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ESPN says that one team is “surging” for 5-star CB Patrick Surtain Jr. Twitter/@SurtainJr

Patrick Surtain Jr. is the top-rated recruit yet to sign for the 2018 class and, as a result, there is a microscope on him in the hours before National Signing Day. With that in mind, Gerry Hamilton of ESPN recently evaluated the battle for Surtain Jr. on the recruiting trail and, while LSU reportedly remains in the lead, there is a “surging” program that happens to be led by Nick Saban.

LSU was the long-time favorite in Surtain recruitment, but as expected, national champion Alabama is surging late. Nick Saban has prioritized the five-star, but the Tigers still have a couple of key in-home visits remaining, with Ed Orgeron trying to close. While the five-star could make additional official visits the next two weekends, the team with the best chance to unseat the top two could be the hometown Hurricanes.

Hamilton also points out that Miami could have a chance to “unseat the top two” in this battle but that also indicates that, well, LSU and Alabama are the top two. Surtain Jr. ranks as the No. 6 overall player and top overall cornerback in the 247Sports composite and the senior hails from American Heritage in Fort Lauderdale (Fla.). That would provide obvious ties to Miami from a regional perspective but, in the same breath, this would not be the first time we’ve seen a top-tier recruit coming down to LSU and Alabama.

In the coming days, everyone will be following Surtain Jr. and the 6’1, 199-pound cornerback has the profile to be that good at the next level. LSU may be able to hold off the charge from Alabama but, anytime the defending champs are involved, look out.

Rowland is a lifelong Atlanta sports fan that also grew up in a Michigan Wolverines household. He previously worked with FanSided, SB Nation and UPROXX sports and covers college football for FanBuzz.
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