Jess Nicholas of Tidefans.com has his second annual review of prior recruiting classes and the players’ impact on the field. The 2007 class was Nick Saban’s first and some of the stars of that class will live in Alabama lore forever.
As always, there were players riding in on waves of high expectations who, for various reasons, never panned out.
If you have wondered what happened to some of the players in that class—here’s the consummate rundown of every 2007 signee.
Some of the highlights from Nicholas’ review:
1. Rolando McClain, LB (NARCAS rating: 10.0)
McClain immediately became the focal point of Saban’s defense at Alabama, and by the time the 2009 season had come and gone, he was one of the most feared defenders in college football.
3. Brandon Gibson, WR (10.0)
As a senior, he finally broke into the starting rotation, but his career is as much remembered for two run-ins with LSU safety Eric Reid as anything else he did.
11. Alex Watkins, DE (9.7)
Watkins became one of the most consistent pass rushers on the team as a junior and senior, and added to his legend in 2011 by returning from major knee surgery months ahead of schedule.
13. Josh Chapman, DT (9.6)
Had Saban not offered Chapman an immediate ride, it’s likely one of the most reliable Alabama linemen in recent years would have signed with Auburn instead.
15. Nick Gentry, DT (9.6)
Gentry frustrated opposing offensive linemen while amusing fans with his pot-bellied, everyman look. Against LSU in the BCS Championship Game, though, there was nothing funny about the way Gentry abused LSU OG Will Blackwell – if you were an LSU fan, that is.
By the way, that 2007 class with players who appeared in two SEC Championship Games and three BCS Bowls and brought home two National Championships was ranked No. 10 by Rivals.com and No. 22 by Scout.com.