Alabama has found a lot of success from the transfer portal. Landon Dickerson, Henry To’oTo’o and Jameson Williams are just a few success stories of players joining the Crimson Tide after being in the NCAA Transfer Portal.
No one should have expected anything different heading into the 2022 season, but the fact that it’s happening all while Nick Saban and Alabama may have two more games remaining is a shock.
With all the recent coaching changes across the nation, high-profile players are fleeing from their original programs in hopes of finding some stability. The latest example of that is former LSU cornerback, Eli Ricks, who announced yesterday that he will be transferring to Alabama.
Here are five things Crimson Tide fans should know about their new transfer cornerback.
5. A California 5-star All-American
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Ricks is originally from Rancho Cucamonga, California, but played his high school ball at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He was a five-star prospect when he came out of high school, but was on the national radar early in his high school career, earning USA TODAY All-American status in 2018 as a junior.
4. He was all-in on LSU
LSU cornerback Eli Ricks (1) celebrates a tackle against McNeese State during an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Leaving the program must have been a difficult choice for Ricks. Despite holding offers from Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and other top programs, Ricks never wavered from his verbal commitment to LSU, which he made public in December of 2018, his junior year of high school.
3. Stats don't tell the full story
(AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Ricks played in eight games as a true freshman for LSU, and started six games as a sophomore, but suffered an injury that took him out for the rest of the season. Stats may seem a bit off, but when considering the circumstances and LSU’s poor performance over the last two years, it makes sense.
Through 14 games, he’s totaled 31 tackles, five interceptions (four from his freshman season), five passes defended and two defensive touchdowns.
2. Injury history
(AP Photo/John Raoux)
In a mid-October game against Kentucky this season, Ricks exited early with a shoulder injury. After the game, it was revealed that the injury he sustained had been a pre-existing one that was aggravated. He decided to forgo the remainder of his season to undergo surgery to correct the issue.
1. Alabama was his top transfer choice
(Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun via AP)
When speaking with 247Sports, Ricks detailed why he picked the Crimson Tide. He said that prior to speaking to anyone, Alabama was at the top of his list.
He also spoke with Nick Saban, chatted with former Mater Dei teammate Bryce Young and Ricks’ parents spoke with Young’s parents.