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Rich get richer: Alabama adds more five-star recruits to already stellar incoming class

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Alabama, under Nick Saban, has a 24-hour rule. I’ve mentioned it before.

After a win — or a loss, which is more pertinent with Thursday’s result — the players and coaches take a full day to absorb the game and move on to the next challenge. For Alabama, with its playing season over, the next challenge is securing another top recruiting class.

Though recruiting never truly stops, the month between now and National Signing Day on Feb. 5 will be the busiest month for the talent hunt, starting with two high school all-star games this weekend.

In the Under Armour All-America Game on Friday, Alabama went two-for-two on undecided recruits. Five-star defensive tackle Daron Payne chose Alabama over Auburn and Mississippi State. The 6-foot-2, 335-pound Shades Valley (Birmingham) product will serve in run-stopping, as well as in pass rush for Alabama.

But while Payne was expected to pick Alabama, five-star cornerback Kendall Sheffield was a surprise. The prospect from Missouri City, Texas was slated to choose Texas A&M, but decided on the Crimson Tide instead. Maybe he watched the Sugar Bowl and saw that his help was needed.

The 6-foot, 180-pound Sheffield joins a class already flooded with secondary talent with five-star cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick and four-star cornerback Rico McGraw. Five-star safety Deionte Thompson, and four-star safeties Shawn Burgess-Becker and Ronnie Thompson round out the class that will help fill the vacant spots left by Alabama safeties Landon Collins — assuming he leaves early for the NFL — and seniors Nick Perry and Jarrick Williams.

Alabama failed to snag Maryland wide receiver Lawrence Cager — who committed to Miami at the Army All-America Game — but is still in the running for three others.

With the nation’s No. 1 dual threat quarterback Blake Barnett aboard, and the nation’s No. 1 wide receiver Calvin Ridley — who can make catches like this — it seems falling a game short of the national title hasn’t hurt the Crimson Tide too much.

Using rankings from Rivals.com, Alabama has five 5-star commitments and 12 four-star commitments. A lot can happen between now and February, though, with players still taking visits and weighing their options. They’re high school seniors; they change their mind.

But Alabama has notched three straight No. 1 recruiting classes, and right now this recruiting season doesn’t look like it will end any differently.

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