What Nick Saban said about transfers Henry To'o To'o and Jameson Williams
HOOVER, Ala. — For the first time since 2009, Alabama brought in a non-graduate transfer from another program. Actually, it added two of them.
The Crimson Tide has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the NCAA’s new one-time transfer policy as it added former Ohio State receiver Jameson Williams and former Tennessee linebacker Henry To’o To’o this offseason. Both transfers are former Rivals150 members and are expected to make an instant impact at Alabama this season.
During his appearance at SEC Media Days on Wednesday, Nick Saban provided his thoughts on the duo following their arrival in June.
Williams joins Alabama after suiting up against the Tide with Ohio State during the national championship game in January. The junior recorded nine receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns last season, hauling in one catch for 14 yards against Alabama in the national championship game.
Earlier this offseason, Saban called for more speed in his receiving unit following the departures of first-round picks Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith. Williams should be able to provide just that as he offers game-changing speed at the position.
“Jameson Williams has been very impressive with us this summer,” Saban said. “We felt like we needed somebody who had juice and speed at receiver to complement the players that we have, and some experience because we lost four first-round draft picks in the last two years at that position. And he certainly has not disappointed us in how he’s handled those elements to our offense, especially what we’ve seen this summer.”
Added junior receiver John Metchie III: “I think Jamo is a really great addition to our offense. I think he's going to add a lot of speed to our offense, and I think he's going to help make us more dynamic.”
To’o To’o brings a bit more spice to the Third Saturday in October rivalry. The inside linebacker also adds much-needed depth to the heart of Alabama’s defense as the Tide looks to replace its leading tackler from last season in Dylan Moses.
Last year, To’o To’o led Tennessee with 76 tackles and 10 tackles for a loss. He also recorded two pass deflections and an interception which he returned 32 yards for a touchdown. He will be eligible to play immediately as the SEC lifted its one-year waiting period on intraconference transfers this offseason.
“We thought Henry was one of the best players, defensive players in our conference, in watching him play at Tennessee, and we had recruited him in high school,” Saban said. “We thought he was an outstanding player in high school. We're talking about a fine young man who's very intelligent, very instinctive player, very conscientious. He wants to know everything about not only what he does, but everybody on the defense.
"He's got really good leadership qualities. So I think that there's a lot of positives that he can bring, especially — you always want to have a great signal-caller or quarterback-type guy on defense. Regardless of what kind of player they are, those things really enhance the chances of all the other players on defense playing with confidence because they're confident in the call that they're getting, the adjustment that they're making, and I think that's something that Henry can really add to us as well as being a very productive player.”