After a one-year absence, Nick Saban's Crimson Tide are back atop the recruiting rankings
Alabama head coach Nick Saban doesn't rebuild, he reloads. His 2019 recruiting class is a testament to that notion and a sign that Alabama isn't slowing down anytime soon. The Crimson Tide have secured the No. 1 recruiting class for the eighth time in the last nine years. Here is a look at the top five newcomers to watch in 2019 for the juggernaut that calls Tuscaloosa home.
Antonio Alfano, DE
Alfano might be the No. 1 overall recruit in the country. The five-star defensive end is an absolute monster. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds, he is sure to be a force to be reckoned with in the trenches of the SEC. Alfano should line up opposite of Raekwon Davis and log plenty of snaps as a freshman in 2019. LaBryan Ray might start the season at defensive end but it should be a surprise to nobody if Alfano is the guy we're talking about come November and December.
Trey Sanders, RB
Stop me if you've heard this before. Nick Saban has a stud running back recruit coming from Florida. Have you heard of Derrick Henry and Trent Richardson? Expect the 6-foot, 214-pound Sanders, another five-star, Sunshine State recruit, to come in and get touches from day one. Gone are Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs, both of whom should be playing on Sunday for many years. The IMG Academy product will form a new backfield trio alongside Najee Harris and Brian Robinson.
Evan Neal, OT
Joining Trey Sanders in T-Town is another five-star recruit from IMG Academy in Neal. The 6-foot-7, 360-pound offensive tackle is a monster. Massive body. Long arms. Brute strength. Alex Leatherwood returns at left tackle, but Neal could very well end up at right tackle, protecting the blind side of Tua Tagovailoa.
Pierce Quick, OT
The SEC is won in the trenches and Saban is well aware of that. Joining Neal is four-star Quick. An in-state product out of Trussville, Quick is a more athletic tackle than Evan Neal and adds depth to the Crimson Tide offensive line. He would likely back up Alex Leatherwood at left tackle but could see starter snaps if injuries arise.
Jordan Battle, S
Rounding out the top five newcomers to watch is Battle, a four-star safety. At 6-foot-1, 187 pounds, Battle provides exactly what Saban covets on defense. He can cover, tackle, blitz, and be a factor in the return game. Battle comes from Florida football factory, St. Thomas Aquinas. Deionte Thompson departs for the NFL and Battle should join a group that lacks depth.
— Written by Nick Kayal, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network as a college football and NFL writer. Nick is a Morning Show Host in Nashville on 102.5 The Game. Follow him on Twitter @NickKayal.