Recapping Alabama football’s 2023 recruiting class

Michael DeVito, Contributing Writer

After missing the College Football Playoff following back-to-back national championship appearances, the Alabama Crimson Tide football program’s future looks to be in safe hands, with what many are calling one of the best recruiting classes in the history of Alabama football. 

Alabama’s 2023 recruiting class ranked first according to all recruiting services, ahead of schools such as the Georgia, the Texas, and LSU. Seven five-star recruits have committed to the Crimson Tide, the most in college football, with Texas trailing with four.  

Alabama head coach Nick Saban expressed excitement about the incoming class. 

“We are obviously very pleased with the class we were able to attract,” Saban said. “What I like about this group the most is seems like they have good character. … We are excited about the class; I think the coaching staff did a fantastic job.” 

The 2023 recruiting class for the Crimson Tide is filled with talent and potential. The full class is made up of seven five-stars, 20 four-stars, and one three-star.  

A few staples in the class are 4-star quarterback Eli Holstein and 5-star defensive back Caleb Downs, who both enrolled early and practiced with Alabama before its Sugar Bowl victory over Kansas State. Furthermore, five-star edge Keon Keeley and offensive tackle Kadyn Proctor are two highly rated recruits that will surely become important players in the future of the Alabama football program.  

“First of all he is a great person, a really smart football player — football means a lot to him,” Saban said of Downs. “The guy is a great competitor. … I just think he’s the right kind of person, he’s got leadership qualities that are hard to come by and the guy’s really got a lot of talent.” 

In total, 28 recruits have signed their letters of intent to play football at The University of Alabama next fall. The class features 11 defensive players made up of four defensive backs, three edge rushers, four defensive linemen and one linebacker, followed by 14 offensive players made up of two quarterbacks, five offensive linemen, two running backs, four wide receivers and one tight end. The class will feature also one kicker, three-star Conor Talty, and one athlete — four-star Brayson Hubbard — who can play multiple offensive positions. 

Alabama was able to flip the recruitment of the number one offensive lineman in the nation Proctor, when previously he had been verbally commuted to the University of Iowa, his hometown school. The Crimson Tide was also able to flip the number one edge rusher in the nation, Keeley, from Notre Dame. Keeley was formerly committed to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but over the summer of 2022, Keeley decommitted from Notre Dame. After being heavily recruited by Ohio State and Alabama, Keeley would eventually commit to Alabama.  

The position of quarterback is one which Alabama has been able to recruit well in recent classes, and the class of 2023 shapes up to add to that current success. Alabama signed two quarterbacks for the first time since the 2017 class, when it signed current NFL quarterbacks Mac Jones and Tua Tagovailoa. 

Four-star and ninth ranked quarterback in the class, Eli Holstein, and four-star 11th ranked quarterback, Dylan Lonergan, both signed their letters of intent to play for the Alabama Crimson Tide. For the 2023 season, the battle for the starting job will be between current quarterbacks Ty Simpson and Jalen Milroe, who have both seen the field in the 2022 season. 

Saban expressed excitement about his incoming signal callers. 

“We are obviously happy with both guys,” Saban said. “We know a lot about them; they are great people. I think they have really great potential.” 

Alabama’s 2023 class is built to be of the best recruiting classes to ever be put together. After missing the College Football Playoff for the first time since 2019, the Crimson Tide became extremely aggressive on the recruiting trail. The future of the Alabama football program is something to look forward to for fans in the upcoming seasons as these players start to take the field. 

Questions or comments? Email Blake Byler (Sports Editor) at [email protected]