Has Kalen DeBoer already answered the biggest questions surrounding him?

Jan 13, 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; The University of Alabama introduced new head football coach
Jan 13, 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; The University of Alabama introduced new head football coach / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA

When the Alabama Football program hired Kalen DeBoer to replace Nick Saban, the biggest question many asked was if he would be able to recruit at a high enough level to win in the SEC. There was little doubt about his ability to coach, as he's won at every stop in his coaching career. The recruiting classes he brought in at Washington never stood out, raising concerns on if Alabama would continue to bring in the talent needed to continue to stand atop the SEC. In a little over a month on the job, Kalen DeBoer has seemingly erased the questions about his ability to recruit.

Building a talented recruiting staff was clearly a priority for Kalen DeBoer and it may have already started to pay its dividends. When his plane landed in Tuscaloosa, following DeBoer off the plane was Courtney Morgan, who's been known as one of the best roster builders in the sport. He'd then hire Jatavis Sanders as his director of recruiting strategy who brings ties on the East Coast to supplement Morgan's west coast connections.

In addition to hiring recruiting staffers, Kalen DeBoer brought in and retained assistants who are well-known for their prowess in recruiting and in developing players. From Nick Saban's staff, DeBoer kept on running backs coach Robert Gillespie and defensive line coach Freddie Roach, both of whom are top recruiters. From his Washington staff, DeBoer brought in Jamarcus Shephard, who's known as one of the top receivers' coaches in terms of development and recruiting. He went outside of his recent staff to hire Colin Hischler, Christian Robinson, and Chris Kapliovic, all of whom are known for their ability to recruit.

Retaining players on the team was the immediate priority for the staff once they took over and for the most part the staff did just that. The only real significant losses to the portal were Caleb Downs, Isaiah Bond, Kadyn Proctor, Amari Niblack, and Julian Sayin from the time while DeBoer was hired. DeBoer has seemingly replaced nearly all of these players in the transfer portal. bringing in Keon Sabb at Safety, Germie Bernard at receiver, Josh Cuevas at tight end, and Austin Mack at Quarterback.

Alabama Football, while losing players like Julian Sayin and Jameer Grimsley, still ended up holding the second-ranked class after National Signing Day. One of the major reasons the team stayed in the second spot was DeBoer's biggest win yet.

While trying to keep the current team in place Kalen DeBoer had to fill out his own staff as well. DeBoer was able to lure an up-and-coming head coach in Kane Wommack from South Alabama to become the defensive coordinator at Alabama. He brought in coaches from all over the country with only three staff members on his current staff following him from Washington. The impressive part of what he's done in building his staff is moving swiftly to fill any holes. DeBoer has already lost his initial OC/QBs coach in Ryan Grubb, OL coach Scott Huff, and William Inge whom he swiftly replaced while filling the TEs coaching job after Nick Sheridan was promoted to OC.

Ryan Williams nearly immediately de-committed from Alabama after Nick Saban retired and many believed the program was out on Williams with the hire of DeBoer. Recruiting experts pointed to Auburn as the most likely landing spot due to his ties with Hugh Freeze and in-state wide receivers Cam Coleman and Perry Thompson. Texas was another rumored landing spot as they continued to recruit Williams until the end while boasting one of if not the biggest NIL pools in the country. Texas A&M also had the benefits of their NIL group and hiring Holmon Wiggins who was crucial in Alabama initially landing Williams.

Despite being up against it in terms of landing Williams, Deboer was able to make his mark and signed the uber-talented receiver. Landing the Alabama native against an in-state rival and two other SEC recruiting powerhouses has seemingly quieted any doubts about DeBoer's ability to recruit in the south.

Post-national signing day, all eyes in the meantime turn towards DeBoer's first true recruiting class at Alabama with the 2025 recruiting class. The team currently has two holdovers from Nick Saban in four-star prospects Anthony Rogers and Myles Johnson. DeBoer and his staff have been traveling all over the country while hosting recruits in Tuscaloosa for events as recruiting is set to ramp up.

The Alabama Football roster will have the pieces in place

The addition of Keon Sabb has seemingly put the finishing touches on this roster giving the staff options at every position as they look to make this group their own. In terms of talent, this will be by far the most talented group DeBoer has ever had, which should bring excitement to Alabama Football fans.

The caliber of players that DeBoer has brought in is impressive, bringing in players with winning pedigrees from great programs like his own at Washington and Michigan. The spring transfer window will provide Kalen DeBoer with another opportunity to bolster his roster, but if the team doesn't use the portal again they'll have the pieces to compete for a National Championship in year one of the DeBoer era.