Ultimate ESPN 300 class rankings

Alabama's success on the trail and on the field make the Tide tough to beat

Updated: January 30, 2014, 4:57 PM ET
By Tom Luginbill and Craig Haubert | RecruitingNation

In looking back at the top prospects from 2006 to 2013 for the Ultimate ESPN 300 project, it became clear that a top-10 class doesn't automatically guarantee success on the field. Consistently signing top-rated classes, though, can increase the chances for consistent success.

Below is a look at the 10 programs we feel have assembled the Ultimate Classes over this period. These teams have not only been able to ink highly rated classes, but have won big on Saturdays. These teams accounted for seven top-rated classes, as well as six BCS championships during that span.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama has signed six straight recruiting classes that finished in the top three of our national class rankings, including back-to-back No. 1-ranked classes. Those prospects went on to win three BCS championships, a Heisman trophy (RB Mark Ingram) and numerous All-Americans and All-SEC players emerged during this span. While the Tide have consistently recruited well under Nick Saban, their 2008 and 2009 classes were among the most impactful. The 2008 class included Ingram, WR Julio Jones and key defensive players such as Marcell Dareus and Dont'a Hightower. The 2009 class featured a pair of Heisman finalists in QB AJ McCarron and RB Trent Richardson as well as Dre Kirkpatrick and outstanding offensive linemen Chance Warmack and D.J. Fluker.