Kalen DeBoer builds more Alabama goodwill with recruiting win at Auburn's expense

Missouri v Alabama
Missouri v Alabama / Brandon Sumrall/GettyImages

From the moment that Kalen DeBoer was hired to replace Nick Saban as the vaunted head coach of the Alabama football program, every move of the man who led Washington to the CFP National Championship Game this past season has been under the microscope. With each passing week, though, Crimson Tide fans have to have been more pleased with what they're seeing under that lens.

DeBoer put a stop largely to the immediate transfer exodus and, as of late, he's been picking it up on the recruiting trail. Now he has one move to hang his hat on -- even better, it came to the detriment of the hated rival Auburn Tigers.

On Saturday, 2025 4-star defensive line recruit Antonio Coleman announced that he's flipped from his previous commitment to Auburn to the Alabama Crimson Tide, per Hayes Fawcett of On3. Gotta have that graphic for a flip like this, right?

Kalen DeBoer flips Auburn 4-star Antonio Coleman to Alabama

In terms of total impact, it's impossible to say how good that Coleman will be at the college level. What we do know, however, is that he's the No. 122 overall recruit in the 2025 cycle according to the 247Sports Composite rankings and that means inherently he still has plenty of potential as he goes to Tuscaloosa.

For DeBoer, however, this is a much bigger win that most of rankings could ever indicate and what it means for the outlook with Alabama.

Perhaps the biggest thing in the early stages of the 2025 recruiting cycle is that Coleman was the highest-ranked recruit in Auburn's class. Now he's heading to the Crimson Tide, which is a direct shot across the bough at Hugh Freeze and the Tigers, something everyone in Tuscaloosa will find joy in.

Beyond that, though, Coleman is also the No. 11-ranked recruit in the state of Alabama for the 2025 cycle. One of the biggest concerns with DeBoer replacing Saban was that he's simply not had to recruit at this level before. His prior jobs at Washington and Fresno State haven't necessitated the types of battles nor the high-level of recruiting that is the standard with Bama.

So to get this win is massively important for him as he continues to try and prove himself before he's coached a single down of actual football with the Crimson Tide. It's a statement to Alabama's biggest rival, and a statement to the rest of the SEC. Maybe he is, in fact, built for this.

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