Alabama Football: Tide has no room for many, top 2018 recruits

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MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 07: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates with the trophy after defeating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game at Sun Life Stadium on January 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Alabama won the game by a score of 42-14. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

As Alabama football finishes its 2018 signing class, there is no room for many top recruits. Many 4-Stars and maybe even 5-Stars must look elsewhere.

Not having enough roster slots for recruits is not a new problem for Alabama football. It has been the case for most of Nick Saban’s tenure. The challenge is made tougher in building the 2018 class because three players from 2017 must be included. Blueshirts Hunter Brannon and Joseph Bulovas and grayshirt, Jarez Parks are members of the 2018 class.

Last season the No. 91 rated player in the nation, 4-Star, Jarez Parks spurned other offers to accept a Tide grayshirt. Not many Top 100 players choose to wait a season to begin their college football career.

In 2013, Brad Bozeman accepted a grayshirt, though in the fall when a player dropped out for medical reasons, Bozeman joined the team. Bozeman was named to seven All-American teams this season. Bozeman was a 3-Star recruit in 2013, ranked as the No. 471 player in the nation.

The annual 25 recruit limit is what leads to blueshirts and grayshirts. The harder task each season is getting the total roster to the annual limit of 85 players. Somehow, Nick Saban and many other coaches manage the seasonal attrition skillfully.

No room in Tuscaloosa already

Here is a list of players who were very interested in joining Alabama football but for whom there was no room.

  • Andres Fox – 4-Star DE chose Stanford
  • Harold Joiner – 4-Star ATH/RB chose Auburn
  • Seth Williams – 4-Star WR chose Auburn
  • Jaycee Horn – 4-Star CB chose South Carolina
  • Jalen Cunningham – 3-Star DT chose Ole Miss

The best guess of numbers for the 2018 class is there are eight open slots. Maybe that number grows to nine.

Uncommitted Players unlikely to have a spot

  • Joshua Moore – 4-Star WR
  • Kelvin Joseph – 4-Star Safety
  • Eddie Smith – 3-Star CB
  • Jamarye Joiner – 3-Star QB; Joiner is committed to Arizona but intends to visit on Feb. 2nd
  • Kevontae Ruggs – 3-Star LB/S; younger brother of Henry Ruggs, likely to grayshirt
  • Michael Parker – 3-Star TE. Parker would have signed early but is expected to grayshirt

Top Players for whom the Tide may not have enough slots

  • At offensive line, one expected open slot means that there may not be room for both 4-Star Penei Sewell and 5-Star Nicholas Petit-Frere.
  • There may be only two open slots for wide receivers. If so, two in this group of 4-Stars; Justyn Ross, Jaylen Waddle, Jacob Copeland and Justin Watkins will not get a spot.
  • Unless 3-Star ATH/LB, Vernon Jackson firmed up his commitment this weekend, he may miss out.
  • In addition to Joiner (QB), listed above at least one more QB will be left out. Either 4-Star James Foster or 3-Star Brock Purdy.

Although it is not expected, there remains an outside chance for three 5-Star cornerbacks wanting to sign with the Tide. Tyson Campbell and Patrick Surtain Jr. visited this weekend. Isaac Taylor-Stuart is scheduled to visit on January 26th. All three are too good to turn away.

Most schools would love to have the problem faced by Alabama football. Too many great players for too few slots leads to championships.

As the post linked above shows, 3-Star recruits like Brad Bozeman can become great players. Sometimes even Zero-Star recruits flourish in the Alabama football system like Levi Wallace did this season.

All player ratings in this post came from the 247Sports Composite.