For the fifth time in six years, Alabama has landed the nation's No. 1 recruiting class, according to Rivals.com. But with the Tide bringing back so many veterans, it may be a couple of years before all those blue-chippers play significant roles. So which other highly touted incoming freshmen will grab the limelight from the outset?
1 Robert Nkemdiche DE
The nation's top overall prospect, an explosive 6' 5", 260-pound bull rusher from Loganville, Ga., injects a much-needed dose of elite athleticism into a Rebels defense that ranked ninth in the SEC in points allowed last season.
2 Greg Bryant RB
The five-star Delray Beach, Fla., native spurned the SEC. Instead, the elusive 5' 11", 197-pound tackle-breaker will help bolster an Irish backfield that loses the top two rushers from last year's 12--1 team.
3 Christian Hackenberg QB
A stabilizing figure for a scandal-ravaged program, he committed last February and stuck with the Nittany Lions despite NCAA sanctions. A classic drop-back passer, the 6'4", 212-pound Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy grad will compete with untested underclassmen for the starting job.
4 Matthew Thomas LB
A huge Signing Day pickup for the 'Noles, Thomas was Rivals' second-ranked outside linebacker. The 6'3", 205-pound Miami native joins a team that must replace nearly the entire front seven from the nation's second-ranked defense.
5 Derrick Green RB