As painful as last offseason's antics and political battles were, the UAB Blazers prove that nothing springs hope like a new beginning.
Out of the ashes of Rat Watts' and the Alabama Board of Trustees' misguided plan stands a resurrected football program on the verge of not just coming back, but making major waves from day one.
You got that right.
UAB head coach Bill Clark has a lot to sell to recruits right now: new beginning, new traditions, being part of something special, lots and lots of early playing time. He's also got a lot of scholarships to give with a whopping 43 commits at the moment. Lastly, he's one hell of a coach, and that means a lot.
The Blazer recruiting class sits at 59th in the country as I write this, tops in Conference USA and second in all of the G5. The only non-power ahead of them is Houston, who's playing so well they might become a power.
The rankings are skewed somewhat in UAB's favor because of the high number of players in the class, but that only goes so far. Clark has lured in 21 three-star recruits, which is basically an entire signing class worth. And while the threat of a late Power 5 offer is always on the table, that could be muted by the unique situation this team finds itself in.
Nineteen players already signed letters of intent to play in Birmingham in 2017, of which 12 are three stars. There won't be any drama with those guys. Now it's just a matter of the remaining commits signing on the dotted line.
We'll highlight a couple of the guys already on board here, and check in on the rest once the dust clears Wednesday.
Copeland could become UAB's starting quarterback on opening day 2017. He's a three-star prospect out of Dallas and a dual-threat QB that stands 6-0, 175 pounds.
An inside linebacker out of Arizona Western College, Garrett is a high three-star prospect and a one-man wrecking crew (note: these are high school highlights and are a few years old).
Another junior college guy, Bryant is a running back who originally signed with Notre Dame. Take a look at what caught the eye of the Irish: