Arkansas-Alabama: Breaking down the matchup by recruiting rating

Welcome to SEC Country’s  daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook . In this edition, we discuss how the Hogs stack up with Alabama based on recruit rating.

Arkansas-Alabama: The recruiting matchup

While recruiting star ratings don’t explicitly decide the outcome of games, they shouldn’t be totally ignored on fall Saturdays. If fans are wondering why their team can’t put pressure on the quarterback, maybe the answer is the result of facing two highly rated tackles. Or if the top wide receiver is struggling to get open, it could be easier to understand if fans know he’s matching up against a 5-star cornerback.

With this in mind, SEC Country will be looking at how Arkansas stacks up against its opponent each week based on star rating. Here’s how things compare against Alabama, the Razorbacks’ opponent Saturday:

Arkansas

Not including specialists, the Hogs’ depth chart has 23 listed starters (12 on offense with two tight ends listed because of how they are used) who, as recruits, ranged from unrated to 5-star prospects by the 247Sports composite. With 3-star recruits (15) leading the way, Arkansas’ star-rating average among the starters is 3.22.

Here’s the full breakdown of starters heading into the game:

5 stars (1)

  • DE McTelvin “Sosa” Agim

4 stars (6)

  • QB Austin Allen
  • RB Devwah Whaley
  • TE Jeremy Patton
  • LG Hjalte Froholdt*
  • C Frank Ragnow
  • NT Bijhon Jackson

3 stars (15)

  • FB Kendrick Jackson
  • WR Deon Stewart
  • WR Jonathan Nance
  • TE Austin Cantrell
  • LT Colton Jackson
  • RT Paul Ramirez
  • DE T.J. Smith
  • OLB Randy Ramsey
  • MLB De’Jon Harris
  • MLB Dre Greenlaw
  • OLB Dwayne Eugene
  • CB Kamren Curl
  • SS Santos Ramirez
  • FS Josh Liddell
  • CB Henre’ Toliver

No stars (1)

  • RG Johnny Gibson

* Froholdt was recruited as a 4-star defensive lineman.

Alabama

Alabama has an average star rating of 4 in its projected starting lineup. The Crimson Tide have more 4-star starters (11) than anything and an incredible seven 5-star starters.

Here’s the full breakdown of Alabama’s projected starters based on its participation chart from last week:

5 stars (7)

  • RB Damien Harris
  • WR Calvin Ridley
  • WR Robert Foster
  • LT Jonah Williams
  • DT Da’Ron Payne
  • LB Rashaan Evans
  • DB Minkah Fitzpatrick

4 stars (11)

  • QB Jalen Hurts
  • TE Hale Hentges
  • LG Ross Pierschbacher
  • RG Lester Cotton
  • DE Isaiah Buggs
  • DE Raekwon Davis
  • LB Shaun Dion Hamilton
  • LB Anfernee Jennings
  • DB Hootie Jones
  • DB Ronnie Harrison
  • CB Anthony Averett

3 stars (3)

  • TE Irv Smith Jr.
  • C Bradley Bozeman
  • RT Matt Womack

No stars (1)

  • CB Levi Wallace

The analysis

The recruiting ratings leave little surprise as to why this game is a total mismatch. And this is just the starters. There are plenty of former 4-star players and young 5-star players in reserve. Arkansas won’t face a team with more talented depth than the Crimson Tide. That’s because there isn’t one.

It’s impressive how well Alabama has been able to recruit. The Tide have had the No. 1 recruiting class in the country seven consecutive cycles, according to the 247Sports composite. That’s incredible. Winning will do that for you.

But not only are they getting the majority of the most talented players, they are developing them with a high success rate as well. Excluding freshmen, Alabama has 11 players who were 5-star recruits on the roster. Seven of them will start against Arkansas. Another (DE Da’Shawn Hand) would be starting if not for injury. The other three (RB Bo Scarbrough, DB Tony Brown and LB Mack Wilson) all have a role of some sort.

So, none of Alabama’s former 5-star recruits who have been on campus more than two years are riding the bench. That shows why the program has become such a powerhouse the past decade.

At Arkansas, the lack of developing the most talented players on the roster appears to be holding back the program. The Hogs have four 4-star offensive linemen riding the bench. That’s a position group that has been terrible the past two seasons. It’s highly unlikely all four of them are busts individually. What’s far more likely is a lack of proper development. And that is truly what has Alabama light-years ahead of Arkansas right now.

Miss a previous edition? Find every SEC Country daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook  right here.

The post Arkansas-Alabama: Breaking down the matchup by recruiting rating appeared first on SEC Country.

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