Auburn football flip target keeping an open mind about Alabama's Kalen DeBoer hiring

Saraland's Ryan Williams breaks the tackle of Mountain Brook's Mac Palmer on a long first half
Saraland's Ryan Williams breaks the tackle of Mountain Brook's Mac Palmer on a long first half / Mickey Welsh / Advertiser / USA TODAY

Auburn Daily's Brian Smith believes that Alabama's hiring of Kalen DeBoer for the Crimson Tide's head coaching job is something Hugh Freeze's top Auburn football flip target, Ryan Williams, is keeping an open mind to based on Smith's character judgement of the Saraland star.

"I know Williams well enough to state that he's an open-minded young man," Smith prefaced before saying, "In my opinion, he is going to give DeBoer a shot to sell Alabama and his vision for the program. It's still a short timeframe for Williams to be fully accepting of DeBoer as he does not know the new Alabama head coach as well as Auburn's Hugh Freeze or even Steve Sarkisian at Texas."

Smith believes that Williams' recruitment will come down to one of the Iron Bowl rivals, as opposed to Texas or any other school looking to make a late push.

"Ultimately, I will be shocked if Williams does not sign with the Tigers or Tide," Smith wrote. "I mention that point because Williams told me at the Iron Bowl that it would likely be the Tide or Tigers for him. That brings up a point about coaching in the pressure cooker that is the University of Alabama."

Ryan Williams recruitment more important for Auburn football than Alabama at this point

One has to think Auburn took the lead for Williams after Nick Saban's retirement on January 10. With Cam Coleman, Perry Thompson, Bryce Cain, and Malcolm Simmons already in tow, the Freeze Five is a Williams short of being complete.

Because of that, DeBoer winning Williams back would not only be his first major recruiting victory in Tuscaloosa, but it'd be a major narrative loss for Freeze and his recruiting momentum this offseason; even if his incoming 2024 wide receiver class would still be the nation's best this fall.