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Sorting out the 2021 Alabama Football Roster

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Has Saban already found his way to the 85 limit?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 01 SEC Championship Game - Georgia v Alabama
The gears are always turning.
Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Alabama football roster on rolltide.com has recently been updated. With the Crimson Tide signing a bumper crop of 27 freshmen, plus a greyhirt holdover, and possibly another freshman on the way, many observers are wondering how in the world Nick Saban can get his roster down to the 85-scholarshp limit. The legendary coach always seems to have a plan.

Late last summer when it looked like the college football season would not happen, the NCAA granted all fall athletes an extra year of eligibility, even if they played their sport during a 2020-21 season. However, the details of this proclamation, if any exist, have never been released to the public.

DEPARTING

  • Mac Jones NFL
  • DeVonta Smith NFL
  • Najee Harris NFL
  • Landon Dickerson NFL
  • Jaylen Waddle NFL
  • Patrick Surtain II NFL
  • Alex Leatherwood NFL
  • Christian Barmore NFL
  • Deonte Brown NFL
  • Dylan Moses NFL
  • Miller Forristall NFL
  • Thomas Fletcher NFL
  • Joshua McMillon NFL

NO LONGER ON THE ROSTER

  • LB Kevin Harris - Transfer to Georgia Tech
  • DB Eddie Smith - Transfer to Illinois
  • DT Ishmael Sopsher - Transfer to Southern Cal
  • K Joseph Bulovas - Transfer Portal
  • P Skyler DeLong
  • TE Michael Parker
  • I know it breaks many a heart, but fifth-year senior Ben Davis is done with football at the Capstone.

EARLY ENROLLEES

1 - CB Ga’Quincy McKinstry Fr.
2 - DE Monkell Goodwine Fr.
3 - LB Ian Jackson Fr.
4 - LB Keanu Koht Fr.
5 - LB Deontae Lawson Fr.
6 - OL James Brockermeyer Fr.
7 - OL Tommy Brockermeyer Fr.
8 - OL Terrence Ferguson Fr.
9 - OL JC Latham Fr.
10 - QB Jalen Milroe Fr.
11 - TE Caden Clark Fr. (greyshirt)
12 - TE Robbie Ouzts Fr.
13 - WR Jacorey Brooks Fr.
14 - WR Agiye Hall Fr.
15 - WR Christian Leary Fr.

SUMMER ENROLLEES

16 - DB Terrion Arnold Fr.
17 - DB Kadarius Calloway Fr.
18 - DB Khyree Jackson Fr.
19 - DB Devonta Smith Fr.
20 - DB Kaine Williams Fr.
21 - DT Anquin Barnes Fr.
22 - DT Tim Keenan III Fr.
23 - DT Damon Payne Fr.
24 - LB Kendrick Blackshire Fr.
25 - LB Dallas Turner Fr.
26 - OL Jaeden Roberts Fr.
27 - RB Camar Wheaton Fr.
28 - WR JoJo Earle Fr.

This total of 28 freshmen already make up a third of the scholarship roster.

RETURNING

Note that the class designations are as listed on rolltide.com and may not reflect the remaining seasons of eligibility. Numbers are roster count, not jersey numbers.

