ESPN ranks incoming Alabama transfer as the best player from the portal

Alabama Crimson Tide football is under new leadership, as Kalen DeBoer takes over as the program’s head coach following the retirement of legendary coach Nick Saban. One of the biggest concerns regarding DeBoer was his recruiting abilities. Those have since been alleviated to a certain degree after the impressive offseason he’s had on the recruiting trail and the transfer portal.

When Saban announced his retirement, numerous high-profile players hit the portal and pledged to continue their collegiate careers at other big-name schools. Defensive back Caleb Downs joined the Ohio State Buckeyes, wide receiver Isaiah Bond went to the Texas Longhorns and offensive lineman Kadyn Proctor transferred back to his home state of Iowa to join the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Proctor, however, changed his mind. After transferring to Iowa, Proctor quickly flipped his commitment and made it clear that when the spring window opened, he would transfer back to the Crimson Tide.

Recruiting a player to the program is a difficult task, but recruiting a highly-ranked player that is considered to be one of the best at his position to return to the program he just left is a completely different story.

In ESPN’s latest transfer portal rankings (subscription required) from the 2024 offseason, Proctor ranked as the top overall player.

Billy Tucker of ESPN broke down what his transfer to Alabama means for the program heading into the 2024 season.

“Tide fans already know. He started as a true freshman and, while he had early struggles, he developed into star freshman at left tackle. He comes right back to his starting job on what should be another strong line for Alabama.”

Proctor will return to his role, which is to sure up the offensive line and protect Jalen Milroe, the Tide’s incumbent starting quarterback.

As Tucker mentioned, there were some early-season struggles, but that’s expected when a true freshman is starting on the offensive line in the SEC. After all, he did finish the season on a strong note and was a key contributor to the line.

Only a few months stand between today and the start of the 2024 college football season. Roll Tide Wire will continue to follow Alabama football news and more as the offseason progresses.

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Story originally appeared on Roll Tide Wire