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Alabama football transfer portal tracker: Roster changes ahead of 2024 season

The transfer portal has officially opened.

The NFL has free agency and the draft while college football has the transfer portal and recruiting. And just like in the NFL, some college teams choose to build their team primarily one way while others go another route.

Nick Saban used a mix of both to build his Alabama football rosters. He showed a willingness to dip into the transfer portal to fill a few spots in the lineup, but recruiting was still the lifeblood of the program.

It remains to be seen how new coach Kalen DeBoer builds his rosters. He was named as Saban's replacement on Friday, Jan. 12 after Saban retired Wednesday, Jan. 10.

Alabama has lost players to the portal over the years, but few have been starters. Most have been depth pieces. That might not have dented the starting lineup as much, but depth has suffered as a result. It seems that it has become harder to convince players to stay as depth and develop when starting opportunities could be offered elsewhere.

The portal in the first cycle officially opened on Dec. 4 and closed on Jan. 2. But because Saban retired, Alabama players have 30 days to enter the portal if they see fit. A player can still pick a school after that window closes, but he must have entered his name in the portal by then. Also a player entering the portal means other schools are allowed to officially contact him, but it doesn't guarantee a player will transfer. It's rare, however, that a portal entrant returns to his school.

Here is a list of players Alabama has gained and lost in the transfer portal ahead of the 2024 season. This will be updated.

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Alabama football players in transfer portal

QB Julian Sayin enters transfer portal: Jan. 19

Sayin, the five-star quarterback, has entered his name in the transfer portal, The Tuscaloosa News can confirm. He was the top recruit in Alabama's 2024 recruiting class. Sayin also was the top ranked quarterback. He joined Alabama football for Rose Bowl practices as an early enrollee. New school: Ohio State.

CB Jameer Grimsley enters transfer portal: Jan. 18

Grimsley, a four-star signee in the 2024 class, has put his name in the transfer portal. He was the No. 17 cornerback in the 2024 class, per the 247Sports Composite. New school: Florida.

LT Kadyn Proctor enters transfer portal: Jan. 17

Proctor became the latest five-star freshman with plans to depart via the portal, he announced Wednesday with On3 on Instagram. He was Alabama's primary starter at left tackle. Proctor's name appeared in the portal Thursday. New school: Iowa.

DB Caleb Downs enters transfer portal: Jan. 17

Downs, the nation's freshman of the year, has entered his name in the transfer portal as of Thursday. Downs was Alabama's leading tackler in 2023. New school: Ohio State.

CB Trey Amos enters transfer portal: Jan. 16

Amos transferred to the Crimson Tide from Louisiana ahead of the 2023 season, and he was the third cornerback behind Kool-Aid McKinstry and Terrion Arnold. With both declaring for the draft, Amos would have likely been next in line for a starting spot. He is officially in the portal as of Tuesday. New school: Ole Miss.

TE Amari Niblack enters transfer portal: Jan. 14

The sophomore tight end announced via Instagram he intends to put his name in the portal. He played in 14 games in 2023, starting four. He is officially in the portal as of Tuesday. New school: Texas.

LB Shawn Murphy enters transfer portal: Jan. 13

The redshirt freshman saw time in 13 games, primarily on special teams. He has put his name in the portal, per reports. Murphy was a four-star recruit. New school: Florida State.

DB Antonio Kite enters transfer portal: Jan. 13

The redshirt freshman from Anniston saw time in seven games this past season, primarily in a special teams role. He has entered the portal, according to multiple reports. New school: Auburn.

DB Dezz Ricks enters transfer portal: Jan. 13

Ricks primarily worked in a special teams/reserve role his freshman season. He was a five-star cornerback out of high school who entered the transfer portal, per reports. New school: Texas A&M.

WR Isaiah Bond enters the transfer portal: Jan. 12

Bond put his name in the portal two days after Saban retired. He was a starting receiver for Alabama in 2023 who made the catch on the iconic fourth-and-31 play in the Iron Bowl. New school: Texas.

LB Kendrick Blackshire enters transfer portal: Jan. 8

The reserve junior inside linebacker tallied 16 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 1 forced fumble in 2023 before entering the portal. New school: Texas.

