Alabama’s Biggest Recruiting Flops
While Alabama fans are used to five-star athletes coming into the program and leaving as top rated draft prospects, the Tide have seen their fair share of misses. Simple statistics tell us that not every highly rated recruit is going to make it to the NFL, and some don't even make it in college. Here is a list of Alabama's biggest recruiting flops since 2000.
Star Jackson was a four-star and ninth rated pro-style quarterback in the 2008 recruiting class, according to 247Sports. Part of a culture changing recruiting class at Alabama, Jackson came in alongside players like Julio Jones, Marcel Dareus and Mark Ingram. Scouts all across the country were in awe of Jackson's tall pocket presence and bullet like passes, and the quarterback picked up offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and UCF.
Jackson took the field in the 2009 A-Day game, exciting Alabama fans with a solid performance. The excitement was short lived; however. Jackson appeared in just five games his freshman season, going 13-of-18 for 116 yards, but showing Alabama fans he was nowhere near ready to lead the offense.
With the insurgence of, then sophomore, AJ McCarron, Jackson never really competed for the starting job again. Despite transferring to a much smaller school in Georgia State in 2010, Jackson never saw time as a starter in his college career.
Scarbrough, a five-star out of IMG Academy, joined the Crimson Tide in 2015, backing up Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake and seeing time as a relief back, rushing for just 104 yards on 18 carries. In his sophomore season, Scarbrough had his most productive year, rushing for 812 yards on 125 carries, but failed to match the production of Derrick Henry by himself, and was forced to split time again with Damien Harris and newcomer Josh Jacobs.
The 2016 national championship saw Scarbrough put together his best performance yet, rushing for 93 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries in the first half before suffering a game-ending leg injury.
When his junior season came around in 2017, Scarbrough looked poised to lock up his spot as running back one, but was unable to ever produce like he had previously. Scarbrough never separated himself from the rest of the backs and split time the entire season, rushing for just 596 yards on 124 carries.
Anoma was the fourth ranked player in the 2018 recruiting class, according to 247Sports, and chose Alabama over schools like Michigan, Florida, and Georgia. A 6'5" 240 pound defensive end out of Maryland, Anoma astounded scouts with his speed off the edge and nose for the ball, racking up 60 tackles and 24 sacks in his senior season at Saint Frances Academy in Maryland.
Anoma entered the program following a tough loss to Clemson in the national championship in 2017, in which Deshaun Watson carved up Alabama's defense. Problems with Anoma showed up almost immediately; however, with reports of the freshman skipping classes and fighting with teammates coming out. Anoma played in just six games for Alabama in 2018, recording nine tackles.
Nick Saban was forced to eventually dismiss Anoma from the program and he transferred to Houston in 2019 where similar problems ensued, and he was dismissed again. Finally, the former five-star finds himself at UT-Martin now, where he plans to continue his playing career.
Cooper Bateman was a four-star pro-style quarterback ranked first in the state of Utah in 2013 that chose Alabama over a plethora of other offers. Bateman was redshirted his first two seasons, seeing his only game experience as a holder. When his time to compete for the starting job came, Bateman was up against Jake Coker, who had transferred into the program a year earlier.
Alabama's 2015 quarterback competition was one that bled into the first few weeks of the season. Both Bateman and Coker saw time in the Tide's first two games, and when league play started against Ole Miss, Bateman got the nod.
Bateman was replaced by Coker following a second quarter interception against the Rebels, and while Alabama lost the game, Coker won the team. Alabama went on to win a national championship with Coker under center and Bateman had to get ready for his junior year.
Another quarterback competition in 2016 saw Bateman lose out to Blake Barnett this time, who eventually lost the starting job himself to Jalen Hurts. From the moment Hurts stepped onto the field, Alabama looked different that it ever had before and never looked back. Bateman transferred to Utah for his senior season where he spent his final collegiate season as a third-string quarterback.
BJ Scott was another member of the legendary 2008 recruiting class, joining the Tide as a five-star athlete. Scott played wide receiver and defensive back, choosing to focus on the former and saw time as a true freshman, catching two passes for seven yards.
The 2008 offseason saw Scott make the move to cornerback, resulting in a redshirt for the 2009 season. After sitting out for a full year, Scott seemed ready to compete for a starting job on the defense and prove his former five-star ranking.
Scott failed to secure a starting role on the defense in 2010, and his season was eventually cut short by an ankle injury after appearing in just six games. In his six appearances, Scott recorded six total tackles and one interception.
Following recovery from his injury, Scott decided to transfer to South Alabama, and found success in the young program. Scott, in his final collegiate season, recorded 81 total tackles and two interceptions.
Scott left South Alabama following the 2012 season with hopes to play in the NFL, but went undrafted. The Chicago Bears gave Scott an opportunity at rookie minicamp in 2013, but Scott never secured a spot on the roster.