Nick Saban’s retirement continues to have a major impact on the Alabama football program.
Julian Sayin, the top-ranked quarterback of ESPN’s 2024 class, intends to enter the transfer portal, according to ESPN.
Sayin enrolled early at Alabama and started classes in January. He will enter the portal as he “came to play for Saban,” according to the report.
The Crimson Tide have seen several players enter the portal since Saban announced his retirement from coaching after 17 seasons at Alabama.
On Wednesday, star safety Caleb Downs entered the transfer portal after being named a second-team All-American in his freshman season.
“Our time is so short, and we don’t have time to look at a lot of unknowns,” Gary Downs, Caleb’s father, told 247 Sports. “It has to be previous relationships with people. We want to try and find a place with stability, the same coach and same coordinators, knowing you have to be prepared for change.
“He just turned 19. This is a lot for him to process right now. You don’t go into this situation thinking about transferring.”
Kalen DeBoer, the former head coach of the Washington Huskies, was named as Saban’s replacement last Friday. DeBoer had a record of 25-3 in two years at Washington, leading the Huskies to the College Football Playoff national championship game against the Michigan Wolverines.
He is now tasked with keeping the talent that Saban recruited.
While Saban will no longer be chasing championships, he will still have a role within the Alabama football program.
“He has an office down the street at Bryant-Denny [Stadium]. He is going to be an adviser for us. He’s been awesome. He and I talked during the coaching search,” Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne told radio host Paul Finebaum on Wednesday.
“Somebody asked me, ‘Was he involved?’ Man, I’m not very smart. Many people know that. But I’m smart enough to know when you have a chance to have Nick Saban involved with talking about coaching and football and decision-making and leadership, shame on me if I don’t take advantage of that,” he said.