Former Alabama player running back Trey Sanders logged into the NCAA transfer portal Chris Hammer of 247Sports reports. According to the report, Sanders will be a transfer graduate. He leaves Crimson Tide with 528 yards and three touchdowns in his career. Sanders was a five-star recruit in 2019 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Sanders’ opportunities have dwindled this season as Alabama enlisted former Georgia Tech running back Jameer Gibbs last offseason. After rushing for 314 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries last fall, Sanders has only got 14 carries for 80 yards and one goal this season.

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At a listed height of 6 feet and 214 pounds, Sanders is well-sized for the position and has turned this into a productive career in Alabama with relatively few carries. Sanders has suffered a string of injuries in his career and hasn’t played like a true freshman in 2019 after Naji Harris, Brian Robinson and others. Harris and Robinson are back on the historically loaded 2020 Alabama team that won the national championship as Sanders once again fell by the wayside.

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The 2021 campaign represents Sanders’ most productive college football season yet. But coach Nick Saban brought in Gibbs as a mandatory option from the transfer portal to compete for a place in the Crimson Tide’s starting lineup and bolster the team’s strength in that position. Sanders has played in 10 of 11 Tide games this season, though he hasn’t gotten many carries.

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The NCAA introduced the Transfer Portal on October 15, 2018, providing athletes with the opportunity to explore their options. Players do not need to ask permission from their coaching staff to transfer. They just need to request a match, enter their name. It usually takes 24-48 hours for a player to show up at their request. Schools can contact the player without restrictions as soon as his name appears on the portal.

While a player entering their name on the transfer portal means they intend to explore their options, it does not necessarily mean they will leave. The player may withdraw his name at any time. However, schools are not required to keep a player on a scholarship after they enter the portal.

Sources said that 2,646 FBS players entered the transfer portal during the 2020-21 transfer cycle. This is up from 1692 in 2019-20 and 1717 in 2018-19.

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This increase may be at least in part due to NCAA policy that student-athletes are allowed to transition once in their career without having to serve out a year of residency. This means that all players entering the Transfer Portal for the first time will immediately become eligible for their new school if they meet the deadline set by the NCAA.