Alabama Holds Visit for Top 2023 Notre Dame Commit

Alabama Football

Getty Alabama Crimson Tide's Running Back Najee Harris stiff-arms Notre Dame defender during 2020 Rose Bowl.

The Alabama Crimson Tide has been making noise in the recruiting department over the last month, nabbing 10 commits in July 2022 alone. Eight of these were for the 2023 class and the other two for 2024.

It is safe to say that the Tide has bounced back after falling short in the Arch Manning sweepstakes to Texas this past June. They have since moved on to other prospects including the top commit for Notre Dame’s 2023 class, Keon Keeley from Tampa, Florida.

Keeley is currently the eighth-best prospect in all of the 2023 class and is first in his position as an edge rusher. The third-best recruit from Florida holds a lot of weight in the Fighting Irish’s top-ranked class being their only current five-star recruit according to 247 Sports. 

The Tide Inch Their Way Closer to Keeley With Official Visit

After committing to Notre Dame a little over a year ago in June of 2021, there has been plenty of time to marinate the thought of decommitting and signing elsewhere before beginning his collegiate career.

Temptations of any kind may have budged when Keeley decided to take an unofficial visit to the University of Alabama this past week. Recruiting reporter, Joseph Hastings for On3Sports posted photos on Twitter from the visit.

During the trip to Tuscaloosa, several 2023 recruits committed to the Tide took to Twitter to express their desire to play alongside Keeley in crimson and white. The most notable were Richard Young and Wilkin Formby.

Young happens to be the second highest ranked running back in the country, while Formby, an offensive tackle 6 feet and 7 inches tall, is one of nine four-star commits in the class. This isn’t the first time that recruits try to persuade others to leave their current situations nor will it be the last although sometimes it does pay off.

Whether or not Keeley is serious about switching his commitment the Fighting Irish have not budged a bit. While Keeley was on his visit to Alabama, Notre Dame offered his high school teammate at Berkeley Prep, Dallas Golden who posted about it via Twitter. Golden is part of the class of 2025 and is currently an unranked athlete.

Keeley Would Fit Into Tide’s System on Day 1

Head Coach of the Tide, Nick Saban has had a history of producing extraordinary talents at the edge rushing position, most recently Will Anderson Jr, a dark horse for the Heisman Trophy, and Dallas Turner.

Anderson Jr who is already projected to go in the early first round of the 2023 NFL draft will need a replacement. Turner is the likeliest candidate to do so but will also be eligible to turn pro after the 2023 season. Entering this season, eight of 11 defensive starters are seniors, marking the need for a major overhaul in 2023 on defense. 

Keeley fits right into this mold as he would easily become one of the most talented players on the Tide’s defense in 2023 regardless of whether he starts. Although two of the three five stars on Alabama’s 2022 class are edge rushers as well, the 2023 class features only one four-star Yhonzae Pierre from Eufaula, Alabama.

Even so, the climate around college football’s recruitment and transfer portal activity has become so unpredictable at times that it could never hurt to flip another recruit from one of Alabama’s oldest rivals in the Fighting Irish.

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