After adding Keon Ambrose-Hylton to the roster midway through last season, Oats and his staff made it clear that their focus was on the next recruiting class.
In meetings with the media they talked at length about the fact that they were not expecting much more action in the early recruiting window and that from that moment on they would be looking at players from the 2021 class.
So, how did the staff turn their focus away from 2020 and still find themselves with a top 20 class in the nation and one of the top graduate transfers on the market? Exactly how they said they would.
Alabama’s top recruit Josh Primo is a reclassified player, who a few months ago was one of the 2021 prospects the staff was working to recruit.
By adding him to the roster a year early, they filled a need and got the ball rolling in a way that has payed off over the past two weeks. With a new five-star recruit in the fold, they could turn their attention to filling the roster.
Adding Keon Ellis was another big move as he leaves junior college as one of the most division I ready players at that level. He served a position of need that the staff was excited to fill after nearly running out of guards to play at times last season.
Darius Miles was a nice graduate player for IMG, meaning that unlike Primo, he will be one of the oldest players in the class. He is a slashing wing who fits well in the system and will be given time to develop before seeing big minutes, something that the players last season were not able to get.
With a great base set and the attractive style of play, Alabama then set their sights on the graduate transfer market.
Now, with Jordan Bruner committed, they find much needed help at the center position and add a player who has a track record of dominating on the biggest stages.
All together this class is impressive for Oats and his staff, but to look at it knowing their attention was focused elsewhere for the majority of the season should have fans excited about what is coming.
The staff remains in contact with a number of exciting 2021 prospects and if this year serves as an indicator, they could make a huge splash in the recruiting world next season.