Alabama football has historically been a strong program. Under Nick Saban, Crimson Tide football seems unbeatable. His ability to adapt to the latest and greatest changes is not something every coach can do.
The recent opening of the NCAA Transfer Portal has made it easier for players to leave one program and immediately join another.
Now, ahead of the 2022 season, four more transfers have joined the Ricks. Players from different positions on either side of the ball are transitioning from other Power Five programs and are likely to see playing time immediately.
Which one will have the biggest impact?
Tyler Steen (OT, Vanderbilt)
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Alabama’s offensive line certainly needs work. The 2021 division was far from solid, and the 2022 A-Day spring game didn’t show much improvement. Steen has proven himself to be a great striker. The only question is, will it make the whole group better?
Tyler Harrell (WR, Louisville)
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Harrell is fast. I could just leave it as it is, but I will continue. Harrell will be a big asset to the wide receiver in 2022, especially after the loss of John Metchi III and Jameson Williams. The only problem is that Harrell, unlike the other wide receiver on this list, will have to compete with some of the growing in-house talent that was on the program. Will its influence be felt? Yes. Will it be felt often? We don’t know yet.
Eli Ricks (CB, LSU)
(AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Ricks was the first transfer to raise this wave. Despite an injury in 2021, he is still regarded as one of the best defensemen in the conference and is projected to be selected in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. It’s safe to say that his presence will be felt, especially by counter attacks.
Jermaine Burton (WR, Georgia)
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Burton was a member of the Georgia team that had defeated Alabama in the national championship just a few months earlier. As mentioned earlier with Harrell, Burton joined an exhausted foster squad that lacked playing experience. Burton’s proven consistency and experience will make him a day one starter.
Jameer Gibbs (RB, Georgia Institute of Technology)
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Jameer Gibbs will be at the center of this Alabama attack. Yeah, that might sound funny considering the quarterback just won Heisman. However, Gibbs is the talent of a generation. He can literally do anything. His main ability, besides punching holes for massive touchdowns, is catching passes off the field. So Gibbs could really just be an extra wide receiver for Bryce Young.