It is no surprise that the Alabama Crimson Tide is recruiting with the best of them in college football once again. Depending on which recruiting website you follow closely, there is a good chance the Tide are at the top, as 247sports.com is one that has them ahead of the pack.
But never mind arguing about who truly has the top class, this is no fluke. Alabama has been able to snag nearly every recruit it has had its eyes on over the last several years, and there are no signs of this slowing down.
Probably the only recruits that managed to slip away were turned down by the Crimson Tide, not the other way around.
How is it possible?
Here are the top recruiting points that the Alabama coaching staff are able to sell to these elite prospects.
The Coaching Staff Cares
We can get to the more obvious stuff in a minute. Having a coaching staff that actually cares about the players is probably the most important part of the whole recruiting process. These top recruits know that they are wanted for their athletic ability by every team in the country. It is the guys that show them that they will actually be cared about off the field that makes the biggest difference and helps seal the deal.
The players help the team win and keep the coaches from landing on the hot seat, but what can the coaches do for the players in return?
Well, at Alabama, Saban actually wants to help impact the recruit’s life off of the field. As Saban recently told Cindy Boren of The Washington Post, he isn't leaving for the NFL because of the impact he gets to have on each and every young player:
I didn’t feel like I could impact the team the same way that I can as a college coach in terms of affecting people’s lives personally, helping them develop careers by graduating from school, off the field, by helping develop them as football players, and there’s a lot of self gratification in all that, all right
Saban also puts absolutely no pressure on the recruits to commit to Alabama. When he throws that offer on the table, the choice is up to you whether or not you want to wear the crimson and white. The coaches will be there to answer any questions, but you won't feel obligated to accept the offer just because it is mighty Alabama. Saban told Mark Edwards of the Ledger-Enquirer last year that he doesn't recruit in a negative way.
We don't really care when they decide where they want to go. He said. Because we don't put any pressure on you, your commitment should mean something. When you commit, we don't want to have any of these changes.
Saban also isn't somebody who is going to lead players in the wrong direction. When he offers a kid a scholarship, he has a good idea of what he will be getting if that recruit accepts. Much like on the football field, the Alabama coach leaves no stone unturned.
The assistant coaches spend time each and every day just on the recruiting process. They go over every detail to find out if this particular player fits the system or not and prefer to see the kids work out face-to-face, rather than go off of a high school highlight reel. For the final step, the coaching staff then tries to find out a few dirty secrets to see if this player is built mentally to handle the pressure of playing for the Crimson Tide.
Rachel Bachman and Ben Cohen of The Wall Street Journal wrote how this process works, according to former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain.
Finally, coaches talk to family, friends and others to go "seven-deep into a guy's life" to gauge his mental strength, said former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, who is now the head coach at Colorado State.
There aren't many programs that put that much into the recruiting process and go through everything with a fine-toothed comb. It is hard to trust anybody when all these schools are coming at you like a pack of wolves. At least with Alabama, both sides know what they are going to get when the offer is accepted.
Want to Play at the Next Level?
The question is simple: do you want to play in the NFL? If yes, then you can pack your bags for Tuscaloosa.
Oh, if you pick the other school that is extending the offer, you will still get picked up by an NFL team, but it probably won't be as high if you were to hop on board with the Crimson Tide. Since Saban has arrived, players have been drafted in the NFL at record pace. Guys such as Mark Barron, Marcell Dareus, Dont'a Hightower, Mark Ingram, Julio Jones and many more have all recently been taken in the first round.
If you aren't high on the NFL radar, there is a good chance you will still be taken somewhere within the first seven rounds, as Josh Chapman, Kenneth Darby and Marquis Johnson have shown.
Want some more recent proof?
Well, Gil Brandt, a senior analyst for NFL.com, projects that a total of four players who played for Alabama last season will be selected within the first 16 picks in the upcoming NFL draft. It is really cut and dry, there is not any other program in the country that is producing NFL talent at the moment the way the Crimson Tide is.
So, I'll ask you again, do you want to play in the NFL?
If You Want to Win
The most obvious recruiting point would be the fact that Alabama has taken over college football. Three of the last four crystal footballs have gone to this program, as it has turned into this machine that just can't stop winning.
And not only are the results piling up like nothing we have ever seen, but the players are willing to put the work in and are hungry for even more success. Just check out what wide receiver Amari Cooper told Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald (Via SouthBendTribune.com):
"This season was good, but I expected it to be even more," Cooper said.
"There is so much more that I can do. I'm going to keep working. I'm only a freshman. I'm going to try to win three or four (championships)."
What is crazy is that this would sound insane coming from any other school that struck gold in winning one national title. However, with the track record the coaching staff has put together and the results that have been provided over the last few years, winning multiple championships in the next few seasons isn't as far-fetched as it sounds.
Top recruits want to have fun at college and most certainly want to win. There are only a handful of schools that have a realistic shot at winning a title in the foreseeable future, and Alabama remains at the top of that list.
If you want to win, Alabama is the school for you.