Nick Saban thanks Deion Sanders as Alabama assistant transitions to Colorado

The best assistant coach in the country for recruiting players in the 2023 class?

 By 247 Sports’ rankings, that distinction belongs to Alabama safeties coach Charles Kelly.

Kelly, who has also served as the Tide’ associate defensive coordinator the past four seasons,

was involved in recruiting six of Alabama’s signees as part of its 27-player class announced Wednesday.

 That included a pair of five stars from Montgomery in James Smith and Qua Russaw,

 whose pledges on national signing day gave Kelly the highest recruiter ranking by 247 Sports’ metrics in the nation.

Kelly’s rise to No. 1 came a day after he was announced as Colorado’s next defensive coordinator,

an expected development since news of the move first broke earlier this month.

coach Nick Saban thanked Kelly and new Colorado coach Deion Sanders for how they handled the transition.

“I really appreciate Deion and Charles Kelly both in terms of trying to finish the right way,”

and we had four or five or six games left. I felt like I owed to the players, to Coach Belichick

 and that Cleveland Browns organization to do the best job I could and stay focused on that.

 Charles has done a really good job of that.”