Alabama Goes All Other Worldly In Recruiting, Gains Commitment From Finland Offensive Tackle

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Spanning the globe to bring home the constant variety of commitments.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban’s reach has extended 4,800 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to Pori, Finland, a seaside town on the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia.

Olaus Alinen, a 6-foot-7, 310-pound native of Pori, committed to Alabama Friday live on CBS Sports’ streaming HQ channel. He is the No. 12-ranked offensive tackle in this country by and the No. 1 prospect in Connecticut, where Alinen moved a year ago to play football at Loomis Chafee High in Windsor. He is the No. 134 overall prospect in the country.

Alinen’s father, Klaus Alinen, is from Pori, Finland, and is an NFL Europe veteran and also did time in some NFL camps. His son chose Alabama, where he visited in early June, over Georgia and Clemson after visiting both in March. He also visited Ohio State in March and June and considered Miami and Oregon.


His pledge gives Alabama 14 commitments for its 2023 class. The Tide is ranked No. 13 by and fifth in the SEC behind No. 6 Tennessee, No. 7 Arkansas, No. 8 Georgia and No. 10 LSU.

Alinen is Alabama’s third offensive line commitment and third four-star prospect of that trio. The other two are from much closer to home – No. 6 tackle Wilkin Formby (6-8, 306) of Tuscaloosa’s Northridge High, which is five miles from Saban’s office, and No. 11 guard Ryqueze McElderrry (6-4, 325) of Anniston High in Anniston, which is 117 miles from the Alabama campus.

Nine of Alabama’s 14 commitments are from out of state with two from Mississippi and Georgia and one each from Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Illinois and Connecticut via Finland.

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests.

A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention.

Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at, and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.


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  1. umm.. I guess y’all missed the memo about an All-SEC Nose Tackle named Jesse Williams from Thursday Island, Queensland, Australia. He was a BIG part of the 2012 National Championship team… but given the insane number of NFL Lineman BAMA has produced over the past century+, I guess that’s easy to miss…

  2. I know you are an SEC homer but look around. Many schools have been recruiting players from Europe and beyond for several years. Damn get outside of your echo chamber once in a while. This is not new, Saban just finally caught up to other programs.

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