Tennessee linebacker Henry To'oTo'o has made his long-awaited transfer decision.
The former blue-chip recruit announced on Saturday morning that he would be finishing his college career at the University of Alabama. He chose the Crimson Tide over Ohio State and a slew of other top-tier programs.
To'oTo'o had been in the NCAA's transfer portal since Jan. 20, following the departure of coach Jeremy Pruitt, after a sophomore season with the Volunteers that included 76 total tackles, 47 solo stops, 10 tackles for loss, two pass breakups, one sack and one interception.
The NCAA has approved a new transfer rule that allows student-athletes to transfer one-time and become immediately eligible without needing a wavier. However, the Southeastern Conference still has a rule on intra-conference transfers that states they should sit out one year before becoming eligible.
League members are expected to vote on that rule in the coming month so To'oTo'o will have to wait to see if he can play as soon as he steps on campus in Tuscaloosa.
The Sacramento, California product joins a linebacker room that is headlined by junior Christian Harris and senior Jaylen Moody. If he is ruled eligible, the assumption is that he will be a high-impact player from day one to fill the absence of Dylan Moses.
To'oTo'o is the second high-profile to land with the Crimson Tide in the past week, joining former Ohio State wide receiver Jameson Williams.
“We do [have a plan], we have thought about a strategy that we're going to use,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said of the NCAA's new transfer rule last month. “You've heard me speak about this before, but now that it is a rule, we're going to adapt to it and make it an advantage for us. I think what's going to happen as you see how often in a lot of leagues, you know the good players go to a good team and the bad players leave good teams because they're not playing.
“So is that going to make the rich get richer? I don't know. You can decide that, but we will only look for transfers that can really, that are going to help our team be better.”