Alabama football defensive back Caleb Downs is reportedly entering the transfer portal, according to multiple reports. Among those reports is Deuce Recruiting where Downs’ father, Gary Downs, is the national recruiting director.
Downs, a freshman last season, was named the nation’s freshman of the year, the SEC’s Freshman of the Year and was a second-team All-American selection by the Associated Press and The Sporting News. The former five-star recruit also led the Crimson Tide with 107 tackles, which marked the first season since at least 1970 where a freshman paced Alabama.
Downs’ decision comes exactly a week after former coach Nick Saban announced his retirement, resulting in a slew of Crimson Tide players entering the portal. The 6-foot defensive back becomes likely the best player in the transfer portal this season, as 247Sports’ Composite ranks him the top player available.
Why is Downs transferring? Here are some of the reasons that likely resulted in Alabama’s star defender leaving Tuscaloosa:
Why is Caleb Downs transferring?
Alabama defensive back Caleb Downs — a second-team All-American by the Associated Press and The Sporting News as a freshman last season — is reportedly entering the transfer portal.
Downs’ move was reported seven days after legendary coach Nick Saban, who won seven national championships in his career (six with Alabama), announced his retirement. Downs, the younger brother of Indianapolis Colts receiver Josh Downs, is one of eight players to enter the transfer portal in wake of Saban’s retirement, including five-star transfers Kadyn Proctor and Isaiah Bond, who already committed to Texas.
Downs’ former position coach, Travaris Robinson, is also no longer with Alabama, as the former cornerbacks coach left to become the co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Georgia on Jan. 13.
While dots can be connected as potential reasons for Downs’ reported transfer portal entry, his decision is not yet known as he has yet to formally announce the move.
With Saban retired, Alabama is now led by Kalen DeBoer, who led Washington to the national championship last year in his second season before losing to Michigan.
Caleb Downs recruiting
According to 247Sports’ Composite rankings, Downs was the No. 6 overall recruit of the 2023 class and the No. 1-ranked safety.
The Hoschton, Georgia, native also narrowly chose Alabama over Georgia, and the Bulldogs will likely be a strong contender to land Downs in the transfer portal. Downs also heavily considered Ohio State and Notre Dame as a high school recruit.
Caleb Downs stats
2023: 107 total tackles, 3 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble, 2 interceptions. Four punt returns for 87 yards and a touchdown.