5 Alabama football players who will be rewarded for staying with Kalen DeBoer

According to FanSided college football writer Josh Yourish, these are the five players who will benefit most from staying loyal to Tuscaloosa and playing under Kalen DeBoer.

Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe (4)
Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe (4) / Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
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. Keon Keeley. player. 523. 31. Keon Keeley. . Redshirt Freshman. Keon Keeley. EDGE

Keeley was the No. 1 recruit in Alabama’s 2023 high school recruiting class, but he didn’t play a snap in the 2023 season. So, as a redshirt freshman, the 6-foot-5 240-pound edge rusher has a chance to play a major role in 2024. Dallas Turner, Chris Braswell, and Justin Eboigbe are all headed to the NFL, so that opens up 1,873 snaps on the edge and Keeley should take up around 500 of them. 

DeBoer hired Kane Wommack, the former South Alabama head coach to run his defense, and that’s exactly why Keeley will excel and be rewarded for staying. South Alabama’s two leaders in pressures were both undersized edge rushers, Jamie Sherriff at 6-foot-2 265, and Quentin Wilfawn at 6-foot-1 248. 

Keeley has plenty of additional length, but will not need to add much weight to succeed in Wommack’s defensive system. It’s also a system that is built around the edges getting pressure and the interior defensive line eating up blockers, which will allow Keeley to amass an impressive statistical resume to go along with his stellar athletic traits.