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Nate Oats secures best-ever recruiting class with commitment from elite Mobile native

Nate Oats isn’t slowing down after taking Alabama to its first-ever Final Four appearance.

Oats’ best attribute as the head of a program may off the court may very well be in recruiting — both in the high school ranks as well as the transfer portal. He just used that attribute to lock down the No. 2 overall class in the entire nation, his best yet at Alabama.

The class was already among the best in the nation, but Oats made it even better by adding a Mobile, Alabama native and the No. 33 overall player in the country in guard Labaron Philon.

Philon, was was initially committed to Auburn two years ago before transferring from Baker High School in Mobile to Link Academy in Missouri, flipped his pledge to Kansas and was signed to play for the Jayhawks.

But just last week, he requested a release from his National Letter of Intent (NLI) to Kansas, leading many to suspect that Alabama would once again have a shot to land the elite guard.

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Following a weekend visit, Philon would wind up committing to Alabama as the fourth high school recruit in Oats’ best ever class.

Before transferring from Baker, Philon was the best high school player in the state of Alabama. Both MaxPreps and Gatorade named him as the player of the year as well as winning Mr. Basketball and Class 7A Player of the Year.

He scored over 2,300 points during his Baker career before transferring for his senior year.

Philon will join a class headlined by Derrion Reid (No. 15 overall), Aiden Sherrell (No. 30 overall), and Naas Cunningham (No. 43 overall).

He also joins an absolutely loaded front-court that includes Auburn transfer Aden Holloway, returning Latrell Wrightsell Jr., transfers Chris Youngblood and Houston Mallette, and potentially a returning Mark Sears as well.

Alabama is shaping up to have perhaps its best roster yet under Nate Oats as the team moves past the Final Four run and looks ahead to what could be a very special 2024-25 season.

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

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