Alabama safety Caleb Downsa second-team All-American in his freshman season, is headed to the NCAA transfer portal, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
Downs earned a starting safety spot as a true freshman in 2023 and became the first known freshman to lead the team in tackles, according to his school bio. He earned first-team All-SEC honors and was SEC Newcomer of the Year.
Downs earned numerous All-America honors and also earned second-team All-America honors for all players from the Associated Press.
Downs ranked fourth in the SEC in tackles with 107 and had a hand in four turnovers with a forced fumble, a fumble recovered and two interceptions. He also returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown.
Against Texas, he had 10 tackles and forced a fumble and also led the team in tackles in the Rose Bowl loss to Michigan.
Downs (6-foot, 203 pounds) is one of the top picks in the 2026 NFL Draft. He will have two seasons remaining wherever he goes before the draft. He will be one of the most talented and desirable players to enter the transfer portal this season, as former coach Nick Saban was unusually high on his talent and ceiling for a freshman.
On his radio show this season, Saban said of Downs: “I think what impresses me most about Caleb Downs is his maturity. He's a very instinctive football player, but this guy, there's no arrogance about him, being one of the best players in the world. The country is in his position.” “.
Downs joins as a sophomore receiver Isaiah Bond As Crimson Tide players on the front lines entering the portal since Saban's retirement. Bond has since moved to Texas.
Downs is the younger brother of Josh Downs, the Colts' rookie running back who starred at North Carolina State. His father, Gary, played running back in the NFL for the Giants, Broncos, and Falcons.
Entering college, Caleb Downs chose Alabama over Georgia, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Clemson. He was a five-star recruit and ESPN's No. 11 recruit in 2023 coming out of high school.
“Beer enthusiast. Subtly charming alcohol junkie. Wannabe internet buff. Typical pop culture lover.”