A top priority for Texas football and head coach Steve Sarkisian on the recruiting trail in the 2024 class, the elite five-star Saraland (AL) wide receiver Ryan Williams just re-opened his recruitment. It was announced by On3's Hayes Fawcett on Jan. 10 that he is decommitting from the Alabama Crimson Tide.
"First off I would like to thank God, my family, and anyone else who has helped me make it to this point… but with careful consideration with my family I will be decommitting from the University of Alabama … respect my decision."
Williams was committed to Alabama for over a year before decommitting on Jan. 10. Despite committing to Alabama in the fall of 2022, Williams still entertained plenty of other offers on the recruiting trail throughout last year.
5-Star Texas football priority WR Ryan Williams decommits from Alabama
He also visited mulitple schools last year, including the LSU Tigers and Auburn Tigers.
Williams' recruitment heated up after he reclassified from the 2025 class down to 2024. He reclassified to 2024 in mid-December, making him one of Texas's top priorities remaining for this cycle heading into the late signing period in February.
Williams decommits from Alabama on the same day as Nick Saban's retirement
The news of Williams re-opening his recruitment comes just hours after it was announced on Jan. 10 that longtime legendary Alabama head coach Nick Saban is retiring. Saban is arguably the greatest head coach in college football history, winning seven national titles, including six at Alabama.
Saban's retirement was clearly going to have implications for the Tide on the recruiting trail. And Williams' decommitment was one of the first dominos to fall in the aftermath of Saban's retirement.
Texas gearing up for a critical late-January official visit
In one of the biggest events on the recruiting trail for the Longhorns this offseason, we are just a few weeks away from Williams' official visit to Texas on Jan. 27. He will see Texas among three official visits he scheduled before the late signing day in February.
Williams also has official visits scheduled to see Alabama on Jan. 20 and Auburn on Feb. 3.
A report from Hank South of Horns247 on Jan. 10 (paid content) noted that Williams' decision is now expected to come down to a battle on the recruiting trail between Texas and Auburn.
Williams has already visited Auburn multiple times in the last year. Auburn is closer to home for the Alabama native Williams. And Ryan's dad attended Auburn University.
Texas, meanwhile, has the teammate connection to Williams. Four-star 2025 Saraland (AL) quarterback KJ Lacey is committed to Texas and has been recruiting Williams to take a visit to UT for over six months.