Alabama Football: Predicting next five ’23 class verbal commits

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama Football has four verbal commits in its 2023 class. The latest, Eli Holstein boosted the Crimson Tide to No. 3 in Team Rankings as compiled by the On3 Consensus. With only four commits, Alabama trails every other team in the top 10, in terms of the number of commits.

Is Nick Saban behind? Are straight cash payments to recruits by other programs reducing the Tide’s recruiting success? Answers are months away.

How it currently appears is the Crimson Tide has some catching up to do. Given the large number of official visits scheduled to Tuscaloosa in June, catching up may produce results soon.

In what is now camp and official visit season, there are more than a few recruits who could commit to Nick Saban in June or July. Some of the commit dates are already set.

In no particular order of probability, seven players are profiled below. Mark down a prediction that no less than five of them will commit to the Crimson Tide before the end of July.

  • Cole Adams – 4 Star, wide receiver, rated just inside the top 50 wideouts in the 2023 class. Adams will be a tough pull from Oklahoma, but the Crimson Tide is believed to lead. There is a question of how hard the Tide will push, but Adams fits a need as a possession receiver, similar to Slade Bolden, but arguably more athletic.
  • Derek Williams – 4 Star, safety, rated as a top 50 player in the 2023 class and in the top five of safeties. 5-Star safety, Caleb Downs is at the top of Nick Saban’s safety list, but Williams is close behind. Georgia may lead for Downs, but the Crimson Tide is a clear leader for Williams.
  • Olaus Alinen – 4 Star, offensive tackle, rated as the No. 10 tackle recruit by the On3 Consensus. His first June visit is to Miami, followed by Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State.
  • Jordan Renaud – 4 Star, defensive lineman, rated as a top 100 player and a top 10 defensive lineman. Renaud, from Tyler, TX is close to being an Alabama football recruiting lock.
  • Malik Benson – 4 Star (JUCO), wide receiver is rated as the top JUCO wide receiver and has the potential to be an immediate impact player for the Crimson Tide. He has visited Oregon and will visit, in addition to Tuscaloosa, Georgia, Tennessee and LSU. He intends to announce a decision in July. The Tide is also getting a June visit from 5-Star, WR, Brandon Inniss, but Benson might be the higher priority of the two.
  • Malik Bryant – 4 Star, linebacker, rated as a top 50 player and a top-five linebacker/edge player in the 2023 class. Bryant is from Orlando and most recruiting pundits believe Florida is his leader. Alabama football insiders believe the Crimson Tide has been the leader for Bryant since April. He has a commitment planned for late July.
  • Payton Kirkland – 4 Star, offensive tackle, Going into Kirkland’s recent visit to Tuscaloosa, Florida and Georgia were believed to be his leaders. This is another situation where recruiting experts project Florida and Georgia as leaders. But Kirkland has a strong relationship with Alabama football assistant, Eric Wolford. It is believed Wolford made up a lot of ground with Kirkland during the recent unofficial visit. He has an official visit planned for late June.

A thorough list of Alabama football recruit visits is available from A list of all the Crimson Tide’s 2023 offers is available from 247Sports.

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