Alabama Football: Henry To’oto’o new Crimson Tide transfer

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The 2021 Alabama Football roster is up by one with the announcement on Saturday that former Tennessee Volunteer linebacker, Henry To’oto’o will join the Tide. As a sophomore last season, To’oto’o led the Vols with 76 tackles, including 10 tackles for a loss.

The conventional wisdom from Alabama Football fans has been To’oto’o would join the Crimson Tide after the SEC approved one-time immediate eligibility. The conference has not done that, though it is hard to believe it will not. Not accepting the immediate eligibility waiver accepted by the rest of the FBS would hurt SEC teams.

Henry To’oto’o was the No. 44 player nationally in the 2019 class and was rated as the No. 3 outside linebacker. There was broad speculation he would sign with the Alabama Crimson Tide, coming out of high school in Concord, CA. Instead, Jeremy Pruitt nabbed him in a major recruiting coup.

Always projected to be a college inside linebacker, that is where he played in Knoxville. He will be joining a deep roster of Alabama Football linebackers. The Crimson Tide is loaded at outside linebacker but also has depth at inside linebacker.

The immediate question raised by Crimson Tide fans is will To’oto’o bump Jaylen Moody out of a starting role. Moody has the support of most Tide fans, though his resume, other than special teams play, is limited. In the new free agency era, players and fans have to expect that every roster is fluid. As always, and as it should be, Nick Saban will play the guy who can best execute the duties of his position.

To’oto’o won’t have to just compete with Moody for playing time. Younger linebackers, Demouy Kennedy, Deontae Lawson, and others have the potential to be outstanding Crimson Tide players. To’oto’o will have at least two seasons of eligibility. It could be not all of the Tide’s freshmen linebackers will be content to wait behind him.

One thing already clear about college football’s new free agency era is the rich will get richer. Nick Saban predicted that long ago when he basically warned college football should be careful in what it wishes.

Next. Saban working Tide roster numbers. dark

The Alabama Crimson Tide will continue to take advantage of transfer opportunities to improve its roster. To’oto’o is rated as the No. 3 player in the massive Transfer Portal player pool.