football Edit

Breaking Down Patrick Surtain's commitment to Alabama

Patrick Surtain
Patrick Surtain (Nick Lucero/

One of the more intriguing recruitments of the 2018 cycle has come to a close, as five-star defensive back Patrick Surtain committed to Alabama on Wednesday. Surtain’s public pledge is the culmination of the Crimson Tide’s furious close, which saw a national championship, an official visit and some signature Nick Saban recruiting heroics pull Surtain away from SEC rival LSU. Below, takes a look at how Surtain stands to help Alabama and hurt the other programs that missed out on his commitment.


Surtain once had no problem telling the world that LSU led his recruitment. He said as much in interviews and on social media. It was public knowledge. That tune changed a bit down the stretch, however, as Alabama turned up the heat. The five-star defensive back took a late-cycle official visit to Tuscaloosa and Nick Saban landed a helicopter at his high school. Surtain begin saying that all was even and seeds of doubt sprouted in Baton Rouge.

But even as LSU stayed consistent and continued to push, Alabama’s momentum was too strong to break. When Surtain chose the Tide on Signing Day, the LSU staff saw years’ worth of work evaporate. Schools such as Florida State and Ohio State seemed seriously involved at some junctures of Surtain’s recruitment, but neither was able to remain a serious threat at the end.

Because Surtain said so little about his recruitment, he was able to retain some semblance of mystery until he publicly announced his intention to attend Alabama.


There’s always a level of joy in stealing a five-star away from an SEC rival. That joy in amplified when said five-star signing with your rival is thought to be sure thing. Alabama’s late-cycle shoplift is devastating for LSU, which will please those in Tuscaloosa.

Still, the skill set the Tide are getting with Surtain is the important thing. Surtain has elite size and the athleticism to be a game-changing corner that will eventually land on an NFL roster. Grabbing the No. 1 cornerback in the country on Signing Day was imperative to the strong finish Nick Saban hoped to pull off. The importance of this get can’t be overstated.


Surtain was a must-get recruit for LSU so sting on the front. The fact that he was seen as a heavy Tiger lean for much of the past two years only to jump ship down the stretch makes this a full-fledged disaster. Ed Orgeron misses out of a likely NFL-bound defensive back that has the size and pedigree capable of making an impact on the 2018 season and beyond. LSU fans won’t take well to this recruiting loss, as Surtain landing in Baton Rouge seemed like a sure thing at times over the last year.

The sting factor is less for Florida State and the other in-state schools, as all had resigned themselves to missing on Surtain long ago. Still, it’s never pleasing to see the nation’s top cornerback saunter out of the state that produced him.