Perception is reality
How would recruits describe the identities of the nation's top teams?
The nation's top five teams all have unique personalities that come from very specific sources. It could be Nick Saban instilling a physically dominant mindset at Alabama or the fast-paced offenses at Oregon and Baylor. Meanwhile, Florida State has been ignited by redshirt freshman QB phenom Jameis Winston. And Ohio State, under Urban Meyer, just keeps winning.
How do recruits view these programs and the dominant personalities that run them?
AlabamaUnder Nick Saban, the name Alabama once again resonates with recruits from all over the country. Tradition, dominance and championships are just a few words that come to mind when recruits hear the name Alabama.
The success on the field has translated into unmatched success in recruiting. The Tide currently have the nation's No. 1 recruiting class. Alabama finished with the No. 1 class the last two years and have finished no worse than third in the rankings since 2009.
Christian Miller (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley), the No. 1-ranked outside linebacker in the country, said the tradition in Tuscaloosa, is what drew his attention to the Crimson Tide.
"Before I started getting recruited by Alabama, I looked at them as the face of college football," Miller said. "To me, the name Alabama means success and tradition. Most recruits, as well as myself, feel that Alabama is a college football powerhouse that excels in almost every category possible."
Ross Pierschbacher (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls), the No. 1-ranked guard in the country, was committed to Iowa before switching to Alabama in August.
"Before Alabama recruited me, I thought of them as being a step ahead of every other program," he said. "I never knew much about the program. I just didn't know much about them being from the Midwest other then the games of them on TV."
The recent success has allowed the Crimson Tide to recruit nationally. Pierschbacher and Miller are two of Alabama's 17 out-of-state commitments.
It's apparent Saban has taken Alabama to another level. And a third national championship in a row would only add to the hype that is Alabama football.
-- Derek Tyson