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Absurd stat about Alabama's 2017 offensive recruiting class

Clint Lamb05/02/22
Article written by:On3 imageClint Lamb


On3 image
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama football has signed plenty of top recruiting classes under head coach Nick Saban. Out of the 16 signing classes he’s brought to Tuscaloosa, an eye-popping 11 of them have ranked No. 1 in the country. In two of the five that weren’t sitting atop the rankings, the Crimson Tide were only at No. 2.

That statistic in and of itself is amazing, but there’s something about the 2017 class that stands out.

Alabama signed 28 total players that cycle. Like most of Saban’s classes, there was balance involved too. Of those 28 players, 15 of them were on offense with the other 13 on either defense or special teams. Pretty standard, right? Well, here comes the really good part about the offensive signees.

Of the 15, over half of them were first-round draft picks to the NFL.

That group includes two quarterbacks, a running back, three wide receivers and two offensive linemen. Overall, Alabama signed seven offensive players who ranked amongst the top 75 players nationally. All of them — every single one — was a first-round pick.

Check out this list.

Quarterbacks (2)

Tua Tagovailoa: 5-star / No. 30 overall / No. 3 QB

  • First-round pick, No. 5 overall in 2020 (Miami Dolphins)

Mac Jones: 4-star / No. 259 overall / No. 19 QB

  • First-round pick, No. 15 overall in 2021 (New England Patriots)

Running Backs (1)

Najee Harris: 5-star / No. 1 overall / No. 1 RB

  • First-round pick, No. 24 overall in 2021 (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Wide Receivers (3)

Jerry Jeudy: 5-star / No. 21 overall / No. 3 WR

  • First-round pick, No. 15 overall in 2020 (Denver Broncos)

DeVonta Smith: 4-star / No. 56 overall / No. 10 WR

  • First-round pick, No. 10 overall in 2021 (Philadelphia Eagles)

Henry Ruggs III: 4-star / No. 72 overall / No. 11 WR

  • First-round pick, No. 12 overall in 2020 (Las Vegas Raiders)

Offensive Line (2)

Alex Leatherwood: 5-star / No. 4 overall / No. 1 OT

  • First-round pick, No. 17 overall in 2021 (Las Vegas Raiders)

Jedrick Wills: 4-star / No. 34 overall / No. 7 OT

  • First-round pick, No. 10 overall in 2020 (Cleveland Browns)

Still To Be Determined…

There’s also a different player from that class, offensive lineman/tight end Kendall Randolph, who hasn’t tried to make it to the NFL yet. Granted, he isn’t expected to be a first-round pick, but it would bring the total of offensive players drafted to 10 of the 15 — that total also includes former running back Brian Robinson.

That’s also a very respectable number.

The fact that Alabama had two first-round quarterbacks in that class alone is rare and impressive. Would you consider that 2017 group to be the greatest offensive recruiting class? Get on over to the BamaOn3 message board and dive into the debate.

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