Tide could land top class

When it comes to suspense and drama, national signing day should have Alabama fans on the edge of their computer seats like never before.

If everything falls into place, the Crimson Tide have the potential to land its best class ever with some recruiting experts boldly predicting the Class of 2009 to be better than last year’s consensus No. 1 class which featured the likes of Julio Jones, Terrence Cody and Don’ta Hightower.

Nick Saban has already secured 21 verbal commitments heading into today, but is still waiting to hear from a plethora of big name, blue chip recruits that could make or break the Tide’s recruiting haul. Thirteen uncommitted prospects, that have Alabama as one of their final schools of choice, will announce their intentions today.

Among those are such five-star prospects as cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (Gadsden, Ala.) and wide receiver Rueben Randle (Bastrop, La.), in addition to such four-star prospects as linebacker Tana Patrick (Stevenson, Ala.), offensive lineman Bobby Massie (Chatham, Va.), safety Darren Myles (Atlanta) and wide receivers Kendall Kelly (Gadsden, Ala.) and Pat Patterson (Noxubee, Miss.).

Kirkpatrick and Kelly, teammates at Gadsden City High School, are both set to announce today at 2:30 p.m. Kirkpatrick is thought to be choosing between Alabama and Texas while Kelly is said to be deciding between Alabama and Clemson.

Randle will make his announcement at 1 p.m., with LSU the likely school of choice. Alabama and Oklahoma both have an outside shot but the North Louisiana native is expected to stay in state with the Tigers.

Patrick, who seems to be favoring Alabama over Auburn and Southern Cal, will make his announcement at 11 a.m. Myles, a Carver-Montgomery High prospect will decide between Alabama, LSU and Tennessee at 10:45 a.m. Patterson and Massie, who are both leaning toward either Alabama or Ole Miss, will make their respective decisions at 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Five-star running back Trent Richardson (Pensacola, Fla.), who has been verbally committed to Alabama since the summer will announce his decision at 5 p.m.

Urban Meyer and Florida have made a late push to nail down Richardson, but Alabama is still thought to be his final destination.

Among the verbal commitments who are expected to sign with Alabama today are five-star linebacker Nico Johnson (Andalusia, Ala.), five-star offensive lineman D.J. Fluker (Foley, Ala.) and four-star quarterback A.J. McCarron (Mobile, Ala.).

Alabama missed out on Lowndes High cornerback Greg Reid, who announced Tuesday night that he would sign with Florida State.