Alabama Football thriving on the recruiting trail under Kalen DeBoer

Missouri v Alabama
Missouri v Alabama / Brandon Sumrall/GettyImages

The barrage of questions about Kalen DeBoer’s ability to recruit at a high level in SEC country are being answered right before our eyes. DeBoer has done an excellent job of surrounding himself with top recruiters, and the Crimson Tide fleet has been all over the country making things happen this spring.

Bama’s new coach brought some of the best recruiters from his previous job at Washington, and was able to pair them with several coaches that have ties to the South and to the Alabama program. Under Coach Saban, blue-chip high school players knew exactly what they were walking into; they had seen it play out for almost their entire lives.

While keeping certain aspects of Coach Saban’s program intact, Coach DeBoer has implemented just enough change to pique the interest of the nation’s top recruits. Almost overnight, Alabama Football has become the shiny new toy in the recruiting world without having to experience any sort of drop-off. 

It can’t be overstated how impressive this is. We often see college football teams get a sudden surge in recruiting, whether it’s because they’ve recently started winning, they signed a popular new coach, or for a multitude of other reasons. For Alabama to seemingly experience a similar boost less than three months after the retirement of the greatest recruiter of all time is almost unfair. For those who thought the dynasty was beginning to get stale, or even those that thought it had finally run its course, Coach DeBoer’s work in his first recruiting cycle has to be deflating. 

Bama currently has the 6th-ranked class in the 2025 cycle. It has eight verbal commitments, the same number it had when Saban retired. Six members of that original group quickly decommitted, but DeBoer has gone to work rebuilding the class in his own image.

With a distinct focus on defense and athleticism, the class currently includes four rangy linebackers, a blue-chip defensive lineman in Antonio Coleman, and a defensive back in Zymear Smith. It also features two top-100 offensive skill players with speed to burn in running back Turbo Rogers and wide receiver Derick Smith.  

With all the buzz surrounding this class, which has already seen six commitments in the month of March, it’s hard to believe that DeBoer hasn’t even landed his first 5-star in the 2025 cycle yet. That day is likely coming soon, and the momentum that Alabama has established on the recruiting trail will continue to gain steam.