While there are other programs throughout the country that do a fantastic job on the recruiting trail, Alabama remains the gold standard by which every other college football team is measured, both on the field and in terms of landing high-impact prospects. With that as the backdrop, though, the Georgia Bulldogs are perhaps Alabama’s biggest recruiting rival due to proximity and effectiveness and that doesn’t appear to be slowing down under Kirby Smart’s leadership.
Alabama commit Markail Benton could prove to be a test for the Tide, however, as he announced his first official visit over the weekend. It will take place in Athens.
The Bulldogs already have the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class according to 247Sports, but Georgia could rise in the near future if they are able to flip Benton’s commitment. The 6-foot-1, 237-pound linebacker from Phenix City (Ala.) ranks as a four-star recruit and as one of the top 100 prospects in the country. Benton has been committed to play for Nick Saban and the Tide since June, but that won’t stop him from taking advantage of official visits and nothing is locked in until he puts pen to paper on a letter of intent.
The 247Sports crystal ball has Alabama at a 68 percent of landing while Auburn has the remaining 32 percent.
This certainly won’t be the last recruiting battle between Saban and one of his former lieutenants in Smart, but it will be an important one for both programs when evaluating the 2017 recruiting scene.