Alabama has essentially become a train station for college football coaches. It’s a brief stop in between jobs for a lot of the top names in the sport. And while it’s not necessarily a bad thing that the Crimson Tide produce so many new head coaches each year, it’s actually become somewhat of a problem on the recruiting trail.
Recently, five-star wide receiver and Ohio State commit Julian Fleming talked with AL.com about his decision to pledge to the Buckeyes. Though he took a visit to Tuscaloosa and found it to be an incredible experience, the fluctuation along the coaching staff.
That “inconsistency” at Alabama wasn’t too appealing to the nation’s top-ranked wide receiver.
“That’s a stepping stone for coaches now,” Fleming said in the interview. “They’re going to Alabama and they’re moving up, because that’s just the process they go through. You know, Nick Saban is going to be there and is going to be reliable, but ultimately it was about I needed someone to coach me.
“I’ve been recruited by two, three coaches there. You know, I want some I can rely on.”
Alabama’s loss was Ohio State’s gain. Fleming committed to a program that ushered in a new head coach in Ryan Day, but made wide receivers coach Brian Hartline a permanent hire. Last year, Hartline was serving on an interim basis, filling in after Urban Meyer fired Zach Smith.
Clearly, Fleming believes Hartline will be the wide receivers coach in Columbus for a good chunk of his college career. It doesn’t hurt that, in Day’s system, Fleming will be a priority target at some point in his career.
Per 247Sports, Fleming is a five-star receiver and is the No. 1 overall wide receiver in the class. Nationally, he comes in as the fifth-best player in the 2020 recruiting class.