The Spring transfer portal window will be the most chaotic yet

Tennessee v Alabama
Tennessee v Alabama / Brandon Sumrall/GettyImages

In the new NIL and transfer portal window of College Football, we've slowly seen a wild shift in what was ever imaginable in the sport. The fall transfer window as well as the windows that opened up due to coaching changes provided chaos already as star players left major schools to join different programs. While many thought what happened to Alabama's roster in the immediate aftermath of Saban leaving was the craziest, what we may see this spring could take things to a whole new level.

The NCAA picked a fight it couldn't win with Tennessee as a judge issued an injunction suspending the NCAA's rules on name, image, and likeness in what will be the most significant blow to the NCAA yet. The governing body of the sport now truly has no power over players receiving money through ways the rules wanted to prevent.

We've got an early look at what this could mean for the Spring transfer window with Kadyn Proctor transferring back to Alabama after a few months at Iowa where he reportedly received NIL money that he won't have to return. This will open the floodgates for the top programs in college football to use NIL to lure away players on other team's rosters to fill their team's holes. This trend will benefit the top players in NIL as they can simply offer a better package than most of the schools in the sport can afford.

The first thing to watch for are the holdovers on teams that underwent coaching changes this off-season. Programs like Alabama, Michigan, Washington, and Arizona among top programs had players decide to stay at their respective schools despite coaching turnover. However, now after a few weeks of spring practices, these players know where they stand with the new staff and may look to leave for a school where they'll be guaranteed playing time. Then there will be players who gave the new staff a shot, but believe they're best suited by transferring to a program that's a better fit for them.

After the holdovers, you'll also see smaller schools get some of their top talent plucked by the top programs in the nation to address the holes in their rosters. For example, a program like Alabama may not like where their running back room stands, so they'll go to a smaller school and pluck an elite talent like we saw with the Tide landing Jahmyr Gibbs from Georgia Tech. Except now, the developments in NIL make it much easier for these bigger schools to lure players away with the promise of a starting role and a pay day along with it.

The position battle losers will play a big role in the transfer window as well, especially with younger players rather than older players. In this era of college football, it's important to get onto the field early for the players as they want to maximize their earning window. A highly regarded recruit that's a freshman or sophomore that lost their position battle may look to jump to a school where they'll be able to play immediately. This will cause players that once stuck around and developed at a school to leave, hurting the depth that programs value heading into a season.

There will also be a group of players that enter the transfer portal for the sole purpose of receiving more money through NIL. For example, a quarterback like Jalen Milroe may believe he's worth more than he's being paid leading him to enter the transfer portal and test the market to see what he's worth to other programs. This player doesn't have to leave as they can easily return once they get an offer from their NIL collective that satisfies them.

The truth of the matter is that this window will be the craziest that we have seen so far in the transfer portal era. The rules have never been this unclear and it's nearly impossible for the NCAA to rule over the process after its loss in Federal Court. Despite this window lasting just two weeks, it'll be by far the wildest period we've seen to this point.

Alabama Football: Which rosters to watch?

When the spring transfer window opens, the two main rosters to watch for the benefit of the Alabama Football program are Washington and Michigan. The Huskies, for starters, will have several players that were recruited by Kalen DeBoer that may look to rejoin him at Alabama after giving the new coaching staff a chance. In terms of Michigan, Courtney Morgan recruited a majority of the roster during his time at Michigan and still has relationships there as we saw with the transfer of Keon Sabb.

The Tide may look to add a high end starter from other schools as well if a player enters that fills a role for DeBoer.

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