The recent sentiment across college football media is that the Alabama Football program is suffering a mass exodus with players entering the transfer portal. While key players have entered the transfer portal like Caleb Downs, Kadyn Proctor, Isaiah Bond, Trey Amos, and Amari Niblack among others the idea that there's a mass exodus with Nick Saban's departure isn't true.
Taking a glance you'd see that 28 players entered the transfer portal which may seem like a large number but, you have to look at the dates on which players decided to transfer. Before Nick Saban's retirement, twenty players entered the transfer portal. Only eight players have entered the transfer portal since. Most of the players who've decided to transfer were either rotational players or players who hadn't seen playing time yet. Only seven of the 28 players who entered the transfer portal would be categorized as starters or key returnees.
Despite a common media narrative, the number of 28 players deciding to transfer isn't a crazy number, compared to other schools. The Georgia Bulldogs didn't lose their head coach yet, they had twenty players enter the portal, the same goes for Ohio State and their 19 transfers, and Florida State lost eighteen players when just looking at a few other top ten teams.
Not being talked about much are the players who have decided to stay with the Alabama Football program. Jalen Milroe almost immediately let it be known that he'd be sticking with the program. As did Malachi Moore who could've easily entered the portal or the NFL Draft but, chose to publicly support DeBoer. The same goes for players like Tyler Booker, Deontae Lawson, and many others who have chosen to embrace the challenge of adapting to a new coaching staff.
People will also point to the recent de-commitments with Ryan Williams de-committing as well as a few players in the 2025 recruiting class. In the case of Williams, it's possible he would've flipped come signing day with Texas and Auburn continuing their push for the receiver. It's also possible Williams ends up in Tuscaloosa anyway with an official visit still planned while he just took an unofficial visit this past weekend.
In theory, players in the 2025 class can be counted as departures but, in the modern era of college football, flipping is common. Players commit a year or two ahead of signing day but, nothing matters until the pen hits the paper. Flipmas has become an early signing day commitment with programs flipping some of the top recruits at the very last second. There's still nearly a year until the players sign with a program meaning Courtney Morgan and Kalen DeBoer can easily convince the players to rejoin the 2025 recruiting class.
Alabama Football: Just a fixture of an ever-evolving game
The landscape of college football is ever-changing with the new transfer portal rules and name, image, and likeness rules still evolving. The ability to raise your stock as a player and get rewarded whether it's by your current school or another program is a powerful tool for the players and one you'd have to expect players to use. Many would be lying if they said that they'd stay at an old job if a similar one was offering much higher pay. As we get further and further into the Name, Image, and Likeness era of college football off-seasons like the one we're currently seeing are to be expected.