Alabama: Superlatives

National signing day for the University of Alabama was rather low key other than picking up two four-star commitments and three players originally on the list deciding to go elsewhere. Normally that is enough cause for a plenty of headline news, but it seemed business as usual for Tide fans coming off the second national championship in three years.

The crown jewel

Alabama signed several major prospects in this recruiting class. The first commitment was Eddie Williams who finished the No. 3 safety prospect in the country. Reggie Ragland as the nation's top linebacker. T.J. Yeldon was Mr. Football in Alabama who had a phenomenal senior season. Ryan Anderson proved he belonged among the nation's elite with his performance throughout the year. There are several other highly-touted players in this class. The face of this recruiting class is Landon Collins for more reasons than the recent headlines. He is the nation's No. 8 overall recruit and best player in this year's Alabama class.

Biggest need offense

Alabama wanted to add explosive players at the skill positions. They met the need with Amari Cooper and Chris Black who are considered the top two receivers in the state of Florida. Both have already enrolled in Tuscaloosa. Eddie Williams (6-4, 205) is also expected to begin his career on the offensive side of the ball. Williams gives the Tide a tall, physical, athlete who can make plays on the outside. Five-star Cyrus Jones can play on either side of the ball, but expected to start his career on offense.

Biggest need defense

Alabama needed to add depth in the secondary especially at the cornerback position. It's a big reason why the Tide is bringing in two junior college cornerbacks in Travell Dixon and Deion Belue. Geno Smith is the only high school cornerback signed by Alabama this year and rated No. 8 at his position. He can play multiple positions including cornerback and safety. The prize was Landon Collins.

Biggest miss

Alabama didn't miss on many prospects. Jameis Winston opted for Florida State, but baseball looms large in his final decision. Jordan Jenkins chose UGA. The biggest miss is Eddie Goldman due to position of need. He is a monster in the middle. Sal Sunseri, who was Goldman's main recruiter for Alabama, may have played a role in the Tide losing ground in the past month. Goldman signed with Florida State to form one of the most impressive defensive line classes in the past few years.

Defensive tackle was a position of need for Alabama in this year's class. The staff landed Dakota Ball and Darren Lake. Ball might stay on defense or possibly move to the offensive line. Korren Kirven and Dalvin Tomlinson are listed as defensive tackles, but will likely play defensive end in Alabama's 3-4 scheme.

Biggest steal

Darren Lake was flying under the radar until camps last summer. He quickly earned scholarship offers from Alabama and Tennessee after dominating camp performances. Lake is a monster in the middle at 6-foot-3, 340-pounds. He is a powerful defender who is still a very raw. Lake certainly has the tools to become an elite player at the SEC level.

Biggest surprise

This could have gone to a couple of different players including signing day commitments Dalvin Tomlinson and Korren Kirven. It could have gone to Alphonse Taylor. T.J. Yeldon grabs this award. He remained committed to Auburn until a press release informed the media of the de-commitmen. This was probably the biggest recruiting hit of the season for the Tigers. Yeldon has the skills to develop into an elite running back in Tuscaloosa.

Class sleeper

Most of Alabama's signees in the 2012 class are members of the 300. One on the outside is Brandon Hill who is a very big, talented offensive lineman. He is powerful and light on his feet. Hill might end up the biggest sleeper in this year's class.


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