Alabama has landed back-to-back top recruiting classes. According to Rivals.com, the largest online recruiting service, the Crimson Tide topped LSU by a margin that should trigger an automatic recount. Alabama 2,786 LSU 2,762.
It was the signature of Trent Richardson that secured Alabama’s victory late Wednesday afternoon. Watch Trent Richardson donning a houndstooth hat to punctuate his choice of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Nick Saban even noticed the Alabama hats being displayed on national television Wednesday.
â€œI think Iâ€™ve seen just about every kind of Alabama hat there is, donâ€™t you think?” Saban said. “I liked that last one though. It was a pretty good one. We are certainly pleased with the quality of the class we were able to attract to the University of Alabama. Obviously, itâ€™s a great blend of great athletes, some size players, some guys that actually solve some needs for us in the future, relative to complementing the players that we have in the program right now, as well a fine character group of young men that weâ€™re pleased and happy to have join the quality of players that we have right now in terms of their character.”
Saban described his thoughts on Trent Richardson’s decision during his press conference.
â€œI was elated, ecstatic, happy and really pleased,” Saban said. “I think he was a real key to the class because heâ€™s an outstanding player at a position that a young player can contribute at next year. He may have the opportunity to do that because our circumstances have changed with Glen Coffee going off to the draft and Roy Upchurch getting injured this year, even though we are pleased with the progress that he (Roy) is making. A young player may have the opportunity to contribute and Trent certainly has the ability to do that. They (Trentâ€™s family) are great people. In their mind there was never anything to worry about.â€
Saban handed out compliments to everyone on his staff and key Alabama administrators like Dr. Robert Witt and Mal Moore. He took time to praise another member of the Alabama team, Terry Saban.
“My wife Terry does an awfully good job of making our house available to the prospects when they come in and all the coaches wives contribute to it,” Saban said. “Iâ€™m not sure everybody knows how much everybody puts into this when it comes to recruiting and itâ€™s not just one recruiting visit, its multiple visits and unofficial visits that all contribute to developing the relationships that you need to be able to attract quality guys and it takes a lot of time with our coaching staff, our administrative staff and our academic staff here.”
While fans are enthusiastic about the top ranking, Saban is doing his best to send a message to the incoming freshmen.
â€œIâ€™m not really interested, as always, in talking about how this class gets rated because the real significance of this class is what happens two or three years from now, in terms how they develop and how they contribute to the program and how many outstanding performers that we have in his class,” Saban said. “Thatâ€™s the true evaluation of this class. Itâ€™s great that they are recognized. Itâ€™s great that our coaching staff could put such a good group together, but at the same time, their character and ability to develop as a group will ultimately determine the impact that this class has on our football program, and our ability to win and win championships. Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s most important to me. Itâ€™s the same analogy I use every year, the best puppy dogs donâ€™t always grow up to be the best hunting dogs and that is what has to happen from freshman, sophomore and junior years, in terms of players developing. Itâ€™s so important.”