Is 2018 the Year Someone (Ohio State?) Dethrones Alabama For the Recruiting National Championship?

By Tim Shoemaker on May 30, 2017 at 8:35 am
Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

There are some familiar faces currently sitting inside the top-10 in the 2018 recruiting rankings.

Ohio State is in there; as of now, the Buckeyes sit at No. 2. LSU, Florida State and Michigan, too, all currently have top-10 classes. Clemson, the defending national champion, sits at No. 10.

It's only late May, so plenty can change, but there is one noticeable absence from the list: Alabama. In fact, you won't even find the Crimson Tide on the first page of the 2018 class rankings. 

That's because Alabama currently has the 63rd-ranked recruiting class for 2018, according to 247Sports' composite ratings. You read that correctly. Sandwiched in between Houston and East Carolina are Nick Saban's Crimson Tide at No. 63.

Current 2018 Class Rankings, Per 247 Sports
Rank Team Total Rating (No. of commits)
1 Miami 265.27 (18)
2 Ohio State 226.95 (10)
3 Penn State 226.29 (13)
4 LSU 221.01 (16)
5 Notre Dame 192.87 (11)
6 Florida State 188.19 (10)
7 Michigan 177.67 (10)
8 Nebraska 177.14 (11)
9 Tennessee 175.24 (11)
10 Clemson 173.63 (8)

Now, we should probably make this clear: Alabama will not finish there. The Crimson Tide will finish inside the top-10 when it's all said and done. But will Saban and Co. win the recruiting national championship again? Even though we're nine months away from February of 2018, it's still a fair question to ask at this point. Alabama isn't used to being this far behind.

You have to go back to 2010 to find the last time the Crimson Tide did not take home the recruiting national championship. Alabama brought in the nation's No. 1 class every year since. Right now, however, with just two commits in the 2018 class currently in the fold for the Crimson Tide, that streak appears like it could be in jeopardy.

The biggest threat to take end Alabama's reign as recruiting champion might just be Urban Meyer and Ohio State. The Buckeyes are recruiting at an incredibly high level — and have been throughout Meyer's tenure — and 2018 looks like it could be the time they finally break through.

"If they're keeping score," Meyer said on National Signing Day in 2017, "then we'd like to win that thing."

Ohio State currently sits at No. 2 in the 2018 class rankings and trails only Miami. But the Buckeyes only have 10 commits at this point in time; the Hurricanes already have 18. Pound-for-pound, though, recruit-for-recruit, nobody is close to Ohio State. Eight of the Buckeyes' 10 commitments rank inside the top-100 nationally and nine rank inside the top-eight at their respective positions.

There is a ton of time between now and National Signing Day in 2018 — though some prospects will sign in December during college football's new early signing period — so Alabama will make a run at some point and shoot up the charts. The Tide is surely coming.

But there's no denying Alabama has plenty of ground to make up if it wants to retain its recruiting crown. If not, there will be a new king in the college football recruiting world.

It's quite possible that could be Meyer, the man who last topped Saban for that title.

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