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Alabama Football: 5 Newcomers to Watch for the Crimson Tide

Jahmyr Gibbs, Georgia Tech Football

Dynamic all-purpose running back Jahmyr Gibbs is expected to lead the Crimson Tide's backfield this fall after transferring from Georgia Tech

Every Signing Day, Alabama re-loads. Like being chosen for Top Gun, the best of the best seemingly converge on Tuscaloosa, Alabama, year after year. This cycle, Texas A&M had the nation's top-ranked recruiting class, but the Crimson Tide checked in at No. 2 according to 247Sports and the list of signees is again loaded with players that can contend for early playing time.

But Nick Saban is not content getting the top high school recruits. In the new age of the transfer portal, Alabama is always a contender for the best collegiate players that are looking to make a move. So while many of their elite high school players have the potential to play right away, the three incoming transfers are a better bet to make a significant impact.

Related: Ranking the SEC Transfer Classes for 2022

This is a list of two true freshmen and the three coveted transfers (in alphabetical order) that need to be watched next fall.

Jeremiah Alexander, DE/LB

Whether he plays with his hand down or not, Alexander is a well-rounded edge player that can hold up well against the run as well as possesses some pass-rushing ability. At 6-foot-2, he may not have prototypical defensive end height, so outside linebacker may be his best position and at 235 pounds he’s close to the ideal weight should he stick on the second level. Alexander committed to Alabama in March of his sophomore year, de-committed that fall, then re-upped this past July despite overtures from USC, Clemson, and Oklahoma.

Jermaine Burton, WR

Not too long ago, Burton won a ring with Georgia by beating Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship. In 2022, he hopes to win one on the other side as the junior-to-be has jumped to the Tide. The former top-100 prospect caught 53 passes with eight touchdowns in his two seasons in Athens. Out of high school, Burton unofficially visited Alabama then committed to LSU before signing with the Bulldogs.

Jahmyr Gibbs, RB

As soon as the former Georgia Tech star hit the portal, word spread that Alabama was going to be his destination. Gibbs is a triple threat as he amassed 1,206 rushing yards, 768 receiving yards, and 794 return yards in his two years with the Yellow Jackets. The Tide always has talented running backs waiting in the wings, but with Brian Robinson out of eligibility, Gibbs will be counted on to be a primary option in the Alabama backfield.

Eli Ricks, CB

Burton wasn’t the only high-profile transfer Alabama snared from a conference rival. Ricks, who had four interceptions as a freshman at LSU in 2020 and another one in six games this past fall, will be suiting up for the Tide in 2022. The former 5-star recruit spent his final high school season at IMG Academy, but before that he was a teammate of Heisman winner Bryce Young at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California.

Ty Simpson, QB

Barring an injury to the aforementioned Young, Simpson will not be the starting quarterback for Alabama in 2022. But there’s a very good chance that this will be Young’s last collegiate season and the Martin, Tennessee, product wants to be first in line to take the reins in 2023. The nation's No. 3 quarterback in the 247Sports Composite rankings, Simpson had offers from Clemson, Georgia, Tennessee, and Notre Dame.

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Written by Jon Kinne, who has been part of the Athlon Contributor Network for three years, covering the ACC and Notre Dame. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.