Dan Mullen’s wisdom about recruiting notwithstanding, it appears that Kirby Smart learned his approach at the right school.
It was no surprise to see Alabama atop the 2019 recruiting class rankings, since Nick Saban has held the No. 1 class in six of his 12 seasons with the Crimson Tide. Saban has had a class ranked outside the top five only once and has been within the top three 11 times.
What was more interesting, and maybe more telling of why Saban has topped every program year in and year out, were the number of his former assistants turned head coaches who were also dominating the recruiting class rankings.
Saban and his former assistants manning their own programs held five of the top-11 ranked recruiting classes in 2019. Kirby Smart and Georgia were just behind Saban at No. 2 in the rankings, Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M were No. 3, Mario Cristobal and Oregon were sixth and Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee held on to No. 11.
Of the prospects ranked in the ESPN 300, 72 signed with Saban or his former assistants at those five programs.
Eh, probably just a coincidence. Justin Fields, something something something, Mullen said.