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College football: 7 Alabama players seek transfer after playoff loss to Georgia

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College football: 7 Alabama players seek transfer after playoff loss to Georgia
Tight end Jahleel Billingsley (19) was among seven Alabama players to enter the transfer portal Tuesday, one day after a loss to Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Seven Alabama players entered their names into the transfer portal one day after the Crimson Tide's loss to Georgia in the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

The NCAA transfer portal launched in 2019. It allows student-athletes to ask an administrator to put their name on a virtual list, publicly declare their intent to transfer and express their desire to speak to other athletic programs. That list -- or portal -- is made public to all coaches.

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Redshirt sophomore quarterback Paul Tyson, redshirt junior offensive lineman Tommy Brown, junior linebacker King Mwikuta, junior tight end Jahleel Billingsley, sophomore linebacker Drew Sanders, freshman defensive back Brylan Lanier and sophomore wide receiver D.J. Rias entered the portal.

Tyson and Lanier announced their decisions Tuesday on Twitter. Sources told ESPN, on3.com and The Athletic on Tuesday about the other transfer requests.

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Student-athletes can withdraw from the portal, but they are not guaranteed their original spot on their former team. Many players enter the portal to seek transfers to other programs in which they might receive more playing time.

Billingsley was one of the Tide's biggest contributors among the potential transfers. He caught 17 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games this season. He caught 18 passes for 287 yards and three scores in seven games in 2020.

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Sanders totaled 24 tackles, two passes defensed and a sack in 2021. Tyson, the great grandson of iconic Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, was a backup quarterback. He was listed as a second-string option this season behind Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young.

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Tyson completed 10 of 16 passes for 150 yards in five games in 2021. Brown appeared in 28 games during his time with the Tide.

Mwikuta, Lanier and Rias also were backup options on Alabama's depth chart in 2021.

"Thank you God and Alabama football," Lanier tweeted Tuesday. "I'll be entering the transfer portal with all years of eligibility left."

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Two Georgia players -- defensive back Ameer Speed and wide receiver Jaylen Johnson -- also entered the portal Tuesday, with Speed announcing his decision on Twitter. Sources told Sports illustrated, The Athletic and ESPN on Tuesday about Johnson's decision.

Alabama starts its 2022 campaign against Utah State on Sept. 3 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Georgia faces Oregon on Sept. 3 in Atlanta.

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