On Tuesday five Alabama Crimson Tide players entered the Transfer Portal. More Alabama football players will follow as transfers have become nearly as important to roster building as high school recruiting.
The Tide players added to the Portal on Tuesday were backup quarterback, and Alabama legacy, Paul Tyson, former 5-star, outside linebacker, Drew Sanders, tight end Jaleel Billingsley, offensive lineman, Tommy Brown and outside linebacker, King Mwikuta. Mwikuta also went into the Portal last year, before deciding to stay with the Crimson Tide.
None of the five decisions can be considered a surprise. Seeking more playing time with another program makes sense for each player. Alabama football fans probably hate the loss of Drew Sanders the most. While Sanders was caught in a log jam at outside linebacker, some Crimson Tide fans were hoping a position change would keep him in Tuscaloosa. Sanders, like Cameron Latu has done, has the athletic skills to be an impact tight end.
Previous transfer exits have led to four former Crimson Tide players joining new teams. Cornerback Marcus Banks moved to Mississippi State. Offensive lineman, Pierce Quick joined Georgia Tech. Wide receiver, Xavier Williams will return to Tuscaloosa next season, playing for Utah State. Inside linebacker, Jackson Bratton joined the UAB Blazers.
There will be more attrition. After the 2022 signing class and incoming transfers, cornerback, Eli Ricks and running back, Jahmyr Gibbs, the Tide roster still must be reduced before next season. Until NFL early-entry decisions are made, it will not be known how much the Crimson Tide might be over the 85-scholarship limit.
Some position groups appear sure to produce more transfer exits. Those are the offensive line, running backs and wide receivers. Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide staff are not seeking more running backs, but the current, 2022 group is so filled with talent, probably at least one running back will choose to transfer. The Tide is in the market for another wide receiver. It will not be surprising if as many as two or three current wide receivers decide to transfer. Though there have been no rumors to suggest it, adding a ready-to-start offensive lineman also makes sense.
Some outgoing transfer decisions may be delayed until after the Crimson Tide’s spring practice. Last cycle, 11 Crimson Tide players entered the Portal and nine found new Power Five teams.