DB Jake Pope enters transfer portal: Jan. 7

The reserve defensive back has put his name in the portal. He has primarily been a special teams player over his two seasons with the Crimson Tide. New school: Georgia.

RB Roydell Williams enters transfer portal: Jan. 5

The senior running back rushed for 111 carries for 560 yards and 5 touchdowns over his four-year career at Alabama before entering the portal on Friday. New school: Florida State.

LB Ian Jackson enters transfer portal: Jan. 4

The reserve linebacker didn't play in 2023, and he entered the portal on Thursday. New school: UTSA.

DB Earl Little II enters transfer portal: Jan. 3

Little primarily played on special teams before missing part of 2023 with an injury. He spent two seasons with the Crimson Tide. He's a former four-star defensive back. New school: Florida State.

QB Eli Holstein enters transfer portal: Jan. 3

Holstein didn't see any time on the field his freshman season, so this move makes sense as crowded as the Alabama quarterback room is. He is a former four-star prospect in the 2023 class. New school: Pittsburgh.

DL Monkell Goodwine enters transfer portal: Jan. 3

Goodwine saw action in only two games in 2023 as a reserve defensive lineman. He was on the Alabama roster for three seasons. New school: South Carolina.

DB Kristian Story enters transfer portal: Jan. 3

Story, a senior defensive back from Lanett, Alabama, played in all 14 games and made two starts in 2023. New school: Kentucky.

WR Malik Benson enters transfer portal: Jan. 3

Benson joined the Crimson Tide from the junior college ranks ahead of the 2023 season. He tallied 13 catches for 162 yards and 1 touchdown, but he was used as a starter for much of the season. New school: Florida State.

OL Terrence Ferguson enters transfer portal: Jan. 3

He spent three seasons with the Crimson Tide. He has versatility as a center and a guard. He started the South Florida game at guard. He also saw actions against Middle Tennessee, Ole Miss, Kentucky and Chattanooga. He could have been an option at center with McLaughlin also leaving. New school: Florida State.

C Seth McLaughlin enters transfer portal: Jan. 3

The starting center met with Nick Saban to inform him of his decision to enter the transfer portal. McLaughlin started across three seasons, making his first start in the 2021 SEC Championship Game against Georgia. His 2023 season was affected by snapping inconsistencies after he didn't have any issues the first two seasons. He has one year of eligibility remaining. New school: Ohio State.

TE Miles Kitselman enters transfer portal: Jan. 3

The reserve tight end announced he planned to enter the transfer portal. He joined Alabama ahead of the 2022 season from Hutchinson Community College. Kitselman played in 12 games in 2023 and six gams in 2022. He was primarily a special teams player in 2023. New school: Tennessee.

WR Shazz Preston enters transfer portal: Jan. 3

The reserve receiver announced he will put his name in the portal. "I want to thank the entire university of Alabama staff for giving me the opportunity to show my capabilities at this program," Preston wrote in a social media post. "I also want to thank my teammates, love y'all to death and the Roll Tide fans for believing in me." Preston appeared in five games this season, primarily working in a special teams capacity. New school: Tulane.

DL Anquin Barnes Jr. enters transfer portal: Dec. 11

Barnes, a redshirt sophomore from Montgomery, put his name in the portal, The Tuscaloosa News can confirm. The defensive lineman did not play in 2021 or 2022 before he saw action vs. Middle Tennessee and Chattanooga in 2023. New school: Colorado.

WR Ja'Corey Brooks enters transfer portal: Dec. 7

Brooks, a junior receiver, put his name in the portal Dec. 7, The Tuscaloosa News can confirm, after he saw minimal time this season for the Crimson Tide on offense. He sustained an injury that has kept him out of action since the LSU game, but his offensive snaps were limited before then anyway. He had been surpassed on the receiving depth chart this season after serving in a bigger role in 2022. He caught 39 passes for 674 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2022 while this season he only caught 3 passes for 30 yards and 0 touchdowns. He was a key special teams player this year, though. Brooks blocked a punt vs. Ole Miss. His legacy over three seasons with UA will likely be his Iron Bowl catch in 2021 in which he snagged a touchdown in the final minute of regulation to force overtime. New school: Louisville.

