Why Oregon Football Quarterback Target Flipped Commitment To Alabama

Oregon Ducks target, Keelon Russell, a four-star quarterback recruit from Duncanville, Texas has flipped his commitment from SMU to Alabama. Russell is ESPN's No. 81 recruit in the 2025 class and the No. 15 prospect from Texas.
Nov 11, 2023; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning signals to his defense during the first half against the USC Trojans at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 11, 2023; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning signals to his defense during the first half against the USC Trojans at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports / Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon Ducks recruiting prospect, Keelon Russell, a four-star quarterback recruit from Duncanville, Texas has flipped his commitment from SMU to Alabama. Russell is ESPN's No. 81 recruit in the 2025 class and the No. 15 prospect from Texas.

The Ducks were hoping to have an opportunity to flip this dual threat qb. However, Russell has elected to shut down his recruitment following his commitment to the Crimson Tide.

Nov 11, 2023; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning signals to his defense during the first half against the USC Trojans at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 11, 2023; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning signals to his defense during the first half against the USC Trojans at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports / Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

With the addition of Russell, 247Sports ranks Alabama’s 2025 recruiting class as number seven nationally with 10 commits while the Ducks remain number 23 with seven commits.

Russell’s decision was the culmination of a process that started in January. He was approached by new Alabama coach Kalen DeBoer (formerly of Washington) and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Nick Sheridan. Russell was impressed with the plan outlined by the Crimson Tide.

"They laid out the spot for me on the depth chart -- it's something a quarterback dreams of," Russell told ESPN. "I felt like if I took the role that I could do some amazing things at high levels. "I've been in touch with them almost every day since they began recruiting me. If not every day, then every week. They've been on me; really trying to get me there."


The fact that DeBoer and Sheridan developed Michael Penix Jr into a Heisman Trophy finalist was not lost on Russell. That, along with an open roster spot and an opportunity to play, were primary reasons behind the decision.


“I think I knew that [Alabama] could do some crazy stuff for me," Russell said. "I'm going to get there and ball out for sure."


While the fact that Oregon was not able to bring Russell on campus for an official visit is disappointing, the recruiting cupboard is not bare. Recall that the Ducks have a commitment from Akili Smith Jr., a 6-foot-6, 210-pound quarterback from Lincoln High School in San Diego. He is listed as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the 2025 cycle.

In addition, coach Lanning and the Ducks are hosting an extensive list of four- and five-star recruits later this month. Some of the notable targets include the number 1 ranked wide receiver, Dakorien Moore. DJ Pickett is a five-star cornerback, ranked number three in the country. Jonah Williams, a five-star linebacker, is ranked number one at the position.

Given the success coach Lanning and his staff have enjoyed when it comes to bringing in talented football players and even better people, don’t be surprised to see the Ducks’ 2025 recruiting class ranking move significantly higher.


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Mark Lantz

MARK LANTZ