Alabama Football: The recruiting synergy of Nick Saban and Nate Oats

Nate Oats has done more for Alabama football than any coach of another sport

In the past, people viewed Alabama football as a recruiting bonus for other sports. Alabama basketball and other teams would send recruits to football games on visits, and the idea of that environment helped convince them to commit. Thanks to Nate Oats, the inverse is becoming true.

In the past, all that mattered in recruiting was the culture and the fit. Now, teams are using gimmicks to get high-school players to join their program. They pull out all the stops to recruit, from parents wearing uniforms to McDonald’s bags filled with cash. Despite this, Alabama has stayed at the top of recruiting, and it appears that the Tide will continue to grow.

If other schools can have tricks up their sleeves, so can Alabama football. However, the Tide’s ace is in an entirely different sport.

There have been recruits who have dreams to play multiple sports. This has not been common in the past, but two recent recruits fit this bill. Ga’Quincy McKinstry, a recent DB commit, had offers to play both football and basketball at high-level schools. He decided to play for Alabama football, but he is also working with the basketball team. He has been attending practices with Nate Oats and the Tide.

In the 2022 recruiting class, Emmanuel Henderson became one of Alabama’s first commits. He is a 5-star running back who is ready to play football, but he received multiple basketball offers from SEC schools. Even Auburn made a scholarship offer. While Alabama basketball’s success might have not impacted his decision, one can see how it could have played a role.

Alabama will always be considered a football school, but the basketball program’s surge can only help. This is not a zero-sum game. As Nate Oats recruits and rebuilds the basketball program, he is helping Nick Saban and Alabama football.

Football will continue to help the basketball program. From funding dollars to national notoriety, there is a benefit to being any athletic program at Alabama. However, there is more synergy between these teams than ever before, and it will only increase as time goes on.