football Edit

Fact or Fiction: Alabama is just getting warmed up

Kendrick Blackshire
Kendrick Blackshire (Nick Lucero/

National recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney tackle three topics daily and determine whether they believe the statements or not.

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1. Alabama is just getting warmed up.


Farrell’s take: FACT. Remember when the Crimson Tide were around 70 in the 2021 team rankings and had more decommitments than commitments? That seemed like just yesterday and fans were panicking a bit. They aren’t now.

LB Kendrick Blackshire is the latest big-time commitment to Alabama and Nick Saban has his team up to No. 12 in the team rankings with a boastful 3.75 average star ranking. And there is more to come. Offensive lineman Terrence Ferguson, a national top 50 player, should commit Sunday and the Tide are expected to get DT Damon Payne and Tommy and James Brockermeyer as well. And they have a chance to pull a surprise on OT Amarius Mims, although I still have UGA there. Alabama will be in the top 5 or 6 very soon.

Gorney’s take: FACT. Alabama got out of the gates slowly, but like always, the Crimson Tide kicked it into high gear and they will continue to climb up the team recruiting rankings.

The last few commitments were big statements as Alabama went into Texas for Blackshire, landed Kadarius Calloway out of Mississippi who used to be a Mississippi State commit, went into South Florida for four-star LB Dallas Turner and flipped Devonta Smith from Ohio State.

Like always, Alabama has been strong in the state of Florida and some big pledges could be coming. Ferguson is one. Payne is another. Alabama is expected to get the Brockermeyer brothers, and that’s a huge statement because they are Texas legacies. Alabama will keep climbing as any early concern was overblown.


2. Jordan Hancock is a lock for Ohio State.

Farrell’s take: FACT. Hancock, a former Clemson commitment, made his decommitment known from the Tigers on Tuesday and everyone expects him to end up at Ohio State. I do as well. Alabama and Georgia are in the mix, but the Buckeyes were his school of choice early and then his mom was diagnosed with cancer.

She has now finished treatment and both Hancock’s parents are on board with a decision to go away from home if he wants. And he wants to go to Ohio State and that will happen barring a surprise. The Buckeyes recent history of landing corners in the NFL is a huge factor here.

Gorney’s take: FICTION. After Hancock’s de-commitment from Clemson, there is no question that Ohio State is the frontrunner but it might be premature to call him a “lock” to the Buckeyes. The four-star cornerback originally committed to Clemson over Ohio State but he was only committed to Clemson for four months, so I suspect he will be open to some other programs and they will at least have a shot.

Alabama could be one and he’s an in-state kid, so Georgia will probably make a run at him. It’s tough to turn down SEC powers like that. Ohio State now has the lead in Hancock’s recruitment but let’s not say no other program has a shot.


3. Clemson should be at least a little concerned at this point.

Farrell’s take: FICTION. Clemson never gets decommitments. But this year Korey Foreman and now Jordan Hancock have backed off their pledges. So is this a sign of trouble for Dabo Swinney, who is being criticized for many of his public comments regarding a racial incident at the school and his feelings about racial oppression in America?

I don’t think it is. Foreman decided to back off because he wanted to stay closer to his California home and I think he does that despite his interest in Georgia and others. And Hancock? He told me Swinney’s comments have nothing to do with his decision and that his mom’s sickness made him make an emotional decision.

Now if more Clemson commitments start bailing or if big time recruits start shying away from Clemson then I’ll believe they are in trouble. But for now, Clemson recruiting is still on an elite level.

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Clemson has the ninth-best class in the country and the fewest commits among that list, so the Tigers could still catapult much higher up the rankings. Based on average star ranking, Clemson is second nationally behind only Ohio State and that’s especially impressive since it lost commitments from Hancock and Foreman, the top-rated player in the 2021 class. Swinney is going to be just fine, everybody still wants to play at Clemson and the Tigers will still have one of the best classes nationally even with some hiccups along the way.