29 - DB Brian Branch So.
30 - DB Jahquez Robinson So.
31 - DB Kristian Story So.
32 - DB Malachi Moore So.
33 - DL Jah-Marien Latham So.
34 - DL Jamil Burroughs So.
35 - DL Tim Smith So.
36 - LB Chris Braswell So.
37 - LB Demouy Kennedy So.
38 - LB Drew Sanders So.
39 - LB Jackson Bratton So.
40 - LB Quandarrius Robinson So.
41 - LB Will Anderson So.
42 - OL Damieon George So.
43 - OL Javion Cohen So.
44 - OL Seth McLaughlin So.
45 - QB Bryce Young So.
46 - RB Jase McClellan So.
47 - RB Kyle Edwards So.
48 - RB Roydell Williams So.
49 - WR Javon Baker So.
50 - WR Thaiu Jones-Bell So.
51 - WR Traeshon Holden So.
52 - DB Brandon Turnage R-So.
53 - DL Braylen Ingraham R-So.
54 - OL Amari Kight R-So.
55 - OL Pierce Quick R-So.
56 - OL Tanner Bowles R-So.
57 - QB Paul Tyson R-So.
58 - RB Trey Sanders R-So.
59 - DB DeMarcco Hellams Jr.
60 - DB Jordan Battle Jr.
61 - DB Marcus Banks Jr.
62 - DL Byron Young Jr.
63 - DL DJ Dale Jr.
64 - DL Justin Eboigbe Jr.
65 - LB King Mwikuta Jr.
66 - LB Shane Lee Jr.
67 - OL Darrian Dalcourt Jr.
68 - OL Evan Neal Jr.
69 - PK Will Reichard Jr.
70 - RB Keilan Robinson Jr.
71 - TE Jahleel Billingsley Jr.
72 - WR John Metchie Jr.
73 - LB Christian Harris (thanks, BrockM78)
74 - DL Stephon Wynn R-Jr.
75 - LB Jarez Parks R-Jr.
76 - OL Emil Ekiyor R-Jr.
77 - OL Tommy Brown R-Jr.
78 - TE Cameron Latu R-Jr.
79 - WR Slade Bolden R-Jr.
80 - WR Xavier Williams R-Jr.
81 - DB Jalyn Armour-Davis R-Jr.
82 - DB Josh Jobe Sr.
83 - DB Ronald Williams Sr.
84 - LB Ale Kaho Sr.
85 - LB Jaylen Moody Sr.

RETURNING FOR FIFTH YEAR

Here is where it gets interesting. If the count stopped at 84 as listed above, the Tide would be fine. The players below have all been on the team for four full seasons (five for Owens) and are draft eligible. All of these young men have graduated. Is there a stipulation that they will not count against the 85?

86 - DB Daniel Wright R-Sr. **
87 - DL LaBryan Ray R-Sr. *
88 - DL Phidarian Mathis R-Sr. *
89 - LB Christopher Allen R-Sr. *
90 - TE Major Tennison R-Sr. *
91 - TE/OL Kendall Randolph R-Sr. *
x - RB Brian Robinson Sr. *
x - OL Chris Owens 6R-Sr. **

x = Known to not count against the 85-man limit.
* = graduated after the fall 2020 semester.
** = graduated previous to the fall semester.

KICKERS

Placekicker Will Reichard is the only special teams player on scholarship. This includes kickers, punters, and long snappers, all of whom are walk-ons. You may hear some talk of walk-ons “earning” scholarships, but that is only for the spring semester. These sort of openings come about when a scholarship held for a regular player becomes available because of an early entry into the NFL draft by a junior such as Jaylen Waddle. Once the rest of the freshmen report in the summer, that slot will go to one of them.

One of those walk-on punters is Charlie Scott who grad transferred from the Air Force Academy. As an AFA graduate, he still owes the Air Force a minimum active-duty service commitment of three years. Before last season, it had been reported that at he was granted a one-year military waiver in order to transfer to Alabama. However, he is still on the roster and may have been given a second year. Scott, the younger brother of the Packers’ JK Scott, won the punting job in Week 5 and did not relent his starting role.

ETC.

A few walk-ons have been added to the roster. Some are returning and a few are new. Of note are a few with some familiar lineage.

  • Christian Johnson LB So. - played at IMG; Mother is Niesa Johnson who was a two-time All-American basketball player and a Naismith Award finalist for the 1994 Alabama Final Four team. Yes, there was a time when Bama women’s hoops was a force.
  • Kyle Flood Jr. LB So. - Can you guess who his dad is? It looks like he will not be joining his father in Austin.
  • Braxton Barker QB R-Jr. - son of Jay Barker.
  • Jayden George QB R-So. - son of former #1 NFL pick quarterback Jeff George.