Texas Football: 3 possible Bama transfers UT should target

Caleb Downs
Caleb Downs / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

The news a couple of days ago that shook the college football landscape that saw longtime legendary Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban announce his retirement has many implications for the Texas football program. Most of the immediate implications that the end of the Saban era in Tuscaloosa has on Texas will be felt on the recruiting trail.

High school recruiting and the NCAA Transfer Portal will take more than they give in the coming days and weeks for the Crimson Tide. And the Longhorns are among the teams that could reap the rewards of the roster attrition and turmoil on the recruiting trail that the Tide could face early this offseason.

Which Alabama players would Texas football be most interested in if any enter the portal this offseason?

Alabama did make a quality coaching hire with the reports (including from ESPN) that the now-former Washington Huskies head coach Kalen DeBoer will take over as the next leader for the Tide program. While DeBoer did great things at Washington in the last couple of years, he doesn't have many southern connections, which could make for some additional challenges for him and his staff in high school and portal recruiting.

The transfer portal is probably the biggest focal point for teams that could reap the immediate rewards of the end of the Saban era at Alabama. The coaching change means that Alabama players get a 30-day window to enter the transfer portal.

Here are three possible Alabama transfers the Longhorns could target early this offseason following the news of Saban's retirement.

Amari Niblack, TE

Assuming the Longhorns do get at least one former Alabama transfer early this offseason, the likeliest scenario is that any portal commitments are at positions of need.

Among the positions of need that the Longhorns could address in the portal early this offseason is at tight end. ST/C and TE coach Jeff Banks and the Longhorns lose All-Big 12 junior tight end Ja'Tavion Sanders to the NFL Draft this spring. Texas doesn't have a clear option to replace what Sanders poses as a receiving threat from the tight end position.

And it's not every day that a receiving talent at tight end the level of Sanders appears in the transfer portal.

That's why if a receiving tight end with NFL tools, such as Alabama sophomore Amari Niblack, came available in the portal this offseason, Banks would be wise to get in contact with him immediately.

Niblack broke onto the scene in 2023 as a true receiving threat for the Alabama offense, registering a career-high 20 catches for 327 yards and four touchdowns. He specifically played well against Middle Tennessee, Texas, and Arkansas, in the 2023 season for the Tide. he registered at least 40 receiving yards and one touchdown in all three of those contests.

The 6-foot-4 and 235-pound Niblack has great speed at the tight end position and a large catch radius. He would be a natural target for redshirt sophomore Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers to find down the seems and in the short and intermediate passing game.