A few weeks ago, the Crimson Tide picked up a commitment from offensive lineman Wilkin Formby who only has about a ten minute drive to Bryant-Denny Stadium. Friday morning, Alabama received a pledge from a fellow O-lineman who has probably traveled the furthest from his hometown to play for Bama. Olaus Alinen hails from Finland and plays his high school ball in Windsor, Connecticut.
Olaus’s father, Klaus Alinen, played American football in the NFL Europe League and even spent a season as a tight end on the Atlanta Falcons practice squad. Now, his son is getting the boost that he never had by playing high school ball in the USA. Before arriving stateside, the younger Alinen played in a semi-professional league against grown men at age 16.
Olaus and his family took official visits to Tuscaloosa, Ohio State, Oregon, Miami, and Georgia. Rumor had it for a few weeks that the Miami
cocaine NIL money machine was primed to sway him, but he chose the school that would best ready him for life.
“I mean, really for me being able to get developed and get prepared for the next level is probably the number one thing I’m looking at. The coaches, what type of players they’ve developed, how do they coach you, what techniques they teach you and also like the support staff with strength and conditioning and nutrition, sports science and all that. So that those are second to none, and then it comes down to the fit, like, can I see myself being there with those people. Like, the vibe of the players is really important, are they like similar people and just the place too, do I enjoy being at this place?”
Olaus is a 4-star prospect and ranked #122 overall by the 247sports Composite rankings. He is 6-6 / 315. He also excels in basketball and hockey (can you imagine getting checked into the boards by this guy?). His name is pronounced O-loss uh-LEAN-en
Massive frame with slight plus length and position versatility as a right or left tackle. Bends well and has fluidity and flexibility throughout frame. Moved from Finland to United States for junior season. Father played in NFL Europe and was in several NFL camps. Combines impressive strength and athleticism. Is forceful with initial punch and is physical. Plays aggressively and remains engaged on blocks. Tough for defenders to disengage. Sinks hips and uncoils well when engaging defender. Is consistent with hand placement and is quick to place inside on defenders. Shows foot speed and is technically sound with steps when pulling. Has body control to block at second level in space. Is quick to scrape and get to linebackers. Solid in pass pro because of his length and ability to move laterally but has to work on kick step. Is able to mirror but sometimes reaches rather than staying patient in base. Has to make sure he keeps size in check. Multi-year starter at high-level college program. Mid round NFL draft potential with ability to improve stock with continued development. 247sports.com
New offensive line coach Eric Wolford is on a roll having led the recruitment of Formby, Martavious Collins from yesterday, and now commitment. New running back commit Justice Haynes gets an assist.
“I’m going to get my best friend Caleb Downs. I’m going after him, I’m going after Richard Young, Olaus (Alinen), Samson (Okunlola), those two linemen I know pretty well,” he said. “Without them you’re nothing.”
Downs announces on July 27.