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Tide rolls with nation’s No. 1 recruiting class

For the 10th time since 2011, Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has assembled the nation’s top recruiting class.

Saban’s unprecedented dominance on the recruiting trail continued Wednesday, which marked the beginning of Division I football’s early signing period.

With four five-star and 19 four-star recruits, Alabama has earned commitments from 22 of ESPN’s top 300 prospects. Additionally, the Crimson Tide hold commitments from 15 players rated within the top five of their respective position categories, according to the network’s metrics.

Saban’s recruiting effort was bolstered by No. 1 outside linebacker Jaquavious Russaw and No. 2 defensive tackle James Smith, two five-star prospects from Montgomery’s Carver High School.

Adding to the program’s in-state talent haul, Jahlil Hurley, the nation’s No. 3-ranked cornerback, put ink to paper Wednesday and sealed his spot on Alabama’s roster.

No. 1 safety Caleb Downs, No. 2 running back Justice Haynes, and No. 5 quarterback Dylan Lonergan were all swiped from SEC rival territory in Georgia, which represents a major recruiting blow to Bulldogs head coach and former Saban protégé Kirby Smart.

In a last-minute turn of events, Saban secured the commitment of No. 2 offensive tackle Kadyn Proctor. Prior to joining the Tide’s ranks, the five-star prospect was formerly committed to the in-state Iowa Hawkeyes.

Alabama’s full 2023 recruiting class can be viewed here, as compiled by ESPN.

During a Wednesday press conference, Saban expressed his excitement over the Tide’s incoming freshman class.

“We’re obviously very pleased with the class we were able to attract, got a good bunch of players. But I think what I like about this group the most is, seemed like they had really good character,” said Saban. “We still sort of, you know, try to get guys to buy into developing, creating value for their future based on getting their education, being a good person, being the best football player they can be.

“So I feel like the kind of guys we were able to attract are the right kind of guys and we’re excited about the class.”

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Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

Ben Richardson contributed to this report.

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