Another day, and another one bites the dust. According to published reports by the Tuscaloosa News, Brandon Fanney is close to transferring, with UNA being the likely destination. You can probably file this one under the "mild surprise" category. Fanny was a starter, and an established name, but many did wonder about his status after he spent most of Spring practice suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules.
At any rate, Fanney was pretty highly-touted when he signed with the Tide in 2005, but his career never really took off. The move to the 3-4 in 2007 would have seemingly benefited him, but he could not beat out former walk-on Keith Saunders for the starting Jack linebacker job in 2007, and while he did start there in 2008, he never played very well. He had one sack all season, rarely pressured the quarterback, and was basically a pure run defender.
As for the impact this one will have on the Tide, it's hard to see it being too detrimental. Fanney was no guarantee to start in 2009 anyway, and as mentioned earlier he was a non-factor in rushing the passer. I figure a worst-case scenario is that we could stick a bulky Jack linebacker replacement in his position to be stout against the run, and it wouldn't be any real drop-off. Realistically speaking, I imagine this means that Courtney Upshaw is likely the starter at Jack linebacker (assuming Hightower doesn't move there full time), but again he may very well have gotten the job regardless of what Fanney did. The biggest impact, I imagine, that this will have is that it will greatly increase the possibility that Ed Stinson plays as a true freshman and avoids a redshirt.