Alabama polishes off another highly rated recruiting class with drama-free signing day

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TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Alabama coach Nick Saban was perfectly content to let other programs hog the signing day spotlight.

The Crimson Tide had little excitement in finishing off another recruiting class considered among the nation's best on Wednesday. Eight of the 24 signees, including quarterback Blake Barnett and running back Bo Scarbrough, are already enrolled.

"One of the very good things about this class is we didn't have a lot of drama today," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "These guys have been committed to us for a while. They've all kind of had their signing day or whatever, announcements, and most of them stuck to it. That's not the way to get the most attention from the media but that certainly speaks highly of what a commitment means."

Alabama had its reign of four consecutive Rivals No. 1 classes ended by Southern California but was tops in both the ESPN and 247Sports rankings.

The Tide collected six players rated five stars by recruiting services, all from different states.

The group included five-star running backs Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough, who is already enrolled after initially signing with Alabama in 2014.

Alabama also signed five offensive linemen and attempted to fill needs at linebacker and the secondary.

Saban defended the signing of defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor, who is among the players who enrolled in January.

Taylor was dismissed from Georgia last summer following an arrest for allegedly punching and choking his girlfriend. He faces charges for aggravated assault and family violence.

Saban described allowing Taylor to enroll as "a university decision" and said it was determined "that he was the kind of guy that deserved a second chance."

"I know the sensitivity of the issue and we're going to do what we can to help this young man have success here and not have issues in the future," Saban said.


ALABAMA

Top 25 Class: Yes.

Best in class: WR Calvin Ridley, Pompano Beach, Florida, is rated the nation's No. 1 wide receiver by three of the four major recruiting services. He

Best of the rest: Barnett, of Carona, California; Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Old Bridge, New Jersey; Damien Harris, RB, Berea, Kentucky; Kendall Sheffield, DB, Missouri City, Texas; Daron Payne, DT, Birmingham, Alabama

Late addition: Four-star WR Draylon Charlot chose the Tide over LSU Wednesday.

One that got away: Five-star DE Cece Jefferson picked Florida.

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