January 10, 2022 Indianapolis, IN - Alabama's head coach Nick Saban shouts instructions in the second half during the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Monday, January 10, 2022. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

SEC football recruiting: Alabama comes out landing haymakers on the trail with its 2023 recruiting class

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep will be the first offering of a regular weekend staple on DawgNation. That’s a brisk-yet-through overview of what the SEC football recruiting landscape looks like periodically during the 2023 cycle.


Alabama has handed out some payback to Georgia for that 33-18 final score on the recruiting trail so far.

The Tide has gone into Georgia and plundered two terrific All-Americans. 5-star safety Caleb Downs and 4-star All-American legacy Justice Haynes would have sold a lot of red and black jerseys, but also have the poise to trot out at an SEC Media Days down the road.

Perhaps this point has been overplayed the last two weeks.

Or perhaps it is just part of a larger discussion.

Georgia just saw 15 of its champions drafted by the NFL. That’s a new record. That’s on top of the national title. Shouldn’t things be easier in 2023?

Alabama has played for the national championship nine times in Nick Saban’s 15 seasons. The Tide won it all in six of those nine appearances. Every class that has signed to play for Saban has eventually won a national championship.

Those are powerful words on the recruiting trail. Just maybe not as powerful as the fact that Saban’s Alabama has had an average of 3.8 first-round NFL draft picks after each season dating back to 2017.

Those two truths working in tandem is a one-two punch no program in the country can counter.

How could anyone from Alabama, much less any other state, not choose Alabama?

Yet guess where Clemson’s two-highest rated commits for this cycle are from? Alabama.

Want to know where Georgia’s highest-rated commit is from? Alabama.

If any school has the goods to dominate its state on the trail, it would be ‘Bama.

This is also a record year for 5-stars in the state of Alabama. The state has seven 5-star prospects for this cycle and yet Alabama only has commitments from two of those.

Clemson has two. Georgia has another one in 5-star corner AJ Harris.

The highest-rated prospect in Alabama this year is 5-star DT James Smith. He could pull a Downs and choose Georgia. The second-highest rated prospect in Alabama, Chris Vizzina, will play QB at Clemson.

The Tide holds pledges from the next two-highest rated guys in their state, but the next, Qua Russaw, could also choose the ‘Dawgs. Or he could leave the state for another team.

What if the three highest-rated prospects in the UGA class wind up as 5-stars plucked out of Alabama? Will that mirror what Alabama has done in reeling in Downs and Haynes?

Do you know what that really looks like? Reality. That’s what college football recruiting is like these days. Especially with the NIL and collective movement.

The state of Florida provides another example.

NextYazeed Haynes: The one story you need to know about the newest …
Leave a Comment