RB Trey Sanders enters the NCAA transfer portal

Former Alabama running back Trey Sanders has entered the NCAA transfer portal, 247Sports’ Chris Hummer reports. According to the report, Sanders will be a graduate transfer. He leaves the Crimson Tide with 528 yards rushing and three touchdowns for his career. Sanders was a 5-star recruit in the 2019 class out of Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy.

Sanders’ opportunities have dwindled this season with Alabama securing a commitment from former Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs last offseason. After running for 314 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries last fall, Sanders has received just 14 carries for 80 yards and one score this season.

At a listed 6-foot, 214 pounds, Sanders has good size for the position and turned that into a productive career at Alabama in relatively limited carries. Sanders has dealt with a number of injuries in his career and did not play as a true freshman in 2019 behind Najee Harris, Brian Robinson and others. Harris and Robinson both returned to Alabama’s historically loaded 2020 team that won the national championship as Sanders once again took a back seat.

The 2021 campaign represented by far Sanders’ most productive season of college football. But coach Nick Saban brought in Gibbs as a can’t-miss option from the transfer portal to compete for the Crimson Tide’s starting job and bolster the team’s depth at the position. Sanders has played in 10 of the Tide’s 11 games this season even while not receiving many carries.

The NCAA introduced the transfer portal Oct. 15, 2018, providing athletes a path to explore their options. Players do not need to ask permission from their coaching staff in order to transfer. They merely need to request that compliance enter their name. Usually, it takes 24-48 hours for a player to appear following their request. Schools are free to contact a player without restriction once their name appears in the portal.

While a player entering their name in the transfer portal means they intend to explore their options, it does not necessarily mean they will leave. A player is free to withdraw his name at any time. However, schools are under no obligation to keep a player on scholarship once they enter the portal.

There were 2,646 FBS players to enter the transfer portal during the 2020-21 transfer cycle, sources said. That is up from 1,692 in 2019-20 and 1,717 in 2018-19.

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That increase can at least partially be credited to the NCAA’s policy that student-athletes are allowed to transfer once in their careers without having to sit out a year-in-residence. That means all players who enter the transfer portal for the first time will be immediately eligible at their new school as long as they meet an NCAA-mandated entry deadline.

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