Ohio State football's loss is Alabama football's possible gain. That's precisely what happened when five-star safety Jontae Gilbert decommitted from Ohio State on Saturday.
The turn of events gives Alabama football head coach Nick Saban an opportunity to continue pursuing Gilbert. The defensive back from Douglass High School in Georgia visited Saban in Tuscaloosa, AL last month.
Gilbert impressed Saban with his physical play during his visit. Saban eventually wanted Gilbert to play for him beginning in the 2025 NCAA season, per Touchdown Alabama Magazine's Justin Smith.
Gilbert's takeaway from his visit with Saban: he could hone his defensive prowess at a renowned SEC school, benefit from great coaching, and eventually become a first-round selection in the NFL Draft.
“Their message was that I could come to a great school and get coached by one of the best defensive staffs in the country, get developed well, and be a first-round pick,” Gilbert quipped.
Douglass (Ga.) DB Jontae Gilbert, a top 40 player nationally in the 2025 class, has decommitted from Ohio State.
Was on campus at Georgia Tech today, a place he has been several times this summer.
Alabama, South Carolina, several others also involved. pic.twitter.com/gPyfPXUWAe
— Russell Johnson (@RivalsJohnson) July 30, 2023
Will Jontae Gilbert eventually suit up for Alabama football in 2025?
Gilbert's decommitment from Ohio State football is a welcome turn of events for the legendary coach. Saban lost five-star wide receiver Perry Thompson to his fiercest in-state rival Auburn football this past weekend.
Thompson could've beefed up Alabama football's wide receiver corps for the 2024 NCAA campaign. Unfortunately, Saban will coach against him next season. The best-case scenario for him is seeing Jontae Gilber and Alabama football getting the better of Perry Thompson and Auburn in the 2025 Iron Bowl and beyond.
Saban received more good news when five-star 6'4″, 270-lb. defensive lineman David Stone sung his praises last week. If all goes well, Stone will fortify Alabama football's defensive line next year.
Like many football coaches, Nick Saban has gone through the up-and-down, roller coaster commitment process this offseason. If his gaudy track record is any indication, Alabama football is poised for several national title runs in the next few years.
It isn't hard envisioning Jontae Gilbert becoming part of it all.