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Saban not really interested in recruiting graduate transfers?

Vasha Hunt-USA Today Sports

The NCAA transfer policies have opened a portal to many different opinions and Nick Saban made his opinion clear at SEC Media Days on Wednesday in Hoover, Alabama, showing he prefers the traditional route of recruiting and developing high school talent.

In 2018, the NCAA passed a redshirt rule, which stated a player could play four games and keep their redshirt. This opened the door for upperclassmen to redshirt themselves and transfer to another school with a year or two of eligibiliy left.  On the other hand, graduate transfers are allowed to transfer and play immediately according to the NCAA.

Many Division 1 football coaches have mixed feelings about the transfer policies and Saban is no different.

“In my opinion, if we are going to have a transfer portal that is good for the players, then we ought to have a rule that says, regardless of what happens when you transfer, you have to sit out a year,” Saban said. “That is how it has been for years and years and years. Now we have, I do not know, at one point in time there were 65 waivers that were given in a year.”

One of the reasons Saban feels players should sit out a year after transferring is they broke a commitment between them and their school of choice.

“So, we make commitments to players for four years.” Saban said. “They make commitments to us to be in our program. It may not work out for everybody and they may have a better opportunity someplace else, but if they have to sit out for a year, it would be a consequence for them in terms of their commitment.”

The Crimson Tide were able to pull in 27 scholarship players in the 2019 recruiting cycle. This class was one of Saban’s largest and showed Alabama really like the talent that was in the 2019 class. Saban and company also push for most of their commits to sign during the early signing period.

The veteran coach said he feels the recruiting calendar changes have caused him and his staff to push up their recruiting efforts.

“Recruiting has become 24/7 because we have created a scenario, where we have to recruit constantly because we are recruiting guys in advance as we move up the recruiting calendar,” Saban said.

Alabama pulled in one 2019 graduate transfer in former Florida State offensive lineman, Landon Dickerson. Alabama has usually been on the other side of the scenario when it comes to transfers as they have seen a few of the former players enter the transfer portal. However, the Tide have not really pushed for many transfers.

According to Saban, the Tide have not put much effort into recruiting graduate transfer prospects in the past due to their heavy focus on recruiting from the high school ranks.

“We are usually full from a scholarship standpoint, So we have not really been active, you know, trying to go and recruit transfers from other schools,” Saban said. “We really have not been active at all in, you know, that part of how we bring players to our team.”

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Justin Smith is a Scouting/Recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via @Jdsmith31Smith

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