The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt on college football recruiting in 2020, with all in-person visits having been banned since the spring until at least January.
The timeline for prospects to sign letters of intent with their prospective schools, however, has remained unchanged. The early signing period for the 2021 class is scheduled to still begin Dec. 16, or three days before the rescheduled SEC championship game.
With six weeks until early signing day -- when the majority of Alabama’s classes in recent years has signed -- the Tide continues to boast a class that is considered the best in the country by both 247 Sports and Rivals.
After being ranked uncharacteristically low late in the spring, a surge of big-name commitments this summer propelled Alabama into a position where its 2021 class, on paper, could be one of Nick Saban’s best ever at the school.
The Tide’s haul of five five-star recruits is the most since 2017, when Alabama’s six five-star additions -- including Tua Tagovailoa -- put the class in the conversation to be the program’s best all time. Alabama also had a run from 2013-15 in which it added a half dozen five-star prospects each year, including players such as Derrick Henry, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Calvin Ridley.
Whether Alabama can turn its 2021 class into on-field success in future years remains to be seen, and it is worth mentioning that its top recruits from the 2018 and 2019 classes -- five stars Eyabi Anoma and Antonio Alfano -- are no longer with the program.
But with 22 players committed to its 2021 class, Alabama has a few spots left to fill and uncommitted prospects still on its radar. Those include five-star Washington defensive lineman J.T. Tuimoloau, the second-ranked player in the 2021 class by 247 sports, as well as four-star Texas defensive lineman Tunmise Adeleye, ranked No. 32 in 247 Sports' composite.
Here is a look at which players the Tide has committed by position in its 2021 class, what freshmen it added in the 2020 class, and what the school could lose at those spots to the NFL this offseason. Because the NCAA is offering a blanket eligibility waiver to athletes this year, the potential losses are based on players who could declare for the NFL draft, not those who will exhaust eligibility.
Quarterbacks: 2021 commit: Jalen Milroe (four stars, Texas); 2020 freshman: Bryce Young; potential loss: Mac Jones
Running backs: 2021 commits: none; 2020 freshmen: Jase McClellan, Roydell Williams, Kyle Edwards; potential losses: Najee Harris, Brian Robinson
Wide receivers: 2021 commits: Jacorey Brooks (five stars, Florida), Christian Leary (four stars, Florida), Agiye Hall (four stars, Florida); 2020 freshmen: Thaiu Jones-Bell, Javon Baker, Traeshon Holden; potential losses: DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle
Tight ends: 2021 commit: Robbie Ouzts (three stars, South Carolina); 2020 freshman: Caden Clark (grayshirt/injured); potential losses: Miller Forristall, Carl Tucker, Major Tennison
Offensive tackles: 2021 commits: Tommy Brockermeyer (five stars, Texas), JC Latham (five stars, Florida); 2020 freshmen: Javion Cohen, Damieon George; potential loss: Alex Leatherwood
Offensive guards: 2021 commit: Terrence Ferguson (four stars, Georgia); 2020 freshmen: none; potential loss: Deonte Brown
Centers: 2021 commit: James Brockermeyer (four stars, Texas); 2020 freshman: Seth McLaughlin; potential losses: Landon Dickerson, Chris Owens
Defensive linemen: 2021 commits: Damon Payne (five stars, Michigan), Tim Keenan (three stars, Alabama), Anquin Barnes (three stars, Alabama); 2020 freshmen: Tim Smith, Jamil Burroughs, Jah-Marien Latham; potential losses: LaBryan Ray, Christian Barmore, Phidarian Mathis
Outside linebackers: 2021 commits: Dallas Turner (four stars, Florida), Monkell Goodwine (four stars, Maryland); 2020 freshmen: Will Anderson, Drew Sanders, Chris Braswell, Quandarrius Robinson; potential losses: Christopher Allen
Insider linebackers: 2021 commits: Deontae Lawson (four stars, Alabama), Kendrick Blackshire (four stars, Texas), Ian Jackson (four stars, Alabama); 2020 freshmen: Demouy Kennedy, Jackson Bratton; potential losses: Dylan Moses, Joshua McMillon
Cornerbacks: 2021 commits: Ga’Quincy McKinstry (five stars, Alabama), Devonta Smith (three stars, Ohio), Khyree Jackson (three stars, Mississippi); 2020 freshmen: Malachi Moore, Jahquez Robinson; potential losses: Patrick Surtain, Josh Jobe
Safeties: 2021 commits: Kaine Williams (four stars, Louisiana), Kadarius Calloway (four stars, Mississippi); 2020 freshmen: Brian Branch, Kristian Story; potential loss: Daniel Wright
Mike Rodak is an Alabama beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @mikerodak.