Alabama lost a lot in the secondary both to the NFL and the portal, but the situation is even more dire at wide receiver. Isaiah Bond fled for Texas even before DeBoer was named Alabama’s next head coach. Bond was enticed by the Longhorns’ NIL stash, as was former Alabama tight end Amari Niblack, who also transferred to join Steve Sarkisian’s team.
The Crimson Tide already weren’t loaded with offensive playmakers, but with Bond and Niblack in Austin, and Jermaine Burton heading for the NFL, it’ll be a whole new cast of characters catching passes from Jalen Milroe in 2024.
Like Burton, Rome Odunze, Ja’Lynn Polk, and Jalen McMillan have all declared for the NFL draft, so Bernard was DeBoer’s most productive receiver he could entice to join him in Tuscaloosa.
As a sophomore, and playing behind Odunze, Polk, and McMillan, Bernard racked up 419 yards and two touchdowns on 34 receptions. Most impressive, was Bernard’s 7.1 yards after the catch per reception average which ranked 48th in the country among the 371 wide receivers who received at least 40 targets in 2023.