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The Rich Get Richer: Alabama Football Adds Another Top Wide Receiver From Portal

Alabama football coach Nick Saban may not like the NCAA Transfer Portal, but the Red Door continues to swing for him and the Crimson Tide.

Former Louisville wide receiver Tyler Harrell announced on Friday that he would be transferring to Alabama on his Twitter account, which carries the name, “@EasyMoneyTy_.”

Harrell (6-0, 197 pounds) caught 18 passes for 523 yards last season as a junior at Louisville for a team-high 29 yards a catch and team-leading six touchdowns. He joins Georgia transfer Jermaine Burton, who led the Bulldogs’ wide receivers last season with 497 yards on 26 catches and five touchdowns before switching to the Tide.

Harrell has track speed as he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.19 seconds last year, according to Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield in the Louisville Report.

Alabama previously added three transfer starters – tailback Jahymyr Gibbs from Georgia Tech, cornerback Eli Ricks from LSU and offensive tackle Tyler Steen from Vanderbilt. Gibbs and Ricks will be juniors in the 2022 season for Alabama, while Steen will be a senior.

Gibbs just led Alabama in rushing and was the offensive most valuable player in the spring game last week.

Saban referred to the transfer portal as “cutting and running” at the Senior Bowl Summit in Mobile, Alabama, in February.

On Tuesday in Mobile, he spoke about the transfer portal again at a speaking engagement for the non-profit organization “Team Focus” that helps kids without fathers.

“Everybody has an opportunity to go wherever they wanto to go whenever they want to go,” he said. “And if we think that’s good for the development of young people, I guess it’s OK. But I think everyone that’s successful in life has resiliency and perseverance.”

But lately, multitudes of players have decided to persevere at other places. And in some cases, players are entering the portal before they are at a school for a year.

“Somebody gave me a stat that our players have made $1.7 billion playing in the NFL since 2007, and all those guys didn’t play when they were freshmen,” Saban said. “They didn’t all play when they were sophomores. They didn’t even all play when they were juniors. But they all developed, and I think that’s what college is all about. You’re supposed to focus on your development, all right.”

Saban used tailback Brian Robinson Jr. as an example. He did not play a lot until his senior season last year.

Alabama linebacker Jaylen Moody also just returned to Alabama after giving the transfer portal a look.

Harrell, who went to Christopher Columbus High in Miami, would have continued to start at Louisville, but he transferred to be on a better team and to play for a national championship. Alabama played for that the last two years, winning it in the 2020 season before losing the title game to Georgia last season. Harrell also likes quarterback Bryce Young, who just won the Heisman Trophy.

“Just with the quarterback, with Bryce Young, I just feel like with his arm and his capability of throwing the ball, I feel like our chemistry would be fine with the speed I have and the capability I have as well,” Harrell said to 247 Sports. “I feel like we could go a long way with it.”

Alabama lost three wide receivers from last season to the NFL Draft in John Metchie III, Jameson Williams and Slade Bolden, and reserve receivers Javon Baker and Agiye Hall entered the portal.

 

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

Guilbeau has been on the LSU beat since 1998 with multiple outlets in Louisiana, prior to that he had covered both Auburn and Alabama. He won first place for his game feature on LSU's upset at Florida last season from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He was also named Beat Writer of Year, by Louisiana Sports Writers Association in July; placed in three Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) categories – Beat Writer, Explanatory, Game Coverage – last spring. Guilbeau was also the FWAA first-place winner for columns in 2017 and was also the top overall winner in 2016 FWAA placing first for his game story, second in columns, and receiving honorable mention for features.

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