Alabama becoming a recruiting hotbed

Everyone talks about the depth of talent in Texas, Florida, California and Louisiana. But you can’t forget Alabama. Especially this year. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg provided some interesting facts about recruiting the state this year:

“Alabama is producing great talent both in quality and quantity…Rivals.com has 33 five-star prospects, and three are from Alabama – Fluker, Kirkpatrick and Analusia’s Nico Johnson. Fluker and Kirkpatrick are also the No. 1 prospects at their respective positions; Johnson is the No. 2 outside linebacker prospect in the country and the No. 3 overall prospect in the state…”

It isn’t like this is an anomaly. Alabama produced three five-star players in 2008 too. One of those five-stars was Julio Jones. As a quick contrast, in 2008 Louisiana produced no five-star talent on the Rivals list. In 2009 Louisiana has three five-star players on the list including highly regarded Rueben Randle.

The most interesting aspect of the Rivals top players in Alabama is their likely destination. In 2008 Alabama landed all five top players in the state and seven of the top ten. Auburn landed zero of the top ten; Florida landed two of the state’s top ten players. Clemson snagged the other one. All three five-star players signed with the Tide including Jones, Burton Scott and Tyler Love.

How will 2009 unfold? Alabama holds verbal commitments from four of the top ten with four more undecided, but each includes the Tide in their final list. Auburn holds one verbal pledge and Tennessee the remaining pledge. The undecided players include Dre Kirkpatrick, Tana Patrick, Kendall Kelley and Brandon Moore. Alabama has a good chance to land some if not all those remaining top ten players. Kirkpatrick is the only five-star player not committed to the Tide at this time. Analysts like ESPN’s Tom Luginbill have said Kirkpatrick is likely headed to Tuscaloosa. That would mean another sweep of the state’s five-star talent in 2009.