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OPINION: Early recruiting success puts even more pressure on Kalen DeBoer in year 1

Kalen DeBoer and Alabama football are burning up the recruiting trail and recruiting at a pace many did not see coming.

Alabama’s recruiting success under DeBoer has been so shocking to some, they are speculating Nick Saban is working behind the scenes for the Crimson Tide.

While there is no clear proof of the speculation, DeBoer and his Alabama staff are making it a ‘cold summer’ for its competitors on the recruiting front. The Tide is recruiting at a high level from coast to coast with commitments from four highly-rated California prospects, multiple top prospects from the south and some recruits from the Northeast and Midwest. It is safe to say the South Dakota native has quieted the ‘DeBoer can not recruit’ crowd at least for the moment.

The most remarkable part of the Tide’s new staff approach to recruiting is they have convinced countless recruits Alabama is still Alabama after the greatest college football coach of all time walked out the door before they officially put a football team on the field, and this is where the added pressure creeps in for Alabama.

Summer recruiting is huge with early signing period in December and a lot of rising seniors wanting to be committed before their senior seasons begin. However, in-season recruiting is just as important. DeBoer’s staff has proven they can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk on the field and prove Alabama is indeed still Alabama?

It is no secret the standard at Alabama is extremely high and the expectations under DeBoer are extremely high for a first-year head coach. According to former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy anything less than a nine-win season is ‘disappointing.’

“10-2, I think you’re in the playoffs,” McElroy said on a recent episode of Always College Football. “9-3, you’re on the fringe and anything less than that, I think would be considered a disappointing year for Kalen Deboer.”

The added recruiting success actually knocks those expectations up a game or two. Alabama will be best suited at worse to go 9-3 with no embarrassing losses to its name and be in the running to sneak into the backdoor of the College Football Playoffs to keep their selling pitch ‘Alabama is still Alabama’ intact.

Alabama is on the doorstep of taking over as the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation on multiple recruiting sites. This trajectory will continue if Alabama has success on the field in 2024.


Justin Smith is the Director of Recruiting for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter,via @Jdsmith31Smith

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