The Alabama coaching search is heating up with a Thursday report linking a trio of “emerging” candidates to potentially interview for the job.

According to John Brice with Football Scoop, the expectation continues to be that Alabama AD Greg Byrne will name the next head coach by the end of the week. Brice pointed to what was “an incredibly active day” in the search on Thursday with three people “emerging as serious contenders along the lines of earning interviews.”

That trio consists of Washington coach Kalen DeBoer, Florida State coach Mike Norvell and current Alabama offensive coordinator Tommy Rees. From that group, Rees is the only individual without any head coaching experience.

While that group appears to be in the lead in the process, Brice also reports Mizzou coach Eli Drinkwitz and Maryland coach Mike Locksley as having “some measure of traction” in Alabama’s search. Locksley — a former offensive coordinator under Saban — also has “significant support from former players” with Brice also reporting a belief that Locksley has key support from one “mega-booster” and top former Alabama assistants.

Examining the candidates

DeBoer is a particularly intriguing option due to his lack of experience in the Southeast. However, he has a proven track record as a winner with quick turnarounds at Fresno State and Washington. FOX’s Joel Klatt went on record to admit he would be surprised if DeBoer is not the next head coach of the Tide.

Norvell is wrapping up his fourth season at Florida State, leading the program to a 23-4 record over the past two seasons. The Seminoles went 13-0 with an ACC title during the regular season. Norvell also produced a 38-15 record over 4 seasons at Memphis.

Rees is certainly an interesting name in the search. A former quarterback star at Notre Dame, Rees spent three seasons as the OC at Notre Dame (including six seasons serving as the QBs coach) before jumping to Tuscaloosa for 2023.

As for Drinkwitz and Locksley, Mizzou is coming off its first 11-win season since 2014 with a major breakthrough for Drinkwitz. Locksley has led Maryland to 3 straight bowl wins for the first time in program history, through his all-time coaching record across New Mexico and Maryland is 31-59 overall.