The hire that may give Alabama football recruiting an advantage with 4-star Wilkin Formby

Jerell Rushin
The Tuscaloosa News

Kentucky became the third Power Five school to offer four-star class of 2023 Northridge offensive tackle Wilkin Formby one year ago.

One of the Wildcats' main recruiters for the Tuscaloosa recruit was its former offensive line coach Eric Wolford.

Wolford has since joined Alabama in the same position, and the Crimson Tide is reaping the benefits of Wolford's work.

Formby, the No. 83 prospect in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite, didn't receive an offer from Alabama until January, nearly seven months after another finalist in his recruitment, Ole Miss, offered him.

The 6-foot-7, 295-pound senior took an official visit to Alabama this past weekend.

Formby plans to take a June 17 official visit to LSU, which was not included with Alabama, Ole Miss, Auburn, Tennessee and Oklahoma in the top five he released in the spring.

He hopes to make a commitment in July.

"It's good because it's a familiar face, and (Kentucky) was one of the first offers that I got," Formby said to the Tuscaloosa News. "It was good to have (Wolford at Alabama) to make it more comfortable."

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Northridge offensive lineman Wilkin Formby (75) moves to block against Paul Bryant High School at Northridge High School Friday, Sept. 2, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

"He's one of the best coaches in college football," Formby continued about Wolford. "He's got a lot of stuff on tape as far as correcting guys and developing them into great guys. I feel like he could get a better level of guys at Alabama, so it's going to be crazy to see what he can do there compared to Kentucky."

Coach Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss and were the first Power Five school to offer last summer. Formby took an official visit there in late-April after several 2021 trips.

Oklahoma is the only school in Formby's top five with a new coach in Brett Venables, who was a longtime Clemson defensive coordinator before taking his first head coaching job.

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Kentucky offensive line coach Eric Wolford runs a drill during an NCAA college football practice in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb)

Sooners offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has coached former Oklahoma linemen turned NFL starters for the Kansas City Chiefs in Creed Humphrey and Orlando Brown Jr.

Formby, the No. 10 offensive tackle in the nation, called Bedanbaugh one of the best line coaches in the country and talked with Humphrey on his July official visit to Oklahoma.

"He showed me some film on how he makes his guys," Formby said. "He develops them to where they can be consistent in the NFL, not just get drafted. So even if they're not getting drafted in the first round, they're going to be starters. Every guy who's been drafted has been a starter in the NFL before."

Jerell Rushin is a recruiting reporter for the Tuscaloosa News and the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at jrushin@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter at @JerellRushin_.