College Football is finding out the hard way that Alabama Football is still Alabama

Mar 6, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Quarterbacks coach Nick Sheridan gestures as he gives
Mar 6, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Quarterbacks coach Nick Sheridan gestures as he gives / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA

The moment Nick Saban retired, college football rejoiced in declaring that Alabama Football would struggle in recruiting due to losing the NIL discount that Nick Saban brought. Rivals are finding out, however, that Kalen DeBoer and Alabama Football are still one of the powers of college football and they're here to stay. Rivals questioned DeBoer's ability to recruit in the South, with Auburn fans even nicknaming DeBoer "Husky Harsin."

The results, however, leave Auburn and every other fan base with little to laugh about as DeBoer has impressed early on.

His first true test on the job was landing five-star wide receiver Ryan Williams who was heavily favored to land at Auburn while also considering SEC rivals Texas and Texas A&M. DeBoer impressed Williams and was able to land him once again, giving DeBoer a signature recruiting win in his first month on the job.

Alabama Football also made a massive statement by landing defensive tackle Antonio Coleman. At the time, Coleman was the highest-ranked recruit in Auburn's 2025 recruiting class before DeBoer stole him away.

Auburn fans thought they were going to land top in-state receiver Derick Smith as well, with Auburn insiders predicting an Auburn commitment. DeBoer hosted Smith on the opening weekend of spring visits and landed the talented receiver over Auburn, Georgia, and others.

The area we've seen Alabama use sparingly in the past is the transfer portal, with Nick Saban never fully diving into the window.

DeBoer has already used the portal to land several players that will play key roles on the Alabama Football team. Keon Sabb was a part of the Michigan team that ended Alabama's season in the Rose Bowl, he'll now be a starting safety in Kane Wommack's defense. Along with him, DeBoer brought over Austin Mack, a quarterback that may be the team's post-Milroe starter. He also brought in one of the best centers in the country in Parker Brailsford and a talented receiver in Germie Bernard.

DeBoer has also already proven that he has a great eye for talented coaches and an ability to assemble an elite staff. He was even able to rebound from the early losses of offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb and offensive line coach Scott Huff to the Seattle Seahawks.

On the defensive side of the ball, DeBoer lured head coaches into assistant roles in Kane Wommack and Maurice Linguist. Several of DeBoer's coaches will likely be in Tuscaloosa for just one season with Kane Wommack, Colin Hitchler, and JaMarcus Shephard all seen as rising stars in the coaching world.

One week into spring practice, everything coming out of Tuscaloosa is positive regarding DeBoer and his staff. Every report out of Spring practice has praised the energy around the new coaching staff and how hands-on the on-field assistants are.

The Alabama Football program is set up to once again land in the top ten of the recruiting class rankings in 2025. The team currently has five four-star commitments with more on the way, perhaps as soon as this week. The team received three additional crystal ball predictions for four-star recruits following DeBoer's first weekend hosting recruits this spring.

Alabama Football: New Era off to a roaring start

While many expected the first year or two to be rocky in the Kalen DeBoer era, so far it has been smooth sailing. Despite losing recruits after Nick Saban's retirement, the new staff retained enough of the class to finish with the second-ranked recruiting class.

After the 2025 recruiting class saw a few prospects de-commit, Kalen DeBoer has built the class back up to 13th in the current rankings. We truly won't know how successful Alabama Football will be until the team takes the field. However, two months in, Kalen DeBoer has been as successful as you could ask for.

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Note: Recruiting Rankings via 24/7 Sports

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