The Crimson Tide had to fight tooth and nail over Georgia, but ultimately squeaked out an overtime win to give Saban and Co. yet another title.
It wasn't all disappointment, as five-star Florida prospect Patrick Surtain Jr., the nation's No. 1 cornerback according to 247Sports.com, chose Alabama over longtime favorite LSU, while four-star Texas receiver Jaylen Waddle saved the day with a late-afternoon pledge.
The ranking marks the first time Alabama did not finish with a top 5 class since Saban's first class in 2007 when the Crimson Tide finished No. 10 in the nation.
Cornerback Eddie Smith commited to Alabama on Wednesday in front of Salmen High School in Louisiana.
"So rather than reach for somebody, we'd rather solve the issue another way with maybe a more experienced guy down the road", Saban said.More news: US warns countries against aiding terrorists eyeing nuclear weapons
The defending college football national champions picked up the highest-ranked remaining uncommitted recruit in the country on National Signing Day. "I think we were able to do that in this particular class". The Tigers were able to ink the commitment of standout Scotlandville defensive back Kelvin Joseph, who is likely to play cornerback for the Tigers next fall, as opposed to safety, due to the Tigers misses. "We want guys who want to be at LSU". "I think you all know our circumstance at quarterback right now with the players we have here and what grade they're in, how much eligibility they have".
That could change, though, Nick Saban said in cryptic answer about the position Wednesday. "We redshirted a kicker from last year's class - who really counts in this year's class - so we couldn't really take a full class this year from a numbers standpoint". Alabama signed five recruits Wednesday to finish with 20 signees.
The Fort Lauderdale native had been linked to LSU for some time, and also had his pick of the litter with a grand total of 32 offers heading into Signing Day.
Clemson and Southern Cal actually earned their spot by outrecruiting Alabama for several highly rated targets, including four-star Phenix City (Alabama) receiver Justyn Ross - the state's No. 1 overall player - choosing the Tigers over both the Alabama and rival Auburn.