Published: Thu, February 08, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

5-star CB Patrick Surtain Jr picks Alabama over LSU

5-star CB Patrick Surtain Jr picks Alabama over LSU

The University of Alabama announced that five student-athletes have signed letters of intent to play football with the Crimson Tide Wednesday, joining 15 players who committed during the December early signing period. That reflects an increasing challenge to Alabama's dominance on the field and in the living rooms of recruits.

Cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. picked Alabama, cornerback Tyson Campbell decided on Georgia and offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere went with Ohio State. He visited Florida State last weekend and has also been courted by LSU and Texas A&M. A plethora of recruits chose to announce their college decisions in late 2017, but a few held out to think about their decision for a bit longer.

That said, Saban left open the idea Alabama could be on the lookout for a graduate transfer option should the program need another arm this summer.

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At that point, things were looking up for Alabama's class.

LSU appears to be out of the running for No. 18 dual threat quarterback James Foster (6-3, 188) of Sidney Lanier High in Montgomery, Ala., which means LSU will not meet one of its goals for the Class of 2018, which was to sign a quarterback.

As it now stands, the 2018 Signing Class includes 22 scholarship players.

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Alabama also will have preferred walk-on Braxton Barker, son of former Tide QB Jay Barker, on the roster this fall. While Saban and Co. are bringing in potential stars, as they always do, there isn't the same number of high-level recruits that we're accustomed to seeing at the top of their class. New head coach Jimbo Fisher is in the same boat as Nick Saban at Alabama since he has a starter in Nick Starkel for the next two years and would benefit from McKee's return in 2020. The Bulldogs had the nation's best class.

Leave it to a play-making receiver to save the day late for Alabama.

Four of the top five unsigned recruits are defensive backs, and two of them are teammates.

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