Kalen DeBoer is expecting Alabama football to be big players in transfer portal

Don't be surprised if Kalen DeBoer's Alabama program relentlessly attacks the transfer portal.
Kalen DeBoer, Washington Huskies
Kalen DeBoer, Washington Huskies / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

Fresh off of A-Day, Kalen DeBoer is about to make some noise in the heart of the offseason at Alabama. With the spring transfer portal window opening up on Tuesday, April 16, don't be shocked if Alabama is one of the most aggressive teams in trying to reshape its roster in the second half of the month. While the first transfer portal window is far more important, the second can make up slack.

Given that DeBoer is brand new to the SEC, any little advantage he can find between now and Labor Day will be huge for him in his quest to replace the legend that is Nick Saban. DeBoer is a fantastic coach, one that Saban and Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne fully endorse. We know that DeBoer has won everywhere he has been before, but Alabama is different. He has to adapt, or be eaten alive...

Here is what DeBoer said Alabama may look to do in the spring transfer portal to improve his team.

"I'd say the defensive backfield, we're probably a guy short or so," said DeBoer, h/t Rivals.com. "Offensive line, probably a guy short from the numbers that you'd typically see, and (short) from where we want to be."

While most of the guys on the Alabama roster signed up to play for Saban, there may be more opportunities to compete for jobs under DeBoer. This is the case with any coaching regime change.

"We'll take a look and evaluate. You never know," said DeBoer. "There might be some guys on our roster who could surprise us as well. We've just got to continue to be fluid, be ready to adjust, and continue to keep our eyes open for what's out there when that time comes."

Keep in mind that no SEC player can transfer to another SEC school during this portal window.

What Kalen DeBoer plans to do to improve Alabama in spring portal

By addressing the defensive backfield, this 100 percent means Alabama regrets massively losing Caleb Downs to the Ohio State Buckeyes in the earlier transfer portal. The Crimson Tide must also address losing players like Terrion Arnold and Kool-Aid McKinstry to the 2024 NFL Draft. As far as the offensive line is concerned, Alabama should be thankful that Kadyn Proctor decided to come back.

After following along to A-Day, two things are apparent with Alabama. One, Jalen Milroe is going to be just fine at quarterback. He is a serious Heisman Trophy candidate. If he gels in DeBoer's offense, he could be a first-round prospect like Michael Penix Jr. is to some degree out of Washington. The other thing that may be an issue is Alabama may not be as good in the trenches or out on the perimeter.

I expect that Alabama will get better as the season progresses both along the offensive line and in the defensive backfield, but those areas of perceived weakness could be exploited in the first half or two-thirds of the regular season. Alabama should be able to go around 10-2 or 9-3 in DeBoer's first year, but there has been so much change that expecting an 11-1 or a 12-0 result is just impossible.

While I was lukewarm on the DeBoer hire initially, his refined plan of attack has me bullish long-term.

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