Based on the opinions of some college football pundits, the Alabama football roster has been decimated. Many are saying Alabama's fortunes will so plummet in the first season of the post-Saban era, that Bama could lose four games and miss the expanded Playoff.
It is 100% true that the losses of Caleb Downs to Ohio State and former 5-Star QB recruit, Julian Sayin to Ohio State are significant. That is more true for Downs since Sayin was widely expected to see little action in 2024.
Add in the Tide's normal heavy attrition due to NFL exits and around a dozen key players from 2023 are gone. Nay-sayers can scoff at the number being 12, adding several more contributors from last season. But, in reality above the 12, the others lost will be replaced by equivalent or better players.
The Alabama Football cupboard will be far from bare in 2024. College football is months away from settled rosters. The Crimson Tide will lose and add more players. How the Overall 2024 class (new signees and transfers) will rank can only be estimated. For fun, take the Overall Team Rankings provided by 247Sports and use the site's class calculator tool. The results are encouraging for Alabama football fans.
With Julian Sayin and Jameer Grimsley still listed to Alabama, the Crimson Tide is No. 3 in the Team Rankings at 302.94. Delete Sayin and Grimsley and the 302.94 drops to 292.32. The encouraging part is, add 5-Star Ryan Williams, and Alabama jumps back up to 302.42 and regains the No. 3 class.
Guessing how good the 2024 roster must also factor in the 2021, 2022, and 2023 classes. The Alabama Crimson Tide was No. 1 in Team Rankings in 2021 and 2023 and No. 2 in 2022.
Yes, many of the players from the 2021-2023 classes are gone, but much of that is just the new world of college football. The new norm is a roster rebuild every season. A deeper look reveals how many of the Tide's key players from the 2021 and 2022 classes are expected back in 2024.
Alabama Football 2021 and 2022 Class Returnees
- Key Players from the 2021 class are former 5-Stars, Deontae Lawson and Damon Payne, along with highly rated 4-Stars, Keanu Koht, Jalen Milroe and Devonta Smith. Add in players who have developed into key contributors, Jaeden Roberts, Tim Keenan, and Robbie Ouzts.
- From the 2022 class are four Top 50 players, three of whom were 5-Stars, Jihaad Campbell, Ty Simpson, Elijah Pritchett, and highly rated 4-Star, Jeremiah Alexander. In addition, there are five more Top 100 players, Emmanuel Henderson, Tyler Booker, Jam Miller, Kendrick Law, and Jaheim Oatis.
Like many teams, Alabama Football will be quite young in 2024. Along with a less experienced roster, there are depth concerns in a couple of position groups. Transfer additions can solve the depth issues. What Alabama is not lacking now, and will not be lacking in September, is talent. Some anticipate the opposite will be true, with the Crimson Tide having college football's most talented roster.