What Kalen DeBoer, new staff proved by reeling five-star Ryan Williams back to Alabama

When Alabama’s 28th head football coach, Kendall DeBoer, was appointed, he was aware of all the talk. His capacity to recruit, particularly in the South, was immediately questioned.

In his first news conference, he discussed his strategy, stating that he and his team would need to maintain a “relentless attitude” while on the trail. It was also mentioned by Coach DeBoer that he wants his staff to have southern roots. Even though Marcus Shephard, the receivers coach, is not from the South, he is an incredible recruiter.

Over the past week, Coach Shephard has demonstrated his ability to recruit, and only days after an official visit, five-star receiver Ryan Williams (Saraland, AL) announced his commitment to Alabama, demonstrating his closing skills.

After Ryan Williams was brought back, what did coach DeBoer and his staff demonstrate to the world of recruiters? To find out more, Bama247 chatted with Steve Wiltfong, Director of Recruiting at 247Sports.


Just how good is five-star receiver commit Ryan Williams? Taking a look at the numbers.

Bama247 analyzes the in-state commit’s incredibly successful high school career.

Ryan Williams, a five-star recruit from Mobile, Alabama, recommitted to Alabama on Wednesday afternoon, giving head coach Kalen DeBoer of Alabama a huge recruiting victory.

Three days following his formal visit to Tuscaloosa, the nation’s eighth-ranked player and third-ranked receiver made the announcement on Twitter. Following his junior season, Williams reclassified in December from the 2025 class to the 2024 class while keeping his elite standing. In the final Top247 rankings, the in-state player came in at number eight nationally.

According to Cooper Petagna, National Recruiting Analyst at 247Sports, “he’s got elite production, just the way he can beat you in a multitude of different ways,” Bama247 said.

“I believe he’s the kind of player you try to involve yourself with as much as you can,” Director of Scouting for 247Sports Andrew Ivins stated.

The majority of Alabama supporters have been following Williams’ high school career since the sophomore year, when he helped Saraland High School earn its first-ever Blue Map. For ease of reading, Bama247 compiled all of his accomplishments and statistics in one location.

These are a few brief figures for you. Remember that they only include his junior and sophomore years. As a rookie, he scored two touchdowns via receiving and two via rushing.

— 71 total TDs

— 2,900+ receiving yards

— 950+ rushing yards

— 43 receiving touchdowns

— 22 rushing touchdowns

— 3 punt return touchdowns

— 2 kick return touchdowns

— 1 passing touchdown

Notable performances

Williams produced a number of outstanding stat sheets with the Spartans. Here are some games and highlights that you should revisit.

2022 State Championship Game for Class 6A

In Saraland’s 38-17 victory over Mountain Brook, Williams was named MVP. With four touchdowns in the first half, he finished with 291 all-purpose yards. He gained 188 yards on 15 rushes and 84 yards from seven receptions. He has receiving touchdowns of 24 yards and running touchdowns of 61, 58, and 2 yards.

2023 Season Opener vs. Lipscomb Academy (TN)

With two scores from Williams—including a 50-yard rushing score in the third quarter—Saraland defeated a Tennessee powerhouse to start the season. On the first play of overtime, William scored another touchdown by running, leading to a 31-30 victory.

2023 Class 6A State Championship Game

In a close defeat to Clay-Chalkville, Williams scored four touchdowns and broke the record for receiving yards in the Class 6A state championship.Along with a 12-yard rushing touchdown and an 86-yard kick return for a touchdown, he had 11 catches for 232 yards and two touchdowns.

Alabama – Mississippi All Star Game

Williams represented his home state and displayed his skills despite not knowing he was playing in the All-Star Game until a few days prior. On his route to winning game MVP, he hauled in eight passes for 92 yards and two scores.

Under Armour All-America Game

Williams then made the decision to go to the Under Armour All-America game in Orland, Florida. He caught the game’s opening touchdown and showed promise throughout the week. He also used his arm to successfully execute a 2-point conversion.


Decorated high school career

Williams made history as the first-ever sophomore to win Alabama Mr. Football when he emerged victorious in his sophomore year.He won MVP of the State Championship Game and guided Saraland to its first-ever Blue Map. The explosive playmaker was selected for all-state teams and all-region teams, among other honors.

Williams won the title of Mr. Football from Alabama twice after leading Saraland to a Class 6A State Championship in his junior year.

Full list of Accolades

— Alabama Mr. Football (‘22)

— 6A State Champion (‘22)

— 6A State Championship Game MVP (‘22)

— Class 6A Back of the Year (’22)

— 2x Gatorade Player of the Year (AL)

— 2X MaxPrep Player of the Year (Alabama)

— Alabama-Mississippi All Star Game MVP (‘23)

Awards Williams is still up for

— Alabama Mr. Football (‘23)

— Class 6A Back of the Year (’23)

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