Alabama Football: Crimson Tide numbers crunch and transfer portal choices

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

In an unusual Crimson Tide offseason, there is normalcy. Normal for an Alabama football offseason is too many scholarship players. What comes next in the Transfer Portal?

Alabama football has its annual numbers crunch. Nick Saban always resolves the issue. Is there anything different this offseason? What to expect as the Crimson Tide roster is trimmed to a maximum of 85 players.

Presented in more detail below, the current 2020 Alabama football roster is 89 (including UNC transfer Carl Tucker) scholarship players. The most recent adjustment was Taulia Tagovailoa into the Transfer Portal. Along with Lia, two other players, Giles Amos and Scooby Carter are also seeking new teams through the Portal. Exiting former Crimson Tide players already with new teams are Nigel Knott, Jonathan Ford and Scott Lashley. Knott will play at East Carolina, Ford at Cincinnati and Lashley at Mississippi State. In another offseason change, former Crimson Tide linebacker, Markail Benton was officially removed from the roster.

Being over four scholarships is less than the norm for this point of the offseason. Nick Saban has had more difficult roster challenges. How he makes the annual numbers work is always interesting.

The current 89 scholarship players breaks down as four quarterbacks, counting incoming freshman Kristian Story to fill the slot vacated by Taulia. The Crimson Tide has seven running backs, seven tight ends, 10 wide receivers and 15 offensive linemen.

On defense, the Alabama football defensive line has 12 scholarship players, plus 13 defensive backs, nine outside linebackers and eight inside linebackers.

There are four kicking specialists on scholarship.

Like last season, underclassmen are the biggest group of players with 24 freshmen, nine redshirt freshmen and 15 sophomores.

These numbers are not official. The roster at incudes non-scholarship players and does not include new players who are scheduled for summer enrollment. There is plenty of time for an official roster, once 2020 college football has a firm start date.

Most Alabama football fans can suggest at least four names to make the roster number work. It may not take that many, contingent on a couple of players. Through most of last season, there was broad conjecture neither Paul Tyson or Will Reichard were on scholarship. If they were not, that status might continue for another year.

Given the frequency of transition in college football rosters, it is more likely there will be adequate numbers for Tyson and Reichard on the 2020 scholarship list.

Next. 2021 Recruiting Positions of Need. dark

The Portal was designed to facilitate the process for players to choose new teams. A player can enter the Portal and exit without finding a new school. If so, the program providing his current or prior scholarship is not obligated to renew his scholarship.