DL Isaiah Hastings enters transfer portal: Dec. 7

Hastings entered the portal the first week it opened, The Tuscaloosa News can confirm. Hastings did not see any playing time this season. He only played in one season during his freshman year: Against Louisiana Monroe. New school: Syracuse.

QB Tyler Buchner transferring as a lacrosse player: Dec. 4

Buchner, the redshirt sophomore quarterback, entered the portal Monday, The Tuscaloosa News can confirm. But he's doing it in a different sport. Buchner entered as a lacrosse player. The quarterback already used up his one-time transfer in football when he joined the Crimson Tide from Notre Dame ahead of the 2023 season. He played in two games, starting against South Florida before Ty Simpson replaced him. Transferring as a lacrosse player, a sport UA athletics doesn't offer, allows him to be immediately eligible to play lacrosse. His football future is uncertain. New school: Notre Dame.

WR Thaiu Jones-Bell enters transfer portal: Dec. 4

Jones-Bell entered the transfer portal the first day it opened. He wasn't listed on the 2023 roster, though. Saban said in August that Jones-Bell had a medical issue and was going to "medical this year." Jones-Bell spent three seasons with Alabama, playing in four games in 2022.

Transfer portal additions for Alabama football

Former Washington TE Josh Cuevas joins Alabama: Feb. 19

Cuevas became the latest former Huskies offensive player to transfer to the Crimson Tide. He joined Washington in 2023 and caught 4 passes for 164 yards and 1 touchdown. He had a productive 2022 season, though, at the FCS level, catching 58 passes for 678 yards and 6 touchdowns for Cal Poly.

Former Michigan DB Keon Sabb joins Alabama: Feb. 19

Sabb, who just finished his second season with the Wolverines, is transferring to Alabama. He started five games for Michigan in 2023, its national-championship winning season.

Former Washington WR Germie Bernard joins Alabama: Jan. 21

The Crimson Tide bolstered its receiver position with another former Washington player. Bernard played this past season for the Huskies after he played for Michigan State in 2022.

Former Washington IOL Parker Brailsford transfers to Alabama: Jan. 20

Brailsford told On3 he will be transferring to the Crimson Tide, joining his former coach in Tuscaloosa. Brailsford started every game this past season on an offensive line that won the Joe Moore award, given to the nation's top offensive line. He played guard for two games before switching to center for the rest of the season.

Former Washington QB Austin Mack transfers to Alabama: Jan. 18

Mack is a redshirt freshman quarterback who did not see any playing time in his sole season with Washington. He's a former four-star quarterback who reclassified to the 2023 recruiting class, so he was supposed to be a senior in high school this past season. He becomes the fifth scholarship quarterback on the roster as of Jan. 18.

Former Texas A&M OL Naquil Betrand transfers to Alabama: Dec. 30

The Crimson Tide added a second former Aggie when Betrand committed. He's a 6-6, 340-pound offensive lineman who didn't play for Texas A&M in 2023.

Ex-USC CB Domani Jackson announces transfer to Alabama: Dec. 28

Alabama adds another defender via the portal in Jackson, who has two years experience at USC. He was the No. 2 cornerback in the 2022 recruiting class and a five-star prospect, per the 247Sports Composite. Jackson brings valuable experience to a group that could lose two starters in Kool-Aid McKinstry and Terrion Arnold to the NFL Draft.

Former Texas A&M DL LT Overton picks Alabama: Dec. 19

Former five-star recruit LT Overton, after two seasons at Texas A&M, has selected Alabama as his transfer destination, he shared on his Instagram story. The defensive lineman (6-foot-5, 265 pounds) was offered a scholarship by Alabama at the high school level, along with Georgia, Oregon and others. He made 17 tackles last year for the Aggies.

Nick Kelly covers Alabama football and men's basketball for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at nkelly@gannett.com or follow him @_NickKelly on X, the social media app formerly known as Twitter.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Alabama football transfer portal: Tracking roster changes for 2024