The transfer portal is open, and Alabama is expected to be interested in re-building its depth following the departure of so many players from the Coach Saban era when he retired. The Tide lost almost all of its defensive back depth, to the point that two true freshmen are currently starting in Alabama's secondary. The Tide could look to get some experience in that room via the transfer portal. Alabama's secondary is not the only room that could look for a boost in the portal.

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The Tide's roster can be broken down into three categories: Probably needs to be addressed, Could be addressed, and doesn't need to be addressed. I want to include a disclaimer, just because a position group is placed in "Doesn't need to be addressed" does not mean that the Tide will turn away any player who tries to transfer. If a high-level player wants to transfer, Alabama will do their due diligence, and if they feel like a player can help improve the roster, they'll pursue a transfer.

Should be Addressed

- Offensive Line
- Defensive Back

Both positions were decimated after coach Saban retired. Alabama lost four starters from the secondary from a season ago, three to the NFL and one to the transfer portal. Alabama only has 12 defensive backs on scholarship, and only three have starting experience at the college level. With the possibility of losing players in the portal as well, Alabama may want to target some players with experience in the defensive backfield. Injuries are also always a concern, with Alabama one injury away from having no players from last year's defense on the field.

Along the offensive line, Alabama was going to lose both tackles and their center from a season ago but left tackle Kadyn Proctor decided to come back to Alabama, and that move is now official. Alabama still needs depth on the line, and the Tide may need to target interior offensive line depending on what Parker Brailsford decides on his future. Alabama has talent in that room, but based on the spring game, the Tide needs some more depth in that room. Alabama had at least five players with snapping capabilities on Saturday, but Coach Kapilovic has been noted saying he wants more. Alabama could look to bolster the depth there.

Could be Addressed

- Wide Receiver
- Edge Rusher
- Tight End
- Defensive Line

Alabama's wide receiver position took a hit to their depth with the injury of Jalen Hale, who according to DeBoer, will miss almost if not all of the regular season due to a lower-body injury suffered in March. His replacement could be on the roster, with Kendrick Law, Kobe Prentice, Emmanuel Henderson, Jaren Hamilton, and Cole Adams remaining with the program. Is his replacement coming into the program, with Caleb Odom, Ryan Williams, Bubba Hampton, Amari Jefferson, and Rico Scott coming in the freshman class? The answer could be neither. Rather, Alabama's wide receiver two could be in the transfer portal. While the Tide have not yet been linked to anyone in the transfer portal, Alabama could have their choice of any of the top options in the portal. Alabama's not desperate for help at the receiver position, so they can afford to pick and choose who they target in the portal.

Alabama's edge rushers didn't shine as some had hoped at A-Day, but the top two, Quandarrius Robinson and Keanu Koht are experienced at Alabama. Koht is entering his fourth year with the program, and Robinson is in his fifth. Behind them, Alabama features talent, but it is unproven. Keon Keeley is the biggest name, but he's as unproven as a true freshman. He redshirted during his freshman season at Alabama. Yhonzae Pierre and Qua Russaw are in the same boat. The talent is there without a doubt, but it is possible Alabama could target a veteran who also has on-field experience. Robinson played sparingly last season in the Tide's 'raptor package' that was used in passing situations. Robinson totaled 24 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one fumble recovery, and two quarterback hits in 2023.

Alabama already addressed the tight end position in the transfer portal, bringing in Josh Cuevas from Washington. However, Cuevas has just four Division One catches in his career, not exactly considered experience. Alabama returns Robbie Outz, CJ Dippre, and Danny Lewis Jr. who all played significant time for Alabama last season. The Tide favored multi-tight end looks last season, so the previously mentioned three plus Amari Niblack got good exposure. Alabama also has Ty Lockwood on the roster and will get Jay Lindsey when the Summer enrollees arrive on campus. The Tide doesn't typically feature a premier tight end in its offense, but a game-changer with size is never something to take for granted. Caleb Odom was set to be a member of the room, but JaMarcus Shephard won the competition with Bryan Ellis for Odom's skillset. The staff like what they have in their established guys, but have also been looking in the transfer portal for another contributor. With six players capable of high-level play, Alabama could roll into 2024 with the room as established, or choose a playmaker from the portal to bolster the room.

