Four-Star Alabama Commit Left Rival Auburn On Read When They Begged Him To Flip

A football rests on the playing field.


The Alabama Crimson Tide recently added four-star passer Keelon Russell to the 2025 recruiting class. Previously committed to SMU, the signal caller flipped his pledge in order to join a loaded roster in Tuscaloosa.

That decision was music to Kalen DeBoer’s ears as Russell is currently rated as the nation’s top passer by ESPN. Alabama wasn’t the only program competing for his services, though.

The Lone Star State native initially committed to play in Dallas for Southern Methodist. That pledge came back in September of 2023.

In April of the following year, Alabama offered, leading to an official visit a few weeks later. Russell then quickly decommitted from the Mustangs and made it official with the Crimson Tide in early June.

DeBoer has apparently been high on Russell’s talents since taking over for Nick Saban earlier this year. The passer says that he was the coach’s top target upon landing that new role in T-Town.

“Kalen DeBoer and them, they believed in me from the start,” he said in an interview with On3 Sports. “I was the only QB they’ve recruited since January… I was on the phone with Kalen DeBoer, and he was like, ‘You’re going to be the leader of our team. You’re going to be the star. You’re going to be the legs, the eyes, the heart of our team.'”

He chose Alabama because he was a priority, which couldn’t be said for other suitors.

Keelon Russell left Auburn on read!

Hugh Freeze and the Tigers were heavily involved, too, hoping to swipe their rival’s top target from within its grasp. Russell says he wasn’t listening.

“Auburn hit me up on Twitter, their QB and offensive coordinator, saying, ‘Can we get a call…?’ I didn’t text ’em back, so if Bama ever sees this, I didn’t text them back. They texted me, and I’m just like, no, I’m not going to Auburn. You know what this is. Y’all going to try to pull me from one Alabama school to another school? No, that’s not what it is.”

-Keelon Russell on Auburn interest

Russell rejected the pleas and stayed firm with the Crimson Tide.

That could’ve been due to the fact that Auburn is also competing to land five-star QB JuJu Lewis, who’s currently committed to USC. Or maybe he just felt a better connection with the Alabama staff.

Whatever the case, the Tigers’ messages were left on read, giving the Tide bragging rights in the recruitment battle.