Saban says ‘secret admirers’ can’t help Alabama in Sugar Bowl

Of the 13 Alabama football players who entered the transfer portal, five came from the offensive line room.

Of them, only Javion Cohen was a starter but the exodus creates a thinned depth chart for the Crimson Tide’s final game of the season. Asked about that depth after Friday’s first Sugar Bowl practice, Saban could only say so much.

“Well I think you guys know who is on the team,” he said. “I mean, we don’t have any secret admirers that snuck in, like, in the middle of the night. So, it is what it is. We’re going to coach the guys we have.”

In the absence of these hypothetical love-struck replacements, 11 offensive lineman remain on the roster with Tyler Booker presumably moving into Cohen’s role at left guard.

“It will be an opportunity for some of the other guys to get some playing time and certainly get a lot of practice time and get a lot of repetitions,” Saban said. “Hopefully that enhances their chance of being successful in the future.”

Alabama currently has five offensive lineman committed to the 2023 signing class, according to the 247Sports recruiting database.

But, with Kansas State looming New Year’s Eve, no one can help with the void left by the five departures. As far as the bowl game, the portal can only subtract.

“The portal is the portal,” Saban said. “You can’t get somebody out of the portal and come play in this game. So how do you create depth out of the portal right now? You can’t do it.”

Alabama O-linemen available for Sugar Bowl

  • Tyler Booker
  • JC Latham
  • Tyler Stone
  • Emil Ekiyor
  • Seth McLaughlin
  • Elijah Pritchett
  • James Brockermeyer
  • Kendall Randolph
  • Terrence Ferguson II
  • Darrian Dalcourt
  • Jaeden Roberts

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