did so well just east of the state line. Back in 2012, Alabama signed eight from Georgia. Since Smart took over in Athens, Alabama hasn’t signed more than one per class from Georgia. The Tide’s lone commitment for this class, Quay Walker, is now classified as a “soft commit” with Tennessee and Georgia gaining ground in the fight to flip the four-star linebacker.
Smart is the X-factor in it all.
“It hurts. It definitely hurts,” said Farrell of Rivals. “They’ve done a good job at Georgia in recent years. When you look at Kirby Smart being able to win head-to-head battles for guys that Alabama covets. Being able to flip guys that Alabama had committed. It’s not often that happens to Alabama at all.”
Savor, but don’t gloat. After all, while it may be a long shot, it wouldn’t be a total surprise to wake up Thursday morning and find that Nick Saban had somehow convinced the top eight recruits out there to come to Tuscaloosa.
But definitely savor.