AP Photo/Wade Payne

Alabama Boosts Defense With 4-Star Linebacker From SEC Rival

Alabama football head coach Nick Saban hates losing. Just hates it.

It may happen to Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher on the golf course once in a blue moon. It's an event if it happens on the football field or recruiting trail.

Saban is doing everything in his power to ensure he doesn't see a loss in 2021. He already snagged wide receiver Jameson Williams from the Ohio State Buckeyes.

To help on the defensive side, Saban looked within his own conference at Tennessee linebacker Henry To'o To'o.

Henry To'o To'o at Tennessee

To'o To'o originally committed to the Tennessee Volunteers out of De La Salle High School in Concord, California.

The four-star recruit entertained college football offers from Alabama, Utah