Just-In Alabama 5-star QB Julian Sayin becomes the latest big name to enter portal

Alabama football has suffered another blow to its 2024 roster in the transition from Nick Saban to Kalen DeBoer. Julian Sayin, a quarterback and crown jewel of Saban’s final recruiting class, has opted to enter the transfer portal.

His decision comes less than 24 hours after the Crimson Tide secured a commitment from former Washington quarterback Austin Mack. Both California-based throwers were two of the top prospects in their respective class. Mack didn’t play his freshman year, retaining his redshirt and four years of eligibility.

Alabama’s quarterback room this spring will now feature at least three new names, as freshman Eli Holstein transferred to Pittsburgh and Tyler Buchner left to play lacrosse at Notre Dame. Starter Jalen Milroe and backups Ty Simpson and Dylan Lonergan remain.

Sayin, from Carlsbad, California, was the No. 21 prospect in the class, per 247Sports Composite. Sayin was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in his home state, producing 28 touchdowns. Sayin also won the Elite 11 finals, the yearly showcase of the nation’s best high quarterbacks.

Sayin enrolled early, participating in the Tide’s Rose Bowl practices. The five-star was one of the best quarterback prospects in the country and had made a good early impression on Milroe and former offensive coordinator Tommy Rees.

“He’s done a really good job giving our scout team a really good look. Helping Dallas and Malachi (Alabama defensive players at the press conference) out as they prepare for Michigan. For anybody that comes in, I think it’s a really good thing to mid-year and come for it. I mid-yeared as well and I think it was the best thing I could have done because I got into the program early. Got into physical shape and mental shape, so I think it’s a really good thing,” Milroe said on Dec. 28.

Sayin is the second enrollee to hit the portal, joining defensive back Jameer Grimsley. ESPN’s Pete Thamel was the first to report Sayin’s departure.

Nine players have opted to leave Tuscaloosa since Saban retired on Jan. 10. DeBoer’s first roster will have an almost completely new staff and over 33 new players. In addition to Sayin, the biggest losses have been promising freshmen Caleb Downs, who led UA in tackles, and Kadyn Proctor, who started all 14 games at left tackle.

Gideon Canice

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