10 highest-rated Alabama football recruits ever and how they lived up to the hype (or didn’t)

Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Cam Robinson. (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Cam Robinson. (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Alabama football
Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

No. 9 highest-rated Alabama football recruit: OT Alex Leatherwood (2017)

In 2017, Alabama boasted the No. 1 class in the country, which should come as no surprise since two of the Top 5 players in that class committed to the Tide and rank among the highest-rated recruits in school history.

Offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood took the No. 4 spot in the class, standing 6-foot-6, 327 pounds. The Florida product went on to play a role in two national championships while grabbing individual national honors along the way.

Leatherwood played in seven games as a freshman, including the College Football Playoff National Championship Game against Georgia because of an injury to Jonah Williams. The Tide didn’t skip a beat with the freshman in at left tackle, beating the Bulldogs for the title.

He moved to guard as a sophomore and started 15 games in 2018. The 2019 season saw a return to the left tackle spot where he made the All-SEC first team.

Even though he could have gone to the NFL, Leatherwood returned for his senior season and was rewarded mightily. He took home the Outland Trophy and unanimous All-American honors while leading the Tide to another national championship.

The Raiders drafted him at No. 17 overall in 2021 but cut him after just one season. He signed with the Bears with hopes of restarting his career in Chicago.