Alabama Football: Early Crimson Tide Transfer Portal activity

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

For Alabama Football, it is bowl preparation season, plus a recruiting dash to the Early Signing Period. It is also free agent season for the Crimson Tide and all of college football.

Technically, the period beginning on Dec. 5 until Jan. 19 is not described as free agency. Under any name, including the Transfer Portal label, it is free agency, with fewer rules than what is required for NFL teams.

Over 3,000 players entered the Transfer Portal in the previous cycle. By early evening on Monday, the current cycle had 882 portal entries. That many players will not find a new team; does not appear to deter anyone.

Portal Kings and Alabama Football

Nick Saban has made good use of the Portal in past cycles, gaining game-changing players in Jameson Williams, Jahmyr Gibbs and Eli Ricks. Alabama has lost many more players to the Portal than Saban has brought in. With only one clear exception in Drew Sanders, the exiting former Crimson Tide players have not been major losses.

Saban, unlike Lincoln Riley, Lane Kiffin and Brian Kelly has not tried to solve most team weaknesses through the Portal. The three other coaches, each in quite different circumstances than Saban, can fairly be called Portal Kings.

In the 2023 transfer cycle, Alabama will lose or shed (depending on perspective) many players. Best of luck to those already in the Portal and to those who will follow.

How many transfers will Nick Saban land?

Nick Saban will selectively add transfer talent in some key positions. The offensive line, particularly at center, and maybe at tackle, will likely have a couple of additions. Tight end and safety are a couple of other positions of need. Maybe one key wide receiver will be brought in. At least one defensive lineman, who can make an immediate impact, is expected to be added.

As importantly, transfer exits allow for roster changes in large numbers. Alabama football insiders are predicting, with incoming high school players and transfers, around 35 new players will make up the Alabama Crimson Tide, 85-man roster for the 2023 season.

Already the Transfer Portal is loaded up with quarterbacks. With the expected exit of Bryce Young, the Crimson Tide might not need to add a QB. Assuming Jalen Milroe or Ty Simpson don’t decide to transfer after spring practice, the Crimson Tide will have four scholarship QBs. Four, with walk-ons, is enough, but three isn’t.

A regularly updated list of players in the Transfer Portal is provided by

After learning on Monday that offensive guard Javion Cohen has entered the Portal, Monday night brought another exit announcement.

Also on Monday night, the Crimson Tide offensive line lost tackles Amari Kight and Tommy Brockermeyer. The count for transferring-out names is now 11 players. Many more are expected.

Next. Some Tide position groups will be thin in Sugar Bowl. dark

The early Transfer window will be a frenzy. Little that will happen will be predictable. The best advice for Crimson Tide fans is don’t panic – Nick Saban certainly won’t.