Whether it's recruiting younger and younger or using technology to aid the process, head coach Nick Saban has remained ahead of the curve. Another example of the sign of the times went down Wednesday as many underclassmen visited the Capstone, including an emerging class of 2018 prospect named Marcus Jenkins.
"It was good, I had a good time," he said of his return visit to campus. "The coaches said that they like me and to keep working. They're coming to look at me in the Spring.
"I grew up liking 'Bama, that's my dream school."
Jenkins, who checks in at 6-foot-4, 315 pounds and primary plays left tackle at Montgomery (Ala.) Lee High School, wants to play offensive line at the next level despite his signing day ceremony being nearly three years away.
"I like offensive line better, but I'll play defensive line at Lee if my coach needs me to help the team," he said. "But Alabama likes me as an offensive tackle."
Jenkins had his eyes on a fellow Montgomery-area product upon taking in UA's practice Wednesday, one who has been on campus for less than three months.
"I was watching Brandon Kennedy," he said. "He did really good at practice today. I like the way they (Alabama) practices, it stood out. Like how hard they work and the intensity."
Kentucky became Jenkins' initial scholarship offer in late March, but the thought of a Crimson Tide offer eventually being placed on the table is one he often thinks about.
"I will be excited!" he said.
Saban and company have yet to offer a class of 2018 prospect within state lines, but one professional in the industry with knowledge of Jenkins' tape wouldn't be surprised if he was among the first to buck the trend.
"Jenkins is very raw overall, however his physical presence is very apparent despite his youth," a former college offensive line coach and All-Conference offensive line selection told BamaMag.com. "You can't teach 6-4, 315 as a freshman. He's very strong and finishes blocks. On one particular play, he down blocks and pancakes the 3-technique and then absorbs a blitzing linebacker nearly simultaneously before pancaking him, too. It's a scholarship (offer) play.
"I would like to see him work on his initial punch and aggressiveness, but overall I think with hard work and dedication on the same path, he can be an SEC left tackle."