(Part-1) After Nick Saban's retirement, Alabama's transfer exodus delivers harsh truth to Tuscaloosa.

Before his first season at Alabama, Kalen DeBoer must retool the roster.

Many Alabama athletes have transferred since Nick Saban's resignation last week. 

On Wednesday, five-star freshman Caleb Downs and Kadyn Proctor joined the transfer portal. Downs began at safety and lead the team in 2023 tackles, while Proctor started at left tackle.

These two players were key to DeBoer's first two seasons. They may play in their native states (Georgia for Downs, Iowa for Proctor) and leave huge voids in Alabama's squad.

After Saban's unexpected retirement, change was inevitable. Seven-time national champion coach kept retirement a secret until Jan. 10, when he announced his resignation after 17 seasons with Alabama.

Saban is a legendary recruiter. After replacing Mike Shula, he pulled in five-star recruits and maintained top-five recruiting classes.

Saban recruited one five-star and 18 four-star prospects in the Class of 2024, giving Alabama the No. 3 recruiting class, according to Rivals, before retiring.

DeBoer hasn't recruited well yet. Fresno State isn't a recruiting hotspot, and he only coached Washington for two seasons before joining Alabama. But DeBoer's teams usually win. His two seasons in Seattle were 25-3, and his teams are 104-12 overall, including his 67-3 record at NAIA Sioux Falls from 2005 to 2009.

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