Tuesday saw Nick Saban and Alabama strike again in the transfer portal, landing one of the hottest names in former Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs.
Gibbs becomes the second major name out of the transfer portal to announce a transfer to Alabama since the end of the 2021 regular season, joining highly-touted former LSU cornerback Eli Ricks.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound running back was a staple in the Georgia Tech offense as a versatile playmaker. The Dalton, Ga. native rushed for 746 yards on 143 carries for a 5.2 yards per carry average. Gibbs also scored four rushing touchdowns, and added 465 yards and two touchdowns receiving as well.
Gibbs has drawn comparisons to Alvin Kamara from analysts in the way he runs with balance as well as his aforementioned versatility. He can catch the ball out of the backfield making him a reliable third down back, but he also possesses the ability to make plays running downhill and is very effective in space. He also totaled over 500 yards as a kick returner.
In the 2022 season, Alabama will be looking for stability at running back. Aside from starter Brian Robinson Jr., the running back room for Alabama was a revolving door. Sophomores Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams were excellent contributors before each player lost his season to a knee injury just weeks apart from each other. Former standout recruit Trey Sanders has battled injuries his entire career but has contributed where he could this season. Freshman Camar Wheaton has yet to see the field this season because of injuries.
With Robinson set to graduate and likely be drafted this coming April, the door is open for one of these talented players to emerge as the premiere back.
Gibbs will have as much experience as any of the previously mentioned running backs, but as custom at Alabama, every starting spot on the field will have to be earned. McClellan seemed to have an early edge this season, coming into 2021 as the first back behind Robinson, but Williams and Sanders ran effectively in his absence. There are also the unknowns that are Wheaton and incoming freshmen Emmanuel Henderson and Jamarion Miller, who will have every chance to compete for snaps.
However the snap count shakes out, Gibbs is as talented and as seasoned as any running back on the roster, and Saban will find ways to get him on the field. The versatility he possesses will help him tremendously, as Alabama can pull from its loaded running back room in the backfield and use Gibbs as a Swiss Army Knife anywhere on the field.
The depth Gibbs adds to this running back room will be a breath of fresh air for Crimson Tide fans following the injuries that have amassed this season.