By Jacob Horton
National Signing Day 2015 marked another great year for the state of Alabama, as both Alabama and Auburn received commitments from many sought-after high school football players.
For the University of Alabama, National Signing Day 2015 officially made it the fifth straight year in which Nick Saban has put together the number one recruiting class in the nation, according to two of the four major recruiting websites.
According to ESPN.com, the Alabama Crimson Tide’s 2015 recruiting class contains 25 commits. Of those 25 commits, 19 are ranked in ESPN’s top 300 high school players in the nation. Standouts from this class include: The number 2 ranked pro-style quarterback Blake Barnett, the number 1 ranked wide receiver in Calvin Ridley, the number 2 ranked running back Damien Harris and the number 3 and 4 ranked cornerbacks in Kendall Sheffield and Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Saban has always prided himself in being able to recruit the best players in the nation. His elite recruiting skills have almost singlehandedly placed him atop the Mount Rushmore of college football coaches. His process has turned the University of Alabama into the premiere college football program, and it all starts with recruiting. You’re not going to win without the best players, and they aren’t going to want to come to your program if you don’t win games. It all comes full circle, and winning breeds winning.
Auburn University also experienced their share of success this recruiting season. They were able to put together the seventh best recruiting class in nation, while making some big splashes on signing day. Of their 27 players signed, 12 of them belong to the ESPN 300.
Of all their signees, nobody stirred up more conversation than Byron Cowart. The 6’4”, 258 pound defensive end from Seffner, Florida, headlines Auburn’s 2015 recruiting class as the number one high school football player in the nation. Cowart’s decision to commit to Auburn University on National Signing Day made headlines across the nation, putting an exclamation mark on Auburn’s 2015 class. His presence alone helped bolster Auburn’s recruiting class from being ranked outside of the top 10 nationally to seventh in the nation.
In addition to signing Cowart, Auburn reeled in commitments from three other big names. The Tigers landed linebacker Jeff Holland, wide receiver Ryan Davis and cornerback Carlton Davis. Each of these three players were labeled as four-star recruits, meaning that they could have an immediate impact on Auburn’s success next season.
Give credit to Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. Ever since he joined the team on Dec. 12, there has been a level of excitement that they haven’t felt at Auburn since their national championship season in 2010. He brought in loads of talent to the University of Florida while at the helm, and is already making strides in his first couple months at Auburn. Muschamp’s presence on the coaching staff served as the x-factor this recruiting season, and look for it to only improve Auburn’s chances of landing big-name talent as next season unfolds.
National Signing Day proved that the state of Alabama still rules college football, both on and off the field. Even though a team from the state didn’t play for a national title for the first time in six years this season, it shouldn’t be much longer before the state is once again represented in NCAA championship game. Look for the success of these two teams to continue as long as they keep bringing in the big-time recruits.
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