Alabama's depth doesn't waver.
The Tide are Rivals' unchallenged No. 1 atop the 2014 team recruiting rankings. Of Alabama's 26 commitments for 2014, six are five-star recruits and 13 are four-star commits. No other team had more than three five-star players commit in the 2014 class. It's the sixth time in seven years that Alabama has been atop Rivals' rankings and it's the best class ever per Rivals' team points totals, which were created in 2008.
Four of the six five-star recruits are on defense. The Tide scored Auburn, Ala. native Rashaan Evans' commitment on Wednesday, and officially added DBs Tony Brown and Marlon Humphrey and DE Da'Shawn Hand, the No. 1 overall player. While both Brown and Humphrey are listed as cornerbacks, their presence can help Alabama fill the void after starting safeties HaHa Clinton-Dix and Vinnie Sunseri declared for the NFL draft.
It's a class that doesn't officially count QB Jacob Coker, who is transferring in from Florida State. Coker, who will be immediately eligible, is already being considered as the favorite to replace AJ McCarron as Alabama's quarterback.
Here's a look at the rest of the Rivals' top 10 and how the recruiting classes could help in 2014.
No. 2 LSU: The Tigers' two five-star recruits could be counted on to be immediate contributors. RB Leonard Fournette, the No. 4 recruit in the country,should jump into the running back rotation right away after Jeremy Hill and Alfred Blue declared for the draft. WR Malachi Dupre, the No. 15 prospect, will help replace Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.
No. 3 Ohio State:The Buckeyes' lone five-star recruit is Raekwon McMillan, and he announced his intention to go to OSU in January. He could be Curtis Grant's primary backup at inside linebacker. It's no coincidence either that Meyer recruited four four-star offensive linemen after the Buckeyes started four seniors up front in 2013.
No. 4 Florida State: FSU scored three five-stars, all on offense. That's a scary proposition for a team that returns QB Jameis Winston, isn't it? WRs Ermon Lane and Travis Rudolph could make up the targets lost with Kelvin Benjamin's departure. With Davonta Freeman's decision to go pro too, RB Dalvin Cook's expectations could rival Fournette's.
No. 5 Tennessee: The Volunteers loaded up on the defensive side of the ball, grabbing 12 four-star defenders. As the SEC suddenly becomes an offensive league and the Vols lost six members of the defensive line, you can tell where coach Butch Jones' priorities are. UT's two five-star recruits, RB Jalen Hurd and WR Josh Malone, should be key contributors right away.
No. 6 Texas A&M: Could five-star QB Kyle Allen and five-star Speedy Noil be the sequel to Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans? It's the best case scenario for Aggie fans. But the key to the recruiting class may be DE Myles Garrett and the 10 other defenders who signed with A&M. The transition from the Manziel-era will be much easier with a competent defense.
No. 7 Georgia: Five-star RB Sony Michel got teammate WR Isaiah McKenzie to sign with the Bulldogs on Wednesday, and DE Lorenzo Carter said a big factor in his commitment was new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. With Hutson Mason officially taking over after Aaron Murray's departure, Pruitt's defense will need to improve from last year's edition.
No. 8 Florida: This is the biggest class in Florida history since when? After last year's debacle, the pressure is on coach Will Muschamp to get a bunch of key contributors out of this 24-man class. Five-star CB Jalen Taylor could replace DB Loucheiz Purifoy while QBs Will Grier and Treon Harris could push Jeff Driskel.
No. 9 Auburn: While the Tigers lost Evans to Alabama, it didn't break Auburn's recruiting class. Five-star RB Racean Thomas could be Tre Mason's heir apparent at RB in coach Gus Malzahn's offense and WR D'haquille Williams should be able to step in right away at wide receiver.
No. 10 USC: Outside of Alabama, the best day was had by USC. The Trojans scored a pair of five-star commits in the afternoon in CB Adoree' Jackson and athlete JuJu Smith. The Trojans recruited Smith as a wide receiver, and Jackson may see some time on offense too. If they both contribute right away, watch out.
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