Things are not going great in 2023 for UAB football. The Blazers have started 2-4 under first-year coach Trent Dilfer and will have to scramble to even get a bowl bid.

Part of the reason for those struggles is likely the departure of star safety Jaylen Key, who now patrols the secondary for the Alabama Crimson Tide as a graduate transfer.

Key spoke to the UA media for the first time this season and said Dilfer completely understands why he chose to head down I-20/59 to Tuscaloosa.

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"Coach Dilfer is pretty much a cool person," Key noted. "He understood the decision and he made the process easy for me."

Key went on to say the decision to play at a higher level was a no-brainer for him.

"For me, it was just about preparing for the next level," Key said. "And finding the best place for me to do that as far as coming somewhere where the staff, the whole building just really accepts you. Really helps you come in and make it as comfortable as possible... The people here are next to none."

So far this season, Key is tied for fourth on the team with 31 tackles and has one interception, which also makes him a key part of f an Alabama defense that is third in the SEC in interceptions.

Did Key know what he was getting into when he decided to head 5o minutes west and play in the SEC?

Not exactly. He said he learned quickly "how much it means to play here, That's one of the biggest things I would say coming from UAB to here. You don't really understand. You see it on the media, or you might see it on social media. You see it on the news or whatever, but you don't really understand how much it means to play here until you actually put the jersey on and run out of Bryant-Denny Stadium.

“I kind of already knew that it would work out for me when I did get here. Then it’s just about putting your head down and working.”

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