University of Alabama

Five-star recruit Ryan Williams decommits from Alabama after Nick Saban's retirement

Williams is the first major departure since Saban's retirement on Wednesday

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Nick Saban isn't the only personnel leaving Alabama.

Just hours after the legendary football coach retired after a 17-year career with the Crimson Tide, the program saw its first major decommitment.

Ryan Williams, a five-star recruit and the No. 9-ranked prospect (No. 3 wideout) on ESPN's 300 2024, decommitted from the program's upcoming class after being unsuspecting of Saban's retirement.

"I had no idea, actually," Williams said to ESPN. "It's the dead period and I just saw all the other players transferring or declaring for the draft. I was wondering [what would happen], but I found out through Twitter [that Saban was retiring]."

Williams, a player out of Saraland, Ala., called Alabama coaches to confirm if the news was real. Once being informed it was true, he decided to decommit about an hour after the call, according to ESPN.

He had been committed to the program since October but did not sign the letter of intent during the signing period in December, instead waiting for his birthday in February, which is also when National Signing Day is.

Williams also told ESPN his positional coach leaving was "already hard," but they can be replaced. Saban's exit was "like the legacy leaving" and "the cherry on top."

He can, though, still continue the recruitment process since he did not officially sign with Alabama.

Williams namedropped Texas, Texas A&M and Auburn as three of the other schools high on his list, with the Aggies being the team his aforementioned positional coach is headed to.

Though Williams is leaving, Alabama currently has the No. 2 and No. 3 overall prospects from ESPN's 300 2024 ranking: CB Jaylen Mbakwe of Alabama and QB Julian Sayin of California, respectively.

Contact Us