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Jumbo Package: Offseason questions, another portal entry, Ryan WIlliams 2024 impact

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Since we have a lull before the bowls start, ESPN is looking ahead to the offseason.

It will take some time for a full picture of the departing starters on defense to become clear. But it’s safe to say that more than a few key players will be gone, whether it’s seniors Malachi Moore (defensive back), Jaylen Key (safety), Chris Braswell (linebacker) and Trezmen Marshall (linebacker) or underclassmen Dallas Turner (edge), Kool-Aid McKinstry (cornerback) and Terrion Arnold (cornerback). On top of that, outside linebackers coach Coleman Hutzler is reportedly set to join the Mississippi State staff. The good news? Alabama has one of the best young players in the country in defensive back Caleb Downs to build around and a front seven that should return some experience in Jaheim Oatis, Deontae Lawson and Jihaad Campbell. And five-star cornerback Jaylen Mbakwe is on the way. That said, don’t be surprised if Nick Saban and his staff go into the portal and try to pull out a potential starter or two. — Alex Scarborough

Alabama has recruited well on defense, but that’s a lot of star power to replace. Hopefully a bunch of guys on offense decide to stick around so that the defense has less pressure on it early on. If not, then Saban will be looking at another reload project.

Speaking of star power, the 2024 Alabama class has plenty.

Alabama has a trio of consensus five-stars that can compete with any other class in the country: Elite 11 winner Julian Sayin (No. 5), explosive defensive back Jaylen Mbakwe (No. 19) and now Williams. The latter two put on a show in last weekend’s AHSSAA Class 6A title game, combining for eight touchdowns inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Alabama remained fourth in national rankings but closed the gap on Florida State according to 247Sports. Only Ohio State (five) and Georgia (four) have more five stars. Williams leads a group of five pass-catchers and tight ends. Like he told AL.com’s Ben Thomas, his decision was a year in the making, likely giving Tide coaches time to plan accordingly.

Another DL decided to enter the portal, though you may not remember much about him.

Barnes, a native of Montgomery, appeared in two games this season: Week 1 against Middle Tennessee and the last non-conference game of the regular season against Chattanooga. He’s the second defensive lineman to enter the portal, along with Isaiah Hastings. 247Sports’ Matt Zenitz and Chris Hummer were the first to report Barnes’ plans.

None of Alabama’s transfers have chosen a new school. The window to enter the portal closes one day after Alabama’s College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl against Michigan.

Kirk McNair wrote about Alabama’s dubious claim to the 1941 title. Very interesting story.

In 2004, Bama Coach Mike Shula decided to re-name of the Croom award in honor of Bart Starr.

There was pushback from many who considered the action petty, and it was soon overturned, a new award named for Starr.

And nothing happened on the 1941 front.

My friend and I returned to Mal Moore’s office to remind him of his decision.

After what had gone on with the Mike Shula-Sylvester Croom fiasco, he said, “I’m not changing anything.”

And so we linger with an undeserved reputation for Alabama “claiming” national championships (plural, based on one).

MNF apparently thought they were breadking some news on the SEC schedule last night

Alabama football’s 2024 matchup with Oklahoma has an official date. The Crimson Tide will visit Norman on Nov. 23 to become one of the Sooners’ first SEC opponents after moving from the Big 12 alongside Texas.

The news was officially released during halftime of Monday Night Football, along with an Oct. 19 Texas vs. Georgia matchup. The game’s date, along with other key points of the 2024 SEC schedule were previously reported by ESPN, which will take over the league’s full television rights next season.

We already knew that.

Last, King Henry found the sledding tough against Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins last night, but he got in the end one twice and did this.

Dude is a freak. Tennessee came from behind to pull off the biggest upset of the NFL season. Miami still leads the AFC East by two games with three to play.

That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.