The national champions turned the page towards recruiting the class of 2017 and beyond the moment the faxes started coming in for the 2016 class on February 3 and Saturday will be the biggest day to date if Alabama is to again be crowned with the No.1 class in the country.
An elite, invite-only junior day is set for Saturday with some 40 blue chip prospects (5 or 4 stars on Scout) expected, among others.
The group is headlined by a handful of Crimson Tide commitments, including No. 1 overall prospect Najee Harris, who arrived late Thursday night. Fellow Scout100 pledges Jake Fromm and Cam Akers are expected along with Aaron Sterling and the sole pledge UA has to its name in the 2018 class to this point in four-star two-way lineman Dare Rosenthal.
But days like these are often built for adding to the class or getting closer to that point by extending new scholarship offers. However, of the more than 70 names BamaMag has on its list, more than 30 rising-seniors already hold verbal offers from UA, including many in-state prospects. Undeclared four-stars Markail Benton LaBryan Ray, Ryan Johnson, Tadarian Moultry, Henry Ruggs, Malcolm Askew and top offensive tackles Austin Troxell and Kendall Randolph make up this list while elite Yellowhammer State prospects perhaps looking to add an offer like Toryque Bateman, K.J. Britt, Monty Rice and others in the class of 2017 will also be on campus. Recently offered legacy prospect Justin Thomas will also be in town.
[Related: CABC podcast on the big recruiting weekend]
Outside of state lines the numbers are just as vast, including Scout100 prospects like Texas defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, Louisiana wide receiver Devonta Smith, Georgia defensive back Jamyest Williams, Florida cornerback and Ohio State Buckeye commitment Shaun Wade and fellow Floridian and four-star defensive end Jarez Parks.
Many other prospects committed to other programs will be in Tuscaloosa including Georgia pledge Justin Shaffer, Florida State verbal VanDarius Cowan and Southern Miss linebacker commitment Freddie Hartz. Former Alabama offensive line pledge Netori Johnson, a teammate of Shaffer's at Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove, is also expected in town for this first time since he backed off of the commitment.
The festivities aren't limited to the class of 2017, either, as many top 2018 prospects in Alabama and otherwise will be in attendance. Rosenthal, five-star Floridian Tyreke Johnson and in-state elites Jack West, Justyn Ross and Jalyn Armour-Davis make up the headliners here. Johnson and Armour-Davis, the Mobile (Ala.) St. Paul's four-star cornerback, don't currently hold Alabama tenders.
As many top talents head to T-town, the facilities got a timely upgrade to provide a little perspective.
BamaMag will keep its premium members updated on these prospects as well as many others in one convenient location, beginning with Friday's expected list to jump-start the weekend. For a one-stop shop on all things Alabama junior day, follow our running update center all weekend long.