Alabama 5-Stars Drafted in First Round at Crazy Percentage
It's no secret that everything Alabama head coach Nick Saban does is done with recruiting in mind. But hauling in top classes is only half the battle. For Alabama to consistently re-load its roster year in and year out, the recruiting pitch delivered every year can never grow stale.
What pitch will never grow stale for Saban? His ability to turn 5-star prospects not only into NFL draft picks, but first-round draft picks.
247Sports national college football writer Chris Hummer dug through the numbers and showed that Alabama's dominance in football stretches far beyond the gridiron.
Since 2008, a year after Saban's arrival in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide have signed 41 5-star prospects (according to 247Sports's composite rankings, and clearly omitting classes that aren't yet draft eligible) giving Alabama a firm lead over any other program in the nation. Nearly half of those 5-stars were drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, a whopping 48.8%. Only 18.3% of every other 5-star in the country was drafted in the first round.
"In my opinion, it's one of the most 'Wow!' stats you can have in college football," Hummer told Travis Reier on Southern Fried Sports Thursday morning. "This is something we look at every year. We're not trying to give Alabama recruiting fodder, but just trying to present what happens annually for these 5-stars once they get to campus since we spend so much time talking about them. And Alabama is just that much better than anyone else at developing those players."
It's no wonder that Saban signed a new contract extension earlier this week. With these kind of numbers in his favor, hauling in 5-stars who are willing to put in the necessary work to be a first-round pick becomes routine.
Alabama might have competition soon though. For those who often ponder in the offseason if Clemson is truly closing the gap on Alabama's 12-year dynasty, the answer is getting closer and closer to yes.
In the same time frame, Clemson has signed just 13 5-stars. However, 92%, or 12 of the 13, have been drafted, while 36.4%, or 5, have been first-rounders. Though the Tigers window is much tighter, Dabo Swinney's NFL pitch will sound just as appetizing to 5-stars as Saban's, if not more.
If the numbers hold true for another three-to-four years, one of Clemson's three 2021 5-star recruits should be first-round selections. Meanwhile, three of Alabama's seven 2021 5-stars will be first-rounders. On the other hand, all three of Clemson's 5-stars will be drafted while five of Alabama's will hear their names called. The race is close, and though a gap is still present, it's closing, albeit slowly.