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Take Two: Can Alabama land the five-star IMG Academy trio?

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

MORE TAKE TWO: Can Clemson land the No. 1 prospect in the 2020 class?

Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling an issue in the college football landscape. Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and a local expert from the Rivals.com network of team sites.


THE STORYLINE

The five-star trio of running back Trey Sanders, offensive tackle Evan Neal and defensive end Nolan Smith from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy were all at Alabama this past weekend to watch the Crimson Tide obliterate Auburn as the nation’s best football team looks to load up on five-star prospects into the Early Signing Period.

Sanders and Neal have already been committed to the Crimson Tide and after they both backed off their pledges, the Alabama coaching staff never backed off them. Florida and others could be a threat with Sanders. The Gators, Florida State and definitely Miami are the other contenders for the massive Neal.

Smith is perhaps the most interesting one. A longtime Georgia commit, the five-star defensive end has also been highly interested in the Crimson Tide for a long time but sources say the Bulldogs will probably hold off Alabama in the end for Smith’s services. That one will be one to watch in the coming week.

Alabama cannot be counted out for anybody and it has the top-ranked recruiting class nationally even without any five-star pledges yet. With their success, their coaching staff and their ability to develop players for the NFL, can the Crimson Tide land all three five-stars from IMG Academy?

FIRST TAKE: ANDREW BONE, BAMAINSIDER.COM 

“Alabama appears in great shape for at least two of the five-stars from IMG Academy: Sanders and Neal. Both are former Crimson Tide commitments who committed to Alabama when they were sophomores. Smith has taken several visits to Alabama since he committed to Georgia, which has some believing he will flip in the end. It’s hard to see him not going to Georgia despite all the trips to Tuscaloosa. It would definitely be a huge recruiting boost for Alabama to land all three of those players, but landing at least two of them is big for the Crimson Tide to help secure the top class in the country and perhaps help with future prospects at IMG Academy in the 2020 and 2021 recruiting classes.”

SECOND TAKE: MIKE FARRELL, RIVALS.COM

“Alabama could get all three of them. Smith is committed to Georgia but there have been a lot of rumors about him flipping. Neal has been considered a lean to Alabama for a little bit now. And Sanders has been considered a strong lean to Alabama ever since Florida kind of fell out of the picture.

“They could get all three of them. That would be quite an impressive grab from IMG and it would continue the recruiting efforts at that school next year and beyond.”