Alabama’s record-breaking 2021 class keeps growing. On Saturday, Tennessee linebacker transfer Henry To’o to’o, the No. 3 ranked available prospect in the Transfer Portal, pledged to Alabama over Ohio State, and a number of other big programs vying for his services. It’s the second transfer Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide staff have landed in as many weeks after securing a pledge from Buckeyes wide receiver Jameson Williams.
If you’ve been tracking the California native’s recruitment since entering the Transfer Portal earlier this year, you’d know Bama was in prime position to land the former Freshman All-American who led the Vols in tackles last season, racking up 76 stops with 10 tackles for a loss.
“Pete Golding and Coach Saban, they’ve been reaching out,” Henry’s father, Iese To’o to’o, told BamaOnLine earlier this year. “While I can’t speak for Henry, I know after all our discussions he wants to stay in the SEC. And I think he’s leaning towards Alabama. I mean heavily leaning towards Alabama.”
The NCAA recently ruled that one-time transfers will have immediate eligibility at their next program. While that’s the first hurdle to clear for To’o to’o to play in Tuscaloosa this fall, the SEC still must allow intra-conference transfers to have immediate eligibility, something SEC commissioner Greg Sankey will be decided on in the coming weeks.
Alabama recruited To’o to’o hard, both in the Transfer Portal and coming out of Concord (Calif.) De La Salle in the class of 2019.
“The players and the coaches,” To’o to’o said of what stood out about the Tide during his high school recruitment. “The players, how they compete and they’re able to fight with each other. Iron sharpens iron. The best players are there. You compete with the best and you play like the best on Saturdays. That’s one thing that stood out to me. And then the coaches and how hyped the coaches are. They’re just like their players competing.”
While transfers don’t count towards the Crimson Tide’s team rankings — a score that currently sits at an all-time best 327.81 — you can imagine that commitments from both To’o to’o and Williams would be considered in the five-star and elite-tier range. Counting both, UA will welcome 29 new faces this year, 14 of which enrolled early and took part in spring practice.
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