football Edit

Fact or Fiction: Alabama's slow recruiting start is worrisome

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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CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

1. Alabama’s slow start is worrisome.  

Nick Saban
Nick Saban (AP Images)

Farrell’s take: FICTION. The Tide have one commitment right now for 2021 and have had more decommitments than current commitments so far. Should Nick Saban panic? Nah. He’ll pick and choose once again and land a top three recruiting class. The one thing I will note is that Alabama is no longer the favorite to win the national recruiting title like it was for years and years under Saban. That is now Georgia. But I’m still not worried about Alabama.

Gorney’s take: FACT. We don’t need to put Saban on the hot seat or be too concerned, but this is something to watch, a trend that has happened over the last few recruiting cycles: Georgia is winning some recruiting battles over Alabama. LSU is as well, and Clemson is now the team that can really pick and choose whichever prospects it wants. Alabama will be fine, but a slow start always means you have to play catch-up, although there are definitely some five-stars that the Crimson Tide will land before all is said and done.



2. Defensive end JT Tuimoloau is a lock for Ohio State.

Farrell’s take: FICTION. There are a lot of rumors that the five star defensive end is a lock for Ohio State. Don’t get me wrong here, he could very well end up as a Buckeye and likely will, but I don’t think this is done already.

Why? He is still interested in home- state school Washington as well as Oregon and USC, so luring him from the West Coast might not be as easy as some think. Once again, I feel strongly he could end up at Ohio State. But a lock? Nah.

Gorney’s take: FICTION. There is no question Tuimoloau could end up at Ohio State, but Washington is also playing a major role in his recruitment and Oregon has done a great job of landing a lot of elite players out of the region. Selling him on being the next Arik Armstead could be huge. One reason I’m not ready to call Tuimoloau a lock anywhere is because I don’t think he’s put a ton of thinking into his recruitment yet, at least not enough to make a commitment this early. His teammate and friend, Gee Scott Jr., just signed with the Buckeyes, and they can recruit as well as anyone, but Washington will have a say here.



3. Michigan recruiting is a bit flat.  

Giovanni El-Hadi
Giovanni El-Hadi (

Farrell’s take: FACT. The Wolverines have two commitments for the class of 2021 and both are four-stars, including key quarterback commitment JJ McCarthy. And while the quality is good, it has to be a bit disturbing for Michigan fans to see Ohio State with 14 commits and ranked No. 1 in the nation. To me, that makes Michigan’s recruiting efforts a bit flat.

Gorney’s take: FICTION. I’m not worried about it yet, since Michigan has as many commitments as Penn State and when I look at in-state recruiting, we’re really in the early stages. Of the top 30 prospects in the state, only one has made his pledge, and it’s four-star offensive tackle Giovanni El-Hadi to the Wolverines.

We also need to stop constantly comparing Michigan to Ohio State. I get that the two are rivals, but almost in name only at this point since the Buckeyes have beaten Michigan eight straight times, the longest streak for one school since the early 1900s. Ohio State’s success in recruiting doesn’t mean Michigan’s downfall and vice versa.