There are probably close to 60 schools in Power 5 conferences that would trade their collection of running backs with Alabama for 2016, but that does not mean Nick Saban is satisfied with his group.
The Crimson Tide could be in the market for a graduate transfer at the position, according to Aaron Suttles of Rivals.com.
“Well, I think we’re always looking for good players,” Saban said, according to Suttles. “I’m pleased (with the running backs in the 2016 recruiting class), but we’re always looking for good players. And it seems with these graduate transfers, just looking at the history of it, there seems like there are more skill guys, receivers, running backs that do that type of things.
“So we’ll probably be on the lookout for the next best player we can find, whether it’s somebody that didn’t sign on signing day or someone who is out there looking for an opportunity.”
Alabama currently has the No. 2 running back from the Class of 2014 (Bo Scarbrough), the No. 1 running back from the Class of 2015 (Damien Harris) and the No. 2 guy from the Class of 2016 (B.J. Emmons) after Emmons signed and delivered his letter of intent Wednesday. The Crimson Tide also has Joshua Jacobs, a 2016 signee who was the No. 11 all-purpose back and a late addition to the class.
None of those four players has any significant experience at the college level. Scarbrough and Harris combined for 64 carries in 2015.
There are two pretty prominent running backs who have said they will seek a transfer provided they graduate on time to do so. One is Barry Sanders, Jr., who beyond having a famous father has also flashed some tantalizing skills for Stanford. He has 630 yards on 110 carries over the past two seasons, but he’s stuck behind Heisman Trophy candidate Christian McCaffery on the Cardinal depth chart.
Another is Derrick Green, who was the No. 4 running back in the Class of 2013 but has never earned consistent playing time for Michigan. He had more than 80 carries as a freshman and sophomore, but that number dipped to 47 in a crowded backfield as a junior in 2015.
The Crimson Tide will be one of the favorites to win the national title in 2016, but they do lack experience at quarterback and running back. Saban tried to address the issue at quarterback with a graduate transfer as well, but FCS star Dakota Prukop chose Oregon over Alabama.
Will the Crimson Tide be able to add another talented back to their stable of highly rated but unproven options for 2016?