Alabama Football: Will coaching staff changes result in more spring transfers?

2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages

With the retirement of Coach Nick Saban back in January, Alabama Football has endured changes from the top down this offseason. Unfortunately, the first wave of change was not the last.

Alabama fans had the rug pulled from under them almost two weeks ago when Ryan Grubb, previously considered to be the new offensive coordinator for the Crimson Tide, was instead announced as the OC for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. Along with him, Grubb took newly-minted offensive line coach Scott Huff. 

Prior to this development, the Tide had finally found some stability amongst its coaching staff. As a result, it saw improved roster security and an uptick in recruiting to close the 2024 cycle.

Coach Kalen DeBoer and his staff were able to quickly regain that stability following Grubb’s hasty exit, as skill position coaches Nick Sheridan and JaMarcus Sheppard were promoted to co-offensive coordinator roles.

DeBoer’s choice to keep offensive coordinator responsibilities within his established coaching tree was a good move in terms of familiarity and continuity, but was this enough for the players on the roster?

Will these coaching staff changes on the offensive side of the ball have a delayed impact?

In the modern era of college football, there is no way to fully secure a roster. Players make decisions based on a near-infinite number of variable factors, and are free to change their minds at the drop of a hat without penalty.  

A handful of new additions, including former Washington quarterback Austin Mack, former Washington center Parker Brailsford, and former Washington receiver Germie Bernard, may have made decisions that were heavily impacted by the apparent presence of Grubb and Huff. Even some players that Alabama retained on its roster through the initial portal window may have liked the idea of Grubb and Huff coming in. 

Playing under a different offensive coordinator than one expected to is not a small change, so it may affect some of the players on the roster. However, the system has not changed and most of the staff on the offensive side of the ball remains intact. Besides, whether or not the coaching change costs Alabama a couple of players is hardly important. 

Some players will transfer out in the spring portal window, and may have done so either way. The Crimson Tide will move forward with the guys that want to be in Tuscaloosa. Additionally, before Bama fans panic at the thought of another round of portal exits, they should be reminded that the spring window will be Bama’s first chance to really strike back in the portal. 

The program looks slightly different, but I believe the players who chose to play for Alabama Football with the knowledge of Coach Saban’s departure are truly committed to Coach DeBoer, his staff, and his program. It will be fascinating to follow spring practice and track the roster developments that are likely to take place afterwards.