Alabama TE Jahleel Billingsley, QB Paul Tyson — Bear Bryant's great grandson — enter transfer portal

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Multiple Alabama football players have entered the transfer portal the day after the loss to Georgia in the College Football Playoff championship

Tight end Jahleel Billingsley has entered his name in the transfer portal, The Tuscaloosa News has learned. 

Quarterback Paul Tyson, the great grandson of Paul "Bear" Bryant, also intends to transfer, The News confirmed.

Those who recently entered their names in the transfer portal includes Drew Sanders, a former five-star outside linebacker, offensive lineman Tommy Brown, linebacker King Mwikuta, receiver DJ Rias and defensive back Brylan Lanier. 

Entering the transfer portal doesn't guarantee a player will transfer, but it does allow the player to be contacted by other programs.  

Billingsley struggled to be a consistent weapon for Alabama football this past season. He first drew Nick Saban's ire in the preseason when the coach was asked whether Billingsley had worked his way back up the depth chart. 

"He knows what he is supposed to do in practice," Saban said in August. "He knows what he is supposed to do. This is not a democracy. Everybody doesn't get to do what they want to do. Everybody doesn't get to do what they feel like doing. You've got to buy in and do what you're supposed to do to be a part of the team and do the things you need to do in practice every day."

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Billingsley didn't get the start against Miami in the opener, but he and Saban had a conversation on the sideline that was shown on TV. 

"Jahleel and I have talked on several occasions because he’s certainly a guy that we want to have success for his own benefit individually as well as for the team," Saban said in September about the conversation. "Sometimes when you get a little external encouragement it can be a positive thing for you. I think for the first game he did OK when he went out there and played." 

Billingsley, a junior, finished the season with 17 receptions for 256 yards and three touchdowns. 

He was targeted 10 times over the two games against Georgia, according to Pro Football Focus' charting. He caught two of those passes. 

He and Cameron Latu served as Alabama's primary tight ends during the 2021 season. Latu had 26 receptions for 410 yards and eight touchdowns. 

Tyson enters his name in the portal after serving as the backup for Bryce Young, the Heisman Trophy winner. Tyson appeared in 13 games over three years with the Crimson Tide, completing 10 of 16 passes for 150 yards. 

Tyson posted a goodbye to Alabama fans on Twitter on Tuesday. 

He thanked Saban, offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, analyst Alex Mortensen, past coaches, staff, faculty and trainers. 

"I would also like to extend profound gratitude to my teammates and wish them the best," Tyson wrote. "We will be friends forever. I will always treasure the experiences and friendships I have gained over the past years. The University of Alabama will always hold a spot in my heart." 

The quarterback room was crowded, as Alabama added five-star quarterback Ty Simpson behind Young. Jalen Milroe is there as well. 

On the edge, Sanders took over the starting spot opposite of Will Anderson Jr. when Christopher Allen suffered a season-ending injury in the opener. Sanders started for four games before he also suffered an injury that kept him out a month. 

Freshman five-star edge Dallas Turner stepped into the starting spot and never relinquished it. Turner finished the year with 8.5 sacks, all of which came during the last seven games. Both Turner and Anderson are set to return in 2022, and Alabama has signed the No. 1 edge defender in the country for the 2022 class in Jeremiah Alexander. 

Contact Alabama reporter Nick Kelly: nkelly@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly