Kevin Steele returns to Alabama

Kevin Steele is back at Alabama, this time as the Crimson Tide's director of player development.

Alabama's defensive coordinator during the 2007 and 2008 seasons under Nick Saban, Steele will direct the Crimson Tide's recruiting efforts in his new role. Steele was most recently Clemson's defensive coordinator from 2009-11 and was an administrative aide and consultant to his longtime friend, John Chavis, at LSU last season.

What the Tide are getting in Steele is one of the best recruiters in the business and a guy who has a wealth of football experience. He has coached in the NFL. He was the head coach at Baylor, and he's made assistant-coaching stops at such places as Nebraska, Florida State and Tennessee.

With the new NCAA recruiting rules that are slated to go into effect Aug. 1, Steele will be a huge asset for the Tide, who had already assembled one of the most effective recruiting machines in college football.

Saban also announced Thursday that Kerry Stevenson had joined the staff as the team's director of player development. Getting a former high school coach with ties to the Mobile, Ala., area should also come in handy for the Tide, who lost Jeremy Pruitt to Florida State as defensive coordinator. Pruitt had done a bang-up job of recruiting the Mobile area for Alabama.

Saban is also in the process of trying to replace Jeff Stoutland as offensive-line coach. Former Fresno State head coach Pat Hill is somebody to keep an eye on. Hill was the Atlanta Falcons' offensive line coach this past season and coached with Saban on the Cleveland Browns' staff in the early 1990s. Also, South Carolina offensive-line coach and co-offensive coordinator Shawn Elliott was scheduled to interview with Saban on Thursday.