The defensive line might be the deepest room at Alabama with thirteen players on scholarship. Keon Keeley was mentioned with the linebackers, as that is what he was listed on Alabama's A-Day roster. In reality, he's lining up at the Bandit position along Alabama's defensive line. When discussing the Bandit position, think of a Justin Eboigbe type of defensive end - a bigger edge rusher, or a faster defensive end. At Bandit, Alabama has three players competing for the starting role and could rotate all three in a game situation. Along the interior, Alabama is veteran-led with Tim Smith and Tim Keenan III, at least until Jehiem Oatis returns to the starting lineup. Alabama will likely run two defensive linemen against the opponents' interior offensive line. If that's so, the Tide could run three deep at both lineman positions before getting to any true freshmen. However, don't count out Isaia Faga, who had a strong A-Day performance against the second-string offensive line. Are any of Alabama's linemen game wreckers like Crimson Tide greats Jonathan Allen or Quinnen Williams? Several could become one, namely keeping an eye on Keenan III and Oatis, but if an elite interior defender enters the portal, it might not be a bad idea for Alabama to do their research.

Probably Won't be Addressed

- Quarterback
- Runningback
- Inside Linebackers

Alabama might have one of the best quarterback rooms in the country, especially with Ryan Fowler's report that Ty Simpson is not testing the transfer portal and Rodney Orr's report that Dylan Lonergan is expected to stay as well. Simpson competed with Milroe for the starting quarterback job in 2023 and even came off the bench to win the game against South Florida in a sloppy storm. However, Milroe is the starting quarterback, and for good reason. He's the highest-returning Heisman vote-getter from a season ago and totaled 2,834 passing yards, 531 rushing yards, and 35 total touchdowns en route to leading the Tide to an SEC championship. Milroe is arguably a top-three quarterback in college football, and Alabama has arguably the top backup quarterback with Simpson. Unless an elite quarterback is willing to come in and sit for a season or two, or if the Tide loses Austin Mack for some reason, don't expect Alabama to make any quarterback additions in the spring portal window.

The strongest position group from Alabama's A-Day was arguably their running backs. Jam Miller became a contributing member of Alabama's offense in 2023 when Jase McClellan suffered a foot injury against Auburn in the Iron Bowl, and he's competing to be the lead man in Alabama's backfield in 2024. His competition, Justice Haynes, was a fan favorite in 2023 despite a lack of playing time. His contributions during the Rose Bowl, although sparse, were all Alabama fans needed to know Haynes would be big for Alabama in 2024. Haynes is potentially Alabama's top option despite being a season behind Miller. Either way, both bring a skillset that Alabama will be able to utilize in 2024. Behind them, Alabama has a strong power back option in Richard Young, who showed Tide fans that he can be a contributor in 2024 as well. Young was RB5 for Alabama in 2023 and has now been elevated to RB3 with the departures of McClellan and Williams. The RB3 hasn't typically gotten a ton of tread in a season for Alabama, but that was under Nick Saban. Alabama could realistically have two backs close to 1,000 yards, and Young could also have good yardage for a third-string back. If Miller or Haynes have to miss time, Young is more than capable. Behind the top three, Alabama has a big running back in Daniel Hill from Meridian, Mississippi who can be a good relief for the top rotation for Alabama. Hill may not see much playing time for Alabama this season, but after a couple of years of development, could be an asset for Alabama. The Tide will also get Tuscaloosa native Kevin Riley when the Summer enrollees arrive. Unless the top running back in college football enters the transfer portal, Alabama shouldn't be overly interested in any running back options in the transfer portal, unless something major happens with their group and leaving the program.

Alabama's inside backers are probably their second deepest room in the program. The Tide returns its top two men in that room with Deontae Lawson and Jihaad Campbell, and both should be on the early watchlist for the Butkus Award. Behind them, senior Justin Jefferson and redshirt sophomore Jeremiah Alexander both looked solid in the Tide's A-Day. Something notable, true freshman Justin Okoronkwo looked to be much farther along than expected. While it is not expected that he will make any major contributions this season to the starting defense, Alabama will likely lean heavily on him if they lose both Lawson and Campbell to the NFL after the 2024 season. Additionally, Alabama has five inside linebackers committed in the 2025 recruiting class, so depth will not be an issue. The Tide will likely not concern themselves with any inside linebackers in the transfer portal, but if a top option becomes available, could do a little research to gauge the interest level.

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Alabama Football's Ninth Spring Practice of 2024

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