5-star CB Patrick Surtain Jr picks Alabama over LSU

Lucy Bush
February 8, 2018

Facing what would have been its first recruiting class outside of the top 10 in the Nick Saban era, Alabama received a commitment from five-star receiver Jaylen Waddle boosting the Crimson Tide to a No. 7 ranking Wednesday on National Signing Day.

Without Surtain and Goodrich, LSU will sign no cornerbacks and no quarterbacks - with LSU quarterback target James Foster of Montgomery, Alabama, expected to pick Florida State - and just two three-star running backs. He was one of the few remaining unsigned members of the 2018 class that can step in and help fill the void of NFL-bound defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. "We got lots of guys at outside 'backer, the emphasis was to get defensive players and I think we got some good defensive players".

LSU can only sign 25, according to the new NCAA scholarship signing class limits, and it inked 21 back in the early signing period from December 20-22.

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Defensive back was the key position of need.

Surtain, the son of the former Miami Dolphins All-Pro corner by the same name, who is also his high school coach, picked the Crimson Tide over LSU, the hometown team for his family - from New Orleans - and a late push from Miami. Foster is choosing between Alabama, LSU, Florida State and Texas A&M.

Alabama also failed to sign another offensive and defensive lineman, but Saban made it clear he felt good about the players that were signed.

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Alabama could now move far up from its No. 9 spot in the Rivals.com team rankings and finish higher than LSU for the 11th straight year. Surtain "has the pedigree, elite size at 6-foot-2, speed and ball skills", 247Sports director of scouting Barton Simmons wrote in early January. 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.

Joseph committed to LSU last week over such schools as Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas and Clemson. One of LSU's goals entering the 2017-18 recruiting season was to sign a quarterback. He visited Alabama, Texas A&M and Ole Miss last month.

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