Five-star receiver Ryan Williams (Saraland, AL) announced his recommittment to Alabama on Wednesday afternoon. The No. 3 ranked receiver and No. 8 player in the country was committed to the Crimson Tide for nearly a year before reopening his recruitment after Nick Saban announced his retirement.
“It’s about the departure of coach Saban and the receivers coach (Holmon Wiggins),” Williams told Ben Thomas of AL.com when explaining the decision. “Of course, it’s a hard decision. I don’t really want to do it, but I have to explore my options and see what happens before Feb. 9.”
Williams took an unofficial visit last week and met with coach DeBoer for the first time. He spent time with some of the staff and hung out with his good friend and early enrollee Jaylen Mbakwe. He returned for his official visit a few days later during the weekend. Williams told Ben Thomas of AL.com that he had a great time and believes it’s the right coaching staff in Tuscaloosa.
“[DeBoer is] the best fit for Alabama, especially with the system that he’s bringing. I’m not sure there could have been much of a better fit. At the receiver position, it’d be a good fit.”
“[DeBoer stood out with] just how down to Earth he is and how calm and comfortable he is with himself,” Williams continued on AL.com. “What you see is exactly what you get with him. I definitely had a strong impression of him. He was just telling me how I could fit into the offense and how easy it would be just carrying over what I do now to the next level.”
Williams is the fourth commitment of the Kalen DeBoer era joining former Washington quarterback Austin Mack, former Washington center Parker Brailsford and former Washington receiver Germie Bernard in Tuscaloosa.
This is a monumental win, an early one too, on the recruiting trail for DeBoer and his staff. The biggest priority when he took over the Crimson Tide program was retaining the current roster. Securing a commitment from Williams, widely recognized as one of the top high school talents since he was a sophomore, was priority number two.
Williams canceled his Jan. 27 official visit to Texas on Jan. 23, which was two days after his trip to Tuscaloosa. Bama247 is working to confirm if he still plans to take his Auburn official visit on Feb. 3 and announce his college decision on Feb. 9, his birthday, at Saraland High School. Per NCAA rules, Williams cannot sign until Feb. 7.
The decision comes a year earlier than expected. The nation’s No. 8 overall player announced his plans to reclass from the 2025 class to 2024 in December. The move was widely speculated for many months, but he chose to wait until his junior season was over to formally announce.
“It was a big decision,” he previously told 247Sports. “It hurts after losing the state title game. It was about dominating at the high school level and knowing I’m ready for the next level. That played a big part in it as did my family being behind me in all situations. They know I’m ready because I’m going to put the work in.”
The addition of Williams provides a huge boost for Alabama fans and the wide receiver room, which has suffered a few losses.
Here’s a look at the current receiver room (11): Ryan Williams, Kendrick Law, Kobe Prentice, Jalen Hale, Germie Bernard, Emmanuel Henderson, Jaren Hamilton, Cole Adams, Amari Jefferson, Aeryn Hampton and Rico Scott.
Bama247 is working to connect with Williams for more of his thoughts on the decision.