Alabama's Kalen DeBoer doesn't possess southern connections Auburn football HC Hugh Freeze does

Alabama's Kalen DeBoer does not yet possess the clout Auburn football head coach Hugh Freeze has in the south
Alabama's Kalen DeBoer does not yet possess the clout Auburn football head coach Hugh Freeze has in the south / Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

First-year Crimson Tide head coach Kalen DeBoer does not yet have the connections in the state of Alabama that Auburn football head man Hugh Freeze does, as Auburn Daily's Terrance Biggs relayed.

"Hugh Freeze knows Southern football at the high school and college level," Biggs prefaced before saying, "Coach DeBoer, as of yet, doesn't possess those connections. Freeze, for the entirety of his career, called various parts of the South home. And if you don't think sharing traditions and accents doesn't help coaching in recruiting, you're not paying attention."

That's undoubtedly true. Freeze has been a head coach at the collegiate level in his native Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Virginia, and now Alabama, for nearly two decades. And while it's not as though DeBoer has never landed a recruit from the region, he doesn't have the kind of built relationships yet with high school coaches in the region Freeze does.

Don't discount the dark forces at work behind the shadows in Tuscaloosa, though.

Nick Saban still a recruiting tool for Alabama that Auburn football must contend with

This offseason swung the balance in a major way, particularly pertaining to in-state recruiting, for the Iron Bowl rivalry. But it's not all good news for AU.

Nick Saban is no longer head coach for the Tide, but he's an adviser for the program still, per Greg Byrne. With coaching staffs essentially becoming unlimited in NCAA Division I, Saban will still have an impact in some way shape or form.

So while Freeze will have Alabama on lock, the Tide could, and likely will, still land some of the top recruits from Texas, California, and Florida, among other states.

Alabama will not be the perennial winner it was under Saban with DeBoer -- and they likely wouldn't have been anyway even had Saban stayed head coach with the rise of UGA/the new Big Ten, to be fair -- but it will still be a significant threat.

As fun as the "Husky Harsin" meme is, DeBoer is far more of a professional than Bryan Harsin was. He'd catch on in the SEC quicker anyway, but Saban is expediting the process from his office at Bryant-Denny Stadium.