Times, they are a-changing in Tuscaloosa. The Alabama Crimson Tide have undergone significant changes since the loss of head coach Nick Saban and the subsequent hiring of Kalen DeBoer as their next head coach.
Just how much change? Look no further than the Alabama Transfer Portal class (so far) to find out how different this Crimson Tide roster will look this fall.
Alabama Crimson Tide Football 2024 Transfer Portal Class
It’s important to note that following an unexpected head coaching change, players are afforded the opportunity to transfer within 30 days of the move. This included Saban’s retirement and allowed the Crimson Tide players a 30-day window to hop into the portal to find another program to play for.
Saban’s retirement created a trickle-down effect that saw DeBoer jump ship from Washington and that same 30-day window popped open for Washington players. And then Arizona players following Jedd Fisch’s taking of the Washington job, and so on, and so forth.
With any coaching change at a major program, roster turnover is expected. However, the players lost from this Alabama roster are significant.
Before we get to individual players, let’s look at the total sum of their players lost to the transfer portal this offseason:
- Julian Sayin, QB
- Jameer Grimsley, WR
- Kadyn Proctor, OT
- Caleb Downs, S
- Trey Amos, CB
- Amari Niblack, TE
- Antonio Kite, CB
- Dezz Ricks, CB
- Shawn Murphy, LB
- Isaiah Bond, WR
- Kendrick Blackshire, LB
- Jake Pope, S
- Roydell Williams, RB
- Hayden Neighbors, WR
- Jax Porter, TE
- Ian Jackson, LB
- Terrence Ferguson, iOL
- Seth McLaughlin, iOL
- Shazz Preston, WR
- Monkell Goodwine, DL
- Earl Little Jr., CB
- Kristian Story, CB
- Eli Holstein, QB
- Malik Benson, WR
- Miles Kitselman, TE
- Anquin Barnes, DL
- Isaiah Hastings, DL
- Ja’Corey Brooks, WR
- Tyler Buchner, QB
- Thaiu Jones-Bell, WR
That’s 30 total players lost to the portal, most of which came after Saban’s retirement.
Caleb Downs, S
Anytime a Freshman All-American hits the portal, his name will certainly be one of the most coveted players in the portal. That’s exactly what happened when Caleb Downs entered and he was immediately seen as a potential Georgia Bulldog flip.
Downs, the nation’s No. 1 safety in his recruiting class, wowed during his true freshman season. He not only showcased elite coverage capabilities, Downs also showcased that his potential elite three-down ability that he showed in high school was immediately translatable on the college gridiron.
He became the top portal athlete available and will immediately swing the grade a full letter for whichever school’s portal class he signs.
Malik Benson, WR
Though Malik Benson wasn’t able to quite showcase his talent with Alabama this past season, it should still be noted that he was the No. 1 JUCO wide receiver for the class of 2023 for a reason. Saban himself made multiple trips to see Benson play in person. If that’s not an indicator of top-tier talent, then nothing else is.
Benson signed with Florida State through the portal and should be a factor in their high-octane offense immediately in 2024. The record-setting JUCO target had big expectations for the 2024 season with the Crimson Tide, but now those have shifted from Tuscaloosa to Tallahassee.
Alabama 2024 Transfer Portal Class Grade – D+
The Alabama transfer portal grade currently sits at a D+ from us at College Football Network, as there is certainly some ground to make up. So far, Alabama’s lost 30 players but only received the commitment from four incoming transfers:
- Austin Mack, QB (Washington)
- Naquil Bertrand, OT (Texas A&M)
- Domani Jackson, CB (USC)
- LT Overton, DL (Texas A&M)
Sure, there are a couple of big names there, but the additions of Domani Jackson and LT Overton do very little to overcome the treacherous departures of 30 players to the portal and a handful of very high draft picks also who have left the program.
DeBoer isn’t done with his roster reconstruction if he’s even remotely close to getting started. He has his work cut out for him, but he’s certainly shown he can win at any stage.
The SEC is different, however, and DeBoer will have to start bringing in top-tier talent through the portal now or later in the spring to compete in 2024.
Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!