Checking in on Alabama's 2019 out-going transfers

When you recruit at the level that Alabama does year in and year out, , players are bound to be buried on the depth chart and look elsewhere for playing time. This is even more pronounced in the bold new world of inter-conference transfers and immediate eligibility. After the 2019 season, Alabama saw 7 players leave for better opportunities elsewhere in college football. Some of them thrived with a change of scenery, others failed to make a mark in 2020 and will continue to look for opportunities in 2021.

Below is an update on the college football careers of Alabama’s 7 post-2019 transfers:

Scooby Carter

As a recruit: 4* 2019 #91, #9 cornerback

At Alabama: Carter came to Alabama a highly touted cornerback recruit who many expected to compete for playing time as a true freshman. Scooby struggled with attitude issues and was in and out of Saban’s doghouse throughout the 2019 season, seeing playing time in 2 early-season games before being suspended for the Mississippi State game for missing classes. Following the game, Scooby entered the transfer portal, where his name remained through the end of the 2019 season. Scooby would end up playing in three games for the tide and would use his redshirt for the season. Immediately following the season, Carter removed his name from the portal appearing to have decided to stick it out and compete for a starting role in 2020. However, 6 weeks later his name was back in the portal, and 12 days after that he was arrested for domestic violence. That charge was eventually dropped, but it signaled the end of Scooby Carter in Tuscaloosa, Carter’s name would never leave the portal after that.

Transfer: Following a chaotic spring, Carter seemed to have worked thing out with the coaching staff, and in June announced that he planned to transfer to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College for 1 season and then return to Alabama after a year of growth and development. Scooby would appear in all five games for MGCCC, recording 8 tackles and 6 pass breakups. Following the 2020 season, with Alabama’s defensive backfield appearing as loaded as ever, Scooby decided to transfer elsewhere to earn playing time, settling on Arkansas State over offers from Memphis, Troy, and Southern Miss. Once again, Scooby did not announce his decision until late-June and will likely take a couple weeks to get up to speed in the Arkansas State secondary. A successful season could see him looking to the portal once again to return to major-college football.

Taulia Tagovailoa

As a recruit: 2019 4* #180, #5 Pro-Style QB

At Alabama: Taulia followed the elder Tagovailoa to Alabama in the class of 2019, joined by Paul Tyson, Taulia entered the QB room hoping to beat out Mac Jones for the #2 role and compete for the starting job in 2020. Taulia was unsuccessful, showing glimpses of the raw talent that scouts had raved about, but never able to put together the consistency to rise up the depth chart. After the season, with the departure of Tua to the NFL, and still firmly entrenched behind Mac Jones, Taulia entered the transfer portal to find immediate playing time elsewhere.

Transfer: Taulia would end up at Maryland where he paired up with former Alabama Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley and incoming 5* WR Rakim Jarrett. Taulia won the starting job immediately, and went on to have an ok, if not slightly disappointing season. The Terrapins go 2-2 with Taulia at the helm, completing 61% of his passes for just over 200 YPG with 7 TDs and 7 INTs before missing Maryland's final game of the season due to injury. Taulia returns in 2021 with many of the weapons that drew him to Maryland a year ago, hoping to take a step forward and meet the sky-high expectations that come with the Tagovailoa name.

Jerome Ford

As a recruit: 2018 4* #370, #12 All-Purpose Back

At Alabama: Jerome Ford joined Alabama in 2018 as part of a backfield that featured Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs, and Najee Harris. Needless to say, he was unable to crack the rotation of future NFL stars, and redshirted his first season. In 2019, following the departure of Damien and Josh to the NFL, Jerome looked to be in competition with returning Junior Brian Robinson and incoming freshman Trey Sanders to be RB#2. Early season injuries and suspensions opened up the depth chart and Jerome earned the start in week 1 against Duke where he would rush for 64 yds and a TD on 10 carries. However, as the year went on, Jerome would slip down the depth chart behind Brian Robinson and Trey Sanders and would only record 16 more touches the rest of the season.

Transfer: Jerome was able to leverage his little 2019 film at Alabama into a spot at Cincinnati to join a top-tier G5 squad. Cincinnati was looking to replace Michael Warren, who was off to the NFL after a 261/1265/14 season, while returning the other half of their 2-headed backfield in Gerrid Doaks. Ford slotted right into the change-off pace role opposite Doaks and was a key piece to Cincinnati’s nearly perfect season, rushing for 483 yards and 8 TDs on only 73 touches. Ford and Doaks both return in 2021 alongside 3-yr starting QB Desmond Ritter, hoping to guide Cincinnati to the best season in over a decade.

Markail Benton

As a recruit: 2017 4* #100, #7 Outside Linebacker

At Alabama: Markail was another member of Alabama’s vaunted 2017 class, joined by fellow linebackers Dylan Moses and Chris Allen. Markail redshirted in 2017 as part of a very veteran LB group. In 2018, with both starting ILB spots up for grabs, Markail was unable to beat out fellow classmate Dylan Moses for the starting role, but carved out a rotational role as a physical change-of-pace backer, appearing in 14 games and recording 14 tackles across the season. The 2019 season saw Markail handed opportunity on a silver platter. Mac Wilson departed for the NFL, and presumed starters Dylan Moses and Josh McMillan both went down with season-ending knee injuries, leaving Markail as the most-senior health ILB on the roster. However, he failed to secure the starting spot, being beaten out by true freshmen Shane Lee and Christian Harris, and saw only minimal playing time as a reserve linebacker once again. With Dylan and Josh returning in the spring of 2020, Markail saw the writing on the wall as the #5 ILB and entered the transfer portal following spring practice.

Transfer: Markail sat in the portal for 2 months, struggling to find a destination with COVID raging and most teams having filled up their rosters in the spring, finally settling on in-state FCS Jacksonville State, committing on August 20th, 2 weeks before the season started. Because of his late arrival, Markail came off the bench in JSU’s first 7 games of the season before locking down the starting role for their final 6 games. He was named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference 2nd team and recording 69 tackles including 2.5 TFLs, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble. Markail returns to JSU for his final year of eligibility hoping to build off of their second-round playoff exit in 2020.

Chadarius Townsend

As a recruit: 2017 4* #175, #5 Athlete

At Alabama: Chadarius joined Alabama as an athlete among the 2017 class. Chadarius projected as a versatile offensive weapon that could play RB or WR, however joining a class alongside Najee Harris, Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith, Henry Ruggs, Tyrell Shavers, and Brian Robinson meant that playing time was always going to be an uphill battle. Chadarius regularly flashed skills on the practice field and at camp throughout his time at Bama but struggled to make it onto the field on offense. He redshirted in 2017, and then saw action in 12 games in 2018 on special teams. In 2019, still struggling to find a spot on the field, Townsend continued to work on special teams, and even spent a couple weeks working with the DBs. Late in the season he finally got some action on offense, recording 8 carries combined against Southern Miss and Western Carolina. Following the 2019 season, with the return of Najee Harris and Brian Robinson, Chadarius took the exit to find more playing time elsewhere.

Transfer: After a tumultuous transfer that saw Chadarius linked to several schools, he finally ended up at Texas Tech. Chadarius still struggled to find the field at TTU in 2020, recording only 18 carries on the season, highlighted by a 36-yard rushing touchdown against Oklahoma, the only score of his career thus far. 2021 will likely bring much of the same for Chadarius, as TTU returns their top-4 leading rushers from 2020. With the extra COVID year, it’s unclear what 2022 and beyond will bring, but Chadarius remains in an uphill battle to find playing time.

Scott Lashley

As a recruit: 2016 4* #201, #20 Offensive Tackle

At Alabama: Scott was a part of Alabama’s 2016 recruiting class alongside fellow OT recruit Jonah Williams and joined an Alabama offensive line looking to replace its starting RT. That job would remain up for grabs for much of the offseason, but was locked down by Jonah Williams by the start of the 2016 season. Scott would end up taking a redshirt in 2016, and in 2017 looked to again compete for the now-open LT spot. However, another incoming freshman, Jedrick Wills, would once again lock down the job from day 1, while Scott continued to be a depth player at tackle. In 2018, Scott finally began to see the field, earning 58 snaps as a backup tackle across 8 games, however being buried on the depth chart behind several younger players meant his future playing time would continue to be limited.

Transfer: Following the 2019 season, after struggling to find playing time for 3 years at Alabama, Scott would transfer out to return to his hometown team, the Mississippi State bulldogs. Scott was granted immediate elgibility as a graduate transfer, but tore his ACL prior to the start of the season and was unable to play in 2020. All signs indicate that Scott will start at tackle for MSU in 2021, and with another year of eligibility still available a good season in 2021 or 2022 could see Scott make it to the NFL.

Giles Amos

As a recruit: 2016 Unranked

At Alabama: Giles started his career at Alabama as a walk-on TE, joining the team in 2016. As most walk-ons are, Giles was buried on the depth chart throughout 2016 and 2017. In 2018, with the TE position battered by injury, Giles saw some garbage-time minutes against Louisiana and The Citadel as a blocking TE. Following both the 2017 and 2018 seasons Giles was awarded the "Bear Bryant Outstanding Non-Scholarhsip Player Award" by the team. During fall camp in 2019, after 3 years of paying his own way, Giles was awarded a much-earned scholarship. As a scholarship TE in 2019, Giles saw action in 9 games as a redshirt Junior, starting 2 of them at fullback and recording his only career reception against New Mexico State. Giles graduated with his bachelors degree in 2019 and entered the portal as a grad-transfer for one last ride, completing his Master’s in sports administration in the summer of 2020 on his way out.

Transfer: Giles followed former Alabama quarterback Layne Hatcher to Arkansas State where, in 2020, he would see action in 8 games as one of ASU’s 2 primary TEs, recording 15 receptions for 196 yards and scoring his lone touchdown to secure a 35-31 upset of Kansas State. Following the 2020 season, Giles tried out for several NFL rosters, but failed to make the cut and appears to have ended his playing career.

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