LSU loses battle for top DB; nabs highly-touted Rummel WR

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Instead, Alabama's seventh-place finish among the Top 10 was its lowest since Saban's first class in 2007, when he and his staff had a month to put the entire group together after two seasons in the NFL.

Five-star cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. surprised many recruiting experts and picked Alabama over LSU as National Signing Day got started Wednesday morning.

Rarely thrown at, Surtain made 17 tackles and had one interception in eight games as a senior for the Patriots, which won their fourth Class 5A state title in five years and finished the season ranked as high as fourth nationally in one of MaxPreps' polls. "This was a little bit different in terms of having an early signing date and finishing up today". "I think we were able to do that in this particular class".

Tide coach Nick Saban said during the early signing period in December the team would try to sign a scholarship quarterback "if we can get somebody that we feel can be a positive in the organization", adding he would ideally like four scholarship quarterbacks on its roster. "Certainly, next year, I think we might be in a position to get a really good player at that position who could be someone who could impact us in the future".

Surtain Jr.'s announcement was televised live on ESPNU, coming seconds after American Heritage High teammate Tyson Campbell, the nation's No. 2 cornerback, announced he was signing with Georgia.

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You can't build a more ideal prospect from the cornerback position. The night before, you get a phone call, and he's not. So does that mean we struck out?

"I think it's great", Smart said, according to DawgNation.com.

Saban and the Crimson Tide were almost kept out of the College Football Playoff this season as a result of a late-season loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl. He visited Florida State last weekend and has also been courted by LSU and Texas A&M.

Clemson and Southern Cal actually earned their spot by outrecruiting Alabama for several highly rated targets, including four-star Phenix City (Alabama) receiver Justyn Ross - the state's No. 1 overall player - choosing the Tigers over both the Alabama and rival Auburn.

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