Can Alabama football, Nick Saban remain No. 1 on early national signing day?

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Another year, another signing day in which Alabama football sits in contention to finish with the No. 1 class.

The Crimson Tide is preparing for the College Football Playoff semifinal against Cincinnati, but Alabama has a chance for another kind of win on Wednesday.

Alabama will look to maintain its No. 1 spot in the 247Sports Composite rankings after the early national signing day.

Here’s an Alabama primer ahead of one of the biggest days of the year in college football.

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Who comes out on top? Alabama, Georgia or Texas A&M?

Alabama might have won the SEC crown for this season, but the recruiting crown remains up for grabs on the early signing day.

As of Tuesday, the Crimson Tide holds the No. 1 spot in the nation for the 247Sports Composite team ranking, ahead of No. 2 Georgia and No. 3 Texas A&M. However, plenty can change by end of day Wednesday.

Alabama and Georgia, and more specifically Nick Saban and Kirby Smart, have gone back and forth the past few years for the No. 1 recruiting spot. The Crimson Tide earned it for the 2021 class, and the Bulldogs took home the top spot for 2020, edging out No. 2 Alabama. For 2019, the two teams were again flipped.

Alabama and Georgia could very well finish in the top two spots again this season, but Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M could sneak up from the No. 3 spot depending on how signing day shakes out.

Players such as cornerback Daylen Everette, edge Marvin Jones Jr., cornerback Denver Harris (all five-star prospects) and four-star linebacker Shemar James are a few of the names who could determine which team finishes at the top of the recruiting rankings.

The Aggies and Crimson Tide are among the teams in the running for Harris. For the other four, Alabama and Georgia are in their top five, according to 247Sports.

If Alabama can finish No. 1, it will be the first consecutive years in that spot since 2016 and 2017. The 2018 class ended Alabama’s run from 2011 to 2017 finishing with the No. 1 ranking.

How many can Alabama pluck from neighbors and SEC backyards?

Thompson linebacker Jeremiah Alexander (7) moves as a play begins during the 7A state championship game in Birmingham Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr]

The Crimson Tide has success recruiting in-state talent. For example, look no further than edge defender Jeremiah Alexander, a five-star commit from Alabaster who is the top prospect in the state and No. 8 overall.

Recruiting in the home state still remains the fuel of Alabama’s signing class. What’s worth watching is how many signees Alabama can get from neighboring SEC states.

As of Tuesday, six of the 21 commits are from Alabama, the highest number. But four are from Florida and Georgia each.

Signing Jones, the No. 2 edge player behind Alexander in the class, would add another from Florida. Everette would be another from the Sunshine state.

Class continues for new Quarterback U

Alabama doesn’t appear to be slowing down in bringing in top quarterback talent.

Fresh off sophomore quarterback Bryce Young winning the Heisman Trophy, the Crimson Tide is expected to add another five-star quarterback in Ty Simpson.

He’s one of five quarterbacks from the 2022 class to receive five stars from the 247Sports Composite. Simpson is ranked No. 3 at his position in the country.

Simpson would be the third five-star quarterback to sign with the Crimson Tide over the most recent six classes after Young (2020) and Tua Tagovailoa (2017).

Alabama also has Jalen Milroe (2021 four-star) and Paul Tyson (2019 four-star) on the roster at quarterback.

Contact Alabama reporter Nick Kelly: nkelly@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly