Thursday, May 26, 2022

Jahleel Billingsley transfers to Texas: Ex-Alabama TE joins Longhorns, reunites with Steve Sarkisian

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Former Alabama tight end Jahleel Billingsley was one of the top-ranked prospects in the transfer portal heading into the weekend, and on Sunday, he announced his intentions to transfer to Texas. 

Billingsley’s transfer reunites him with coaches who were a part of the Alabama staff during his most productive year. Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian was the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator when Billingsley emerged as an important offensive weapon late in the year during their 2020 national championship run, and Horns tight ends coach Jeff Banks was Billingsley’s position coach in Tuscaloosa. Billingsley had 287 yards receiving and three touchdowns in 2020, mostly coming in the final seven games of the season, followed by 256 yards and three touchdowns in 2021. 

This is potentially a good landing spot for Billingsley, but also a great addition for a Texas offense that needs experience and proven production at the tight end position. He joins a 2022 transfer class that also includes former five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers and four-star cornerback Ryan Watts, both transferring in from Ohio State. Sarkisian is in need of a bounce-back second year after going 5-7 in his debut, and Billingsley’s commitment is just another example of how the portal can help a program get some immediate impact to address roster needs. 

Texas also will face Alabama in Week 2 of the 2022 season, with Sarkisian, Banks, Billingsley all getting their moment against a familiar foe, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, on Sept. 10 in Austin. 

Billingsley was one of 11 Alabama players to enter the transfer portal and Sunday was a busy day for some of those bigger names to announce their transfer destination. In addition to Billingsley’s move to Texas, quarterback Paul Tyson committed to Arizona State and linebacker Drew Sanders committed to Arkansas. 

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