Alabama tight end enters transfer portal after national championship

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Alabama tight end Jahleel Billingsley has entered the transfer portal, according to On3’s Matt Zenitz. The former four-star recruit saw a decreased role after the emergence of converted defensive lineman Cameron Latu this season.

The 6-foot-4 junior from Chicago, Illinois finished 2021 with 17 catches for 256 yards and three touchdowns but did not catch more than two passes in any of the final 10 games.

In a tweet that was quickly deleted early this season, Jahleel Billingsley vented his frustrations with the Alabama depth chart but did not enter the transfer portal at the time. Nick Saban released the Week 1 depth chart and Billingsley was listed third behind Cameron Latu and Major Tennison.

In the tweet, Billingsley said this: “Come on now I’m the 3rd option.”

The tight end missed the beginning parts of camp in COVID-19 protocol as the coaching staff had to go through some steps with him. And on Aug. 11 was when Saban said Billingsley had to work his way back up the depth chart.

Transfer portal background information 

The NCAA Transfer Portal, which covers every NCAA sport at the Division I, II and III levels, is a private database with names of student-athletes who wish to transfer. It is not accessible to the public.

The process of entering the portal is done through a school’s compliance office. Once a player provides written notification of an intent to transfer, the office enters the player’s name in the database and everything is off and running. The compliance office has 48 hours to comply with the player’s request and that request cannot be refused.

Once a player’s name shows up in the portal, other schools can contact the player. Players can change their minds at any point and withdraw from the portal. However, once a player enters the portal, the current scholarship no longer has to be honored.

The database is a normal database, sortable by a variety of topics, including (of course) sport and name. A player’s individual entry includes basic details such as contact info, whether the player was on scholarship and whether the player is transferring as a graduate student.

A player can ask that a “do not contact” tag be placed on the report. In those instances, the players don’t want to be  contacted by schools unless they’ve initiated the communication.

The portal has been around since Oct. 15, 2018 and the new calendar cycle within the portal begins each August. For example, the 2021-22 cycle started Aug. 1. During the 2020-21 cycle, 2,626 FBS football players entered the transfer portal (including walk-ons). That comes after 1,681 entered during the 2019-20 cycle and 1,709 during the abbreviated 2018-19 cycle. In comparison, 1,833 Division I basketball players entered the portal during the 2020-21 cycle after totals of 1,020 in 2019-20 and 1,063 in 2018-19.