Alabama Football: The saga of Anoma is coming to an end

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Eyabi Anoma has now, for the second time, entered his name into the transfer portal. This time it seems like he will follow through and leave Tuscaloosa. Where does this leave the Alabama football team?

Anoma re-entering his name in the transfer portal was a surprise to most after all that occurred earlier this year. It blindsided almost everybody, and will have a big impact on the Alabama football team.

It appears that his transfer is likely due to the personal issues affecting his family. Anoma clarified a cryptic tweet he sent in December last year by telling reporters that his grandmother was sick.

"Everybody misread that tweet. The tweet wasn’t about transferring at all. The tweet was about I have family, so like my grandma she’s sick. I made a decision. My grandma, I’m going to play for her. I’m about to turn it up a whole 30 notches. I’m going to try and do what I can do to try and get on the field ASAP so my grandmother can see me."

Reports have stated that he has been homesick due to developments with his family’s health.  Some people believe that Anoma was also unhappy with his perceived role for the 2019 season.

I believe that this transfer has less to do with his situation at Alabama and more to do with wanting to get closer to home to be with his family. If he ends up transferring to Maryland that would seem to confirm my suspicion. If he transfers somewhere else then it might have been more to do with playing time.

He was second on the depth chart for spring behind Terrell Lewis, but with Lewis sitting out most of the spring Anoma was getting substantial first team reps. With the way Saban rotates his OLBs, he was set up for a big role in the defense this year.

There were some reports this summer that said Anoma has been falling down the depth chart since A-day. They also said he didn’t seem to be fully invested at practice and just wasn’t himself. If those reports are true that also could have led to his departure.

His abrupt exit from Tuscaloosa leaves the backup OLB spot open. Upperclassmen such as Ben Davis and Joshua McMillon along with younger guys like Christian Harris, Christopher Allen, Ale Kaho, King Mwikuta, Shane Lee, and Jarez Parks all figure to either compete for the now vacant spot in the depth chart, or contribute at ILB if somebody changes position.

LB is a position that is very thin on experience for the Alabama football defense. Outside of Anfernee Jennings, Terrell Lewis, and Dylan Moses there is not much in-game experience at any LB position. Even Lewis’s experience is minimal given his injury history.

There is an opportunity for some young guys to get valuable experience now. We saw how much that helped Dylan Moses two years ago. He was good but raw in 2017 and his game experience led to a breakout season last year. Now there are a legitimate eight guys who could potentially contribute at OLB or ILB because of Anoma’s transfer.

The saga of Eyabi Anoma has been a roller coaster ride, but now that it looks like his days in Tuscaloosa are over, we can focus on the next man up. Any loss is big for the Alabama defense, but losing a strong pass rusher like Anoma is an even bigger blow. Pass-rushing was arguably Alabama’s biggest deficiency on defense last year and it contributed heavily to the problems in the secondary.

Next. Linebackers Need to Make Defense Great Again. dark

How much the defense will miss Anoma is left to be seen, but there is plenty of young talent ready to make an impact.