June 24, 2024

Dual-threat Keelon Russell, the No. 15 prospect from Texas and ESPN’s No. 81 recruit in the 2025 class, switched from SMU to Alabama, making the team’s quarterbacking future more apparent on Tuesday.

Under Kalen DeBoer, Russell’s pledge represents Alabama’s first from a high school quarterback. Russell, a four-star prospect from Duncanville, Texas, had previously given SMU his commitment.

Russell’s flip comes after the Crimson Tide failed to recruit a passer in the 2024 cycle after five-star quarterback Julian Sayin was flipped to Ohio State. According to ESPN rankings, Russell is currently the third-ranked player in Alabama’s 2025 class.

Russell made his first commitment on September 21, 2023, to SMU. According to the 6-foot-3, 185-pound recruit, Alabama made its initial move in,No quarterback has committed to the Crimson Tide for the class of 2026.

Russell cited his progress with Michael Penix Jr. under DeBoer at Washington and his relationships with the Crimson Tide’s first-year coaching staff as factors that helped him change his mind about Alabama. Russell was enticed to Tuscaloosa by an open place and the prospect of future opportunities under centre, more than anything else, which made him abandon his almost 21-month-old SMU committment.

“I think I knew that [Alabama] could do some crazy stuff for me,” he stated. “I’m going to get there and ball out for sure.”

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