Kalen DeBoer Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Huskies head coach Kalen DeBoer walks on the sideline against the Michigan Wolverines during the third quarter in the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After seemingly being turned down by one West Coast school head coach (Dan Lanning) — could the Alabama Crimson Tide be turning their attention to another?

That’s what Fox Sports’ Joel Klatt seems to think, as he told Colin Cowherd on The Herd Thursday that he’d be “pretty surprised” if Kalen DeBoer wasn’t the choice to succeed Nick Saban at Alabama. This was after Cowherd told Klatt that he had been told that the Washington Huskies head coach had changed agents to Jimmy Sexton, who represents Lanning, Steve Sarkisian, Dabo Swinney, Mike Norvell, and James Franklin — all of whom have been linked to the Crimson Tide’s opening.

“My belief was that needed to work very quickly. I was told that this was gonna happen within 72 hours, regardless of name; that they wanted to move quickly, so they could solidify the locker room,” Klatt told Cowherd. “And so, for me, the list was three names. You start with Sark; it’s immediate. You know him, you can offer the job; if he says no — which I assume that he has — then you move to Dan Lanning.

“Dan Lanning has said no. And then the third name on that list is Kalen DeBoer. And the reason is because the other names that would be prominent on that list — names like a Dabo Swinney or Ryan Day or Lincoln Riley or Kirby Smart — like they don’t make a lot of sense for one reason or another, but Kalen DeBoer does. He’s 104-12 as a head coach. He’s excellent. It’s wild how successful he’s been, and you’re exactly right; he did more with a lesser roster than even Lanning did at Oregon. So, this guy is a guy that has been looking quietly.

“One of the reasons I think he’s been looking is not anything negative about Washington other than he’s not working right now for the person that hired him. Jen Cohen was the athletic director who hired him at Washington — she’s now the athletic director at USC. And so for Kalen DeBoer, who hires Jimmy Sexton, now he can be really in the middle of all the SEC conversation.”

That’s where Klatt gets to Sexton, who, as we mentioned above, represents just about every candidate that’s been mentioned for the opening in Tuscaloosa.

“Jimmy Sexton is going to control this search, every bit of it,” Klatt said. “because he controls every chess piece on the board…He will try to slow-play this as long as Alabama will allow him so that he can get every one of his clients the raise that they feel like they deserve. So, he’s gonna try to play it slow. Alabama’s gonna try to play quickly. In my estimation, the most logical candidate in terms of the experience of the way they want to operate is Kalen DeBoer.

“I’m actually gonna be pretty surprised if Kalen DeBoer is not the next head coach at Alabama.”

And the betting line currently suggests that DeBoer is the favorite.

Klatt’s prediction throws an unexpected name into the mix, adding intrigue to the already heated coaching carousel. DeBoer’s success at Washington, coupled with his lack of previous SEC ties, makes him a fascinating choice for Alabama. DeBoer’s impressive win-loss record and coaching prowess with less-talented rosters could resonate with the Crimson Tide, who have long valued offensive explosiveness and efficiency. Additionally, DeBoer’s relative youth and adaptability might be seen as a long-term asset.

In any event, Klatt’s claim remains speculation — for now — and the final decision ultimately rests with Alabama’s athletic director Greg Byrne. Whether Sexton’s influence, DeBoer’s appeal, or other factors outweigh the potential drawbacks remains to be seen.

[The Herd]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.