Analyst: Unlike CFP final, Alabama won’t knock Georgia from top spot in recruiting

Is this the year Georgia finally ends up on top of the recruiting rankings? A national analyst says there’s just one team that could overtake the Bulldogs – and it’s not the one that crushed their hopes last month.

ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill said the Bulldogs look safe at the top of the recruiting list barring a late surge from Texas during his appearance with “The Round Table” on radio station WJOX in Birmingham, Ala.

“If the right guys fell at the right time, and maybe Georgia were to lose out on one or two guys and Ohio State were to lose out on one or two guys, I could maybe see Texas making a push,” he said.

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Luginbill doesn’t see Alabama coming back to beat the Bulldogs this time. When Alabama last finished outside the top two, Urban Meyer was still coaching Florida and future Tide Heisman winner Derrick Henry was a high school freshman.

“I think it’s going to be a challenge for Alabama to get to No. 1,” Luginbill said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up in the top three. They’re No. 4 for us right now, and I think some positive things will end up happening for them come the end of next Wednesday (National Signing Day).”

Luginbill said Tennessee has rebounded better than some other teams that went through coaching changes because of Jeremy Pruitt’s strong SEC background and his established connections with recruits.

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“They have a coach that didn’t have to come in and go through the introductory period. … He’s already recruited all of these kids that they’re pursuing at one point or another,” Luginbill said. “Whether it’s going back one year, two years, three years while he was the defensive coordinator at Alabama, it’s the same player pool, whereas a Chip Kelly at UCLA, he’s going in there and making introductions from day one. He’s a foreign commodity to kids. That’s not the case for Tennessee.”

Luginbill doesn’t see the immediate recruiting picture as bright for Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M. The biggest issue, Luginbill said, is that the Aggies’ top remaining targets, like four-star wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, also have strong interest from other schools – which might leave A&M as their second or third choice.

“Who knows, maybe they’ll get a surprise or two,” Luginbill said. “But they’re the one team that I think has the biggest challenge among the new Power Five head coaches, along with Chip Kelly at UCLA.”

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