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Former Alabama linebacker finalizes transfer destination

Ashton Pollard01/08/22
Article written by:On3 imageAshton Pollard


Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Alabama native and former Tide linebacker Jackson Bratton will continue his football career away from Tuscaloosa, but he will keep it in state.

Bratton is headed to UAB, per Matt Zenitz of On3. Zenitz reported earlier this week that the Blazers were a destination in consideration. Bratton spent two years at Alabama but did not get any playing time.

The former four-star prospect was the No. 6 player in Alabama and No. 22 linebacker in the 2020 recruiting class. The Muscle Shoals native was ranked as one of the top-150 overall recruits in the class and is one of the highest-ranked recruits UAB has ever landed.

The Blazers finished the 2021 season 9-4, including a win over No. 13 BYU in the Independence Bowl.

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. In other words, if a player enters the portal but decides to stay, the school is not obligated to provide a scholarship anymore.

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.