Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Eyabi Anoma back in Washington D.C.
On Friday, we learned that Alabama sophomore linebacker Eyabi Anoma is not currently attending classes at the University of Alabama. The statement which came from Alabama Associate Vice President for Communications, Monica Watts was another head-scratcher for Crimson Tide fans regarding Anoma who is slated to be a major contributor this season for the defense.
So what exactly does this mean for Alabama just one week before fall camp starts?
Well, let’s look at the timeline of Anoma since December of 2018. Following Alabama’s win over Georgia in the SEC Championship game, Anoma tweeted out this message on social media, “Made a decision and will stick by it.”
Anoma, then told BamaInsider.com that the tweet didn’t mean he was transferring.
“Everybody misread that tweet. The tweet wasn’t about transferring at all,” Anoma said. “The tweet was about I have family, so like my grandma she’s sick. I made a decision. My grandma, I’m going to play for her. I’m about to turn it up a whole 30 notches. I’m going to try and do what I can do to try and get on the field ASAP so my grandmother can see me.”
Anoma would finish the 2018 season with 9 tackles and then just weeks after Alabama’s loss to Clemson in the national title game, Anoma entered the NCAA transfer portal in early February. Anoma’s name lasted in the NCAA transfer portal for 24 hours before Nick Saban was able to talk Anoma into removing his name from the portal and moving forward with spring ball.
Then in March of 2018 Saban had a lot of positives to say about Anoma. “He’s doing a good job,” Saban said during the middle of spring practice. “He’s working hard. He’s learning a lot. I think he’s responding very well to (outside linebackers coach Sal Sunseri) with Sal coaching him. He’s doing much better in school, being responsible and trying to do the right things and respond to people the right way.”
Fast forward to July 26, Anoma boarded a flight from Birmingham, Alabama to Washington D.C. and it’s unclear at the moment what Anoma’s next moves are. The writing seems to be on the wall: he’ll likely transfer from Alabama once and for all, but as of July 27 his name is not in the NCAA transfer portal and he has until August 28 to enroll in classes to be able to participate with the team.
Maryland as a possible destination
Anoma who was rated as a five-star by Rivals.com coming out of high school in the class of 2018 played football at St. Francis in Baltimore, Maryland and has always maintained a close relationship with former Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley who just happens to be the new head coach at Maryland. Sources we’ve spoken to continue to be confident that Anoma eventually transfers to Maryland whether that be now or in the future.
Depth at outside linebacker for Alabama
While it’s hard to predict exactly what will happen with Anoma, if he chooses to not return, here are a few names that could step up in his place. Christopher Allen who enters his redshirt sophomore season after coming off an ACL injury, redshirt freshman Jarez Parks who did not see any action in 2018, and Redshirt junior Ben Davis who moved from inside linebacker to outside linebacker over the spring season. Alabama also added two freshmen outside linebackers from the class of 2019 in Kevin Harris II who looked very good during spring ball and summer enrollee King Mwikuta.
Kyle Henderson is the managing editor of BamaInsider.com. E-mail him at Kyle@Bamainsider.com