Something significant about Alabama Football and the Transfer Portal

Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Marcus Banks - Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Marcus Banks - Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

In both the NFL and college football worlds, Alabama Football is respected as an NFL development factory. The numbers of Alabama Crimson Tide players drafted and how well Nick Saban’s first-rounders build their NFL careers stand out.

There is another ‘stand out’ Crimson Tide story that quietly makes a statement. Most Alabama football players who decide to transfer are guys who never reached a two-deep depth chart. They are talented players who put in the necessary work, but could not break through in Tuscaloosa.

Almost all of them exit, after expressing what appears as sincere appreciation for the Alabama football staff, Nick Saban, their teammates and the University of Alabama. They also exit as players who have matured physically and mentally into football players that can immediately contribute to many other college football programs.

It is common for many of them to become starters at their new schools.

In this year’s incomplete transfer cycle, 13 Alabama football players have chosen new teams. All of them have a chance to start next season.

Alabama Football Outgoing Portal Activity

  • Defensive Back, Marcus Banks is an almost certain Mississippi State starter.
  • Linebacker Drew Sanders is expected to start for the Arkansas Razorbacks.
  • Linebacker King Mwikuta will not only start at Arkansas State, but he will also be a team leader for Butch Jones.
  • Offensive Tackle Pierce Quick played with the Georgia Tech first unit in the Yellow Jackets’ spring game.
  • Quarterback Paul Tyson is battling to win the starting job at Arizona State.
  • Wide Receiver Xavier Williams will start for Utah State.
  • Jahleel Billingsley and Agiye Hall are alomst sure starters for Steve Sarkisian at Texas.
  • Offensive Lineman Tommy Brown is in contention for a starting job at Colorado.
  • Wide Receiver Javon Baker will start for the Kentucky Wildcats.
  • Tight End Caden Clark has a good chance to start for Akron.

Currently still available through the Portal are Stephon Wynn Jr. and Kaine Williams. Both are expected to find new teams and both can contend for starting roles.

The quiet story is Alabama football players beat the Transfer odds. Based on data from the last three transfer cycles around 40% of exiting players will not find new teams. For former Crimson Tide players, the number is nearly 100%, including many of the exiting, non-scholarship players.

Other programs know the value to be gained by adding former Alabama players. The situation is a reverse of the often expressed sentiment that other FBS schools have become feeder programs for the Crimson Tide. In these cases, it is Alabama feeding other teams.

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Crimson Tide punter Ty Perine left the team but does not show up in the Portal. The former walk-on, non-scholarship player is believed to be moving on from football.