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DeBoer talks Ryan Williams, recruiting in the South, more at Mobile charity event

With his first spring practice as head football coach under his belt, Alabama’s Kalen DeBoer said the players are responding to a “team first” mentality with a championship mindset.

His remarks came Thursday at the annual Team Focus charity event in Mobile. The Gulf Coast organization provides mentors to fatherless boys.

During a Q&A with reporters before the event, DeBoer was asked about a wide range of topics including recruiting in the South, in-state superstar wide receiver and incoming freshman Ryan Williams, the team’s mindset after the spring, and much more.

Asked what Williams would have to show this summer to get on the field as a freshman, DeBoer said that the best players will play regardless of age.

“We’ll play the best guys … It doesn’t matter what age they are. And Ryan certainly has got a very special skillset — explosiveness, along with just consistent production,” DeBoer said. “I think from him, what’s been just so impressive, it goes back to the week we met with him and he came on campus. There was so much thrown at him, a new head coach, new coordinator, new position coach.

“And when I hear him talk about what it is within our program that he really enjoyed and is excited about. He retained so much of that information, which leads you to believe that man, this is an important decision for him, that he was being really thorough, being really thoughtful. I just can’t wait to get him there with our guys because that attention to detail, is something that you just can’t take for granted.”

One of the questions about DeBoer when he was hired was if he would be able to recruit in the South.

However, he said things are going well and it’s nothing new.

“It’s intense no matter where you’re at. And fortunately I have a great staff around me that has a lot of connections, ties, understood where maybe a lot and who a lot of the 2025s or the 2026s [players] are,” DeBoer said. “They have done a great job with trying to get caught up in those relationships, because I think it’s inevitable that you’re gonna be behind when you come in new and you’re trying to hit the ground running. But you’ve also gotta pull everything together and trying to figure out where our focal points are at and getting through a lot of the film. We’ve done a good job establishing those relationships throughout the spring.

“I think we’re in a good spot. But yeah, we’re gonna have to play catch up here and there on a few guys.”

Through his first spring practice, DeBoer also said that the team’s mindset of unselfishness is exactly where it needs to be.

“We have a team-first mindset right now when it comes to guys across the board,” he said. “These guys are here for a reason. They want to develop themselves individually but they want to win a championship. And so it’s been pretty apparent as we went through the spring exactly what their focus is. We got better each and every day and that’s all you can ask. And that leads into good momentum going into the summer here.

“These guys get a couple of weeks away, kind of just ease their mind and refresh their mind and their body. And we’ll hit the ground running come June,” he said.

The press conference can be heard here:

Michael Brauner is a Senior Sports Analyst and Contributing Writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP

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