As the Kalen DeBoer era rolls in, pieces from Nick Saban's Alabama Football program have started to depart. While this is fully expected it still hurts to lose valuable players who would've served key roles on the 2024 Alabama Football team as starters or valuable rotational pieces.
Travaris Robinson - Defensive Backs coach - Georgia
Losing Travaris Robinson to Georgia may be the biggest loss this off-season, outside of Nick Saban. Robinson played a massive role within the Alabama Football team as both a coach and a recruiter quickly becoming a rising star in the program. Robinson served the role of defensive backs coach from 2022 to 2024, playing a key role in the development of defensive backs like Kool-Aid McKinstry, Terrion Arnold, and Caleb Downs.
Where Robinson was most integral was on the recruiting trail, quickly becoming one of the nation's top recruiters. Robinson played a key role in landing the commitment or signings of Ryan Williams, Zavier Mincey, Caleb Downs, Dezz Ricks, Jameer Grimsley, and Aeryn Hampton, among others.
Travaris Robinson was quickly rising through the ranks at Alabama Football, becoming a candidate for Defensive Coordinator after Kevin Steele announced his retirement. Losing a respected coach like Robinson with an impressive track record developing players is a massive loss for the Alabama Football program.
Isaiah Bond - Wide Receiver - Transfer Portal
Before Kalen DeBoer was announced as the next Alabama Football head coach Isaiah Bond entered the transfer portal. Bond was slated to enter the 2024 season as the team's top wide receiver, coming off of a season where he had 48 catches for 668 yards and four touchdowns. Losing Isaiah Bond is a massive blow to a wide receiver room that struggled production-wise in 2023. The addition of DeBoer may help change Bond's mind as he's helped develop three 1,000-yard wide receivers in his two seasons at Washington. If DeBoer can bring over his wide receivers coach Jamarcus Shephard this could further help with keeping Bond in Tuscaloosa.
If Bond decides to leave he will certainly be remembered fondly by Alabama Football fans. His Fourth and 31 "Grave Digger" touchdown will go down as one of the most memorable plays in Alabama Football history.
Dezz Ricks - Cornerback - Transfer Portal
The Cornerback room will be one of the biggest questions heading into 2024. The position group is thinner after losing Cornerback Dezz Ricks. In the 2023 recruiting class, Ricks was the third-ranked cornerback and the 39th player overall. The departures of Kool-Aid McKinstry and Terrion Arnold meant that Ricks would have been in a pretty open competition for a starting role at Corner.
Antonio Kite - Cornerback - Transfer Portal
Recruited as the tenth-ranked athlete out of high school, Antonio Kite became a cornerback at Alabama. Kite has entered the transfer portal, further hurting the position's depth. Kite would've been among players like Dezz Ricks in competition with newcomers Domani Jackson and incoming freshmen for a starting cornerback role.
Alabama Football: Give DeBoer a chance
In Kalen DeBoer's opening press conference he sent a message to playerss considering entering the transfer portal:
"Give me a chance"- Kalen DeBoer
The message isn't just for the players but, also for recruits, coaches, and the Alabama Football fan base. Kalen DeBoer knows that he's not Nick Saban, and while his track record is good it's not the same as the seven-time national champion. However, coaching-wise DeBoer hasn't given any of the players a reason to jump ship. Offensively, he's helped Michael Penix become a potential first-round pick while developing three of the top wide receivers in the country. In the trenches, he'll have two first-round picks as well with edge rusher Bralen Trice and Troy Fautanu. DeBoer and his coaching staff have shown the ability to develop players and they should be trusted as competent coaches.