(Part-2) After Nick Saban's retirement, Alabama's transfer exodus delivers harsh truth to Tuscaloosa.

A coach who wins consistently is more likely to become a good recruiter than a strong recruiter to win. Before he can win a game at Alabama, DeBoer must recruit heavily.

Since Saban's retirement, 13 Alabama players had transferred or announced a new school as of Thursday. Downs, Proctor, WR Isaiah Bond, and RB Roydell Williams are included. In 2023, Bond led the team in receptions and Williams ran for 560 yards and five touchdowns. Since Saban resigned, Auburn defensive backs Antonio Kite and Dezz Ricks of Texas A&M switched to SEC schools.

You absolutely don’t like it,” Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne said Wednesday on "The Paul Finebaum Show" of the transfer exodus. “You dislike it for the team

Some upheaval was predicted once Saban left. Players with new coaches have 30 days to register on the transfer portal. All throughout the country, colleges have changed coaches this summer, including Alabama.

Given their outsized contributions as freshmen, Downs and Proctor's transfers made Alabama players' transfer movement feel substantial. Their instances show that Saban's presence was more essential than Alabama's appeal.

In retirement, Saban will maintain an office at Alabama, but DeBoer leads this squad. No exaggeration: the March transfer window will be crucial for Alabama.

No doubt, Tuscaloosa has talent. The run game should be strong again, QB Jalen Milroe is returning, and years of top recruiting classes have given the club enough depth to survive a large transfer loss winter.

Alabama also sees the remainder of college football in January. Even if DeBoer triumphs immediately in Tuscaloosa, as he has everywhere else, this offseason's roster churn may be Alabama's new normal.

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