Diving into what Alabama football actually gained, lost in transfer portal
Once again this offseason, Alabama football has lost more players to the transfer portal than it has gained.
There have been 18 scholarship players who have put their names in the portal and left for other schools. Meanwhile, Nick Saban has added five athletes via the portal. It's likely that will be all for this cycle.
Those numbers mirror a year ago, when Alabama also landed five in the transfer portal.
A few seasons into today's transfer portal world, the theme has been that Alabama will usually lose more than it gains but the quality of the gains outweighs the quantity of the departures.
To truly gauge what has been won and lost, a look at the straight entries and exit numbers doesn't provide enough information for a thorough evaluation.
So, after crunching the numbers and examining the statistics, here are some of the takeaways on what Alabama actually gained and lost in the transfer portal this offseason.
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Alabama lost more players but gained snaps
The departing players combined for 2,258 snaps across offense, defense and special teams in 2022, per Pro Football Focus. That's an average of 125.4 snaps per player.
Contrast that to the additions: They combined for 2,344 snaps, averaging 468.8 per player. Louisiana cornerback Trey Amos had the most with 693 snaps, while Maryland tight end CJ Dippre was close behind with 629.
Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner had the fewest snaps with 200, but he missed most of the season with an injury.
Only three of the 18 departures had more snaps than Buchner: guard Javion Cohen (557), receiver Traeshon Holden (316) and receiver JoJo Earle (223).
Offensive line, receiver saw most departures
The offensive line and receivers each had five players enter the transfer portal, most of whom were reserves and not major contributors outside of guard Javion Cohen, who left for Miami.
Still, those are significant drops in numbers for those positions, and Alabama didn't add an offensive linemen or receiver in the portal.
Instead, the Crimson Tide went and signed recruits to fill these spots. On the offensive line, Alabama added Kadyn Proctor, Wilkin Formby, Olaus Alinen, Miles McVay and Roq Montgomery for a robust signing class in 2023. Then at receiver, Alabama signed Jalen Hale, Jaren Hamilton, Cole Adams and Malik Benson, a junior-college transfer who could be a quick contributor for this offense.
Even when Alabama doesn't lose significant production or experience to the portal, the Crimson Tide does have to replace numbers when there are significant departures.
Slight loss in receiving production
Alabama had 42 receptions, 523 yards and eight receiving touchdowns leave in the transfer portal. The Crimson Tide then added 30 receptions, 314 yards and three receiving touchdowns.
The lost receptions are spread over five players, though. And the gain in receiving production is via one player: Dippre.
If those numbers are normalized per player, Alabama lost seven receptions, 87.17 yards and 1.33 touchdowns per player.
Too early to determine if net gain in starters
Starters are yet to be determined among the five transfer additions, and that could change throughout the season.
The number of how many starters Alabama lost depends on what you measure a starter. Cohen, Holden and Earle and cornerback Khyree Jackson each started games at points throughout the 2022 season, but Cohen was the only consistent starter.
Cohen started in every game but one in 2022 before entering the transfer portal after the Iron Bowl. Holden started the first five games of the season before not receiving a start for the rest of the season. Upon returning from injury, Earle started in the Arkansas game as well as the last three games of the regular season. Jackson got one start against Texas.
Dippre has a good chance to start. Other than him, it's a bit of a tossup in some spots. Buchner, Amos, safety Jaylen Key and linebacker Trezmen Marshall all have good competition at their positions. Some could very well emerge as starters, but that still must work itself out over the preseason and into the fall.