Alabama Football adds transfer tight end CJ Dippre

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

Alabama football got another key piece for its 2023 roster on Tuesday morning when it added transfer portal tight end CJ Dippre. Dippre, who transferred from the University of Maryland, chose the Crimson Tide over Ohio State. He visited Tuscaloosa a little over two weeks ago, and was clearly sold on Coach Nick Saban’s pitch.

CJ Dippre is a big tight end at 6’5” and 250 pounds. Like current Alabama tight end Cameron Latu, he has the size to be impactful as an in-line blocker and as a pass catcher. As a sophomore for the Terrapins in 2022, he caught 30 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns.

Latu is a senior and is expected to depart from the program after the Sugar Bowl, leaving an opening at the tight end position. The former linebacker recorded 51 receptions for 733 yards and 11 touchdowns over the past two seasons for Alabama football.

The Crimson Tide will return a lot of players at the tight end position, but it is a young group that has very little game experience. Sophomore Robbie Ouzts could see an expanded role in 2023. Ouzts has appeared in 23 games over the past two seasons, mostly contributing as a lead blocker and on special teams. He has made five career receptions for 51 yards.

Fellow sophomore Miles Kitselman entered the program as a JUCO transfer last offseason. Like Ouzts, he is a physical tight end that excels as a blocker. He played in five games in 2022, making two catches for 18 yards.

Freshman Amari Niblack was a 4-star recruit who is probably the most athletic member of the tight end room. He played in nine games this season, scoring a 15-yard touchdown on his only career reception.

Elijah Brown and Danny Lewis Jr. both joined Niblack as tight ends in the 2022 recruiting class. Lewis Jr. appeared in four games, while Brown did not see the field. Both are expected to keep this year of eligibility and be redshirt freshmen in 2023. Lastly, 4-star tight end Ty Lockwood will join Alabama football as a true freshman in the 2023 class.

CJ Dippre will have a good chance of becoming the starting tight end for the Crimson Tide, as he is the closest thing to an every-down tight end on the roster. I believe the Tide will still utilize Ouzts and Kitselman in power packages. It should also capitalize on Niblack’s talents. The rising sophomore is a walking mismatch who can line up in the slot or as a true tight end.

This is a very deep room, as Dippre gives Alabama football seven tight ends heading into the 2023 season. Competition should be intense at the position, and Bama should be able to utilize the strengths of several tight ends in different scenarios. An outgoing transfer or two in the spring would not be a shock, but that is the way of the world at an elite program like Alabama.

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Expect Alabama football to gradually continue shoring up its roster via the portal as the spring gets underway.