The Alabama Crimson Tide was well represented in the 2015 NFL Draft. The Tide had seven players drafted, which tied for the fourth-most of any school behind Florida State, Louisville and Florida.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper was the No. 4 overall pick, Landon Collins and T.J. Yeldon were selected early in the second round, Jalson Fowler and Arie Kouandijo went in the fourth round and Austin Shepherd and Xzavier Dickson came off the board in the seventh.
The Tide’s draft presence is another credit to head coach Nick Saban’s recruiting ability. Since Saban’s arrival in 2007 Alabama has had 48 players selected in the NFL Draft, which has played a major factor in the SEC’s nine-year reign as the conference with the most players drafted.
In college football, the foundation for success begins with recruiting. Alabama has ranked in the top-5 for the 247Sports Composite team rankings — which combine data from the four major recruiting websites — every year since 2008. The Tide has also ranked No. 1 in each season since 2011.
Alabama has proven this theory correct with three national championships and three conference titles. The Tide is expected to continue its success with yet another No. 1 recruiting class for 2015 and a roster that is loaded with depth. Alabama will add five consensus five-star and 15 four-star prospects this fall.
Saban’s greatest achievement has been his ability to replace stars with high potential prospects. Five Alabama running backs were drafted since 2008, with many working in a two-back system on national championship winning teams. Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram split carries with top-5 pick Trent Richardson on the Tide’s 2009 BCS title winning team. Green Bay Packers star Eddie Lacy, who’s enjoyed the most success in the NFL thus far, was relegated to a redshirt.
Alabama enters the 2015 season as the reigning SEC champions and looks to avenge a College Football Playoff loss to eventual champion Ohio State. The Tide should enjoy yet another season as one of college football’s top contenders and a favorite to repeat as conference champions.
Saban’s dominance on the recruiting trail has kept Alabama as an annual powerhouse and laid the foundation for years of success in the future. It has also made the program well represented at the professional level, which in turn, provides the ultimate recruiting pitch for top prospects. Saban’s best strategy has been his consistency at helping players make it to the next level and that has kept the Alabama recruiting machine running as strong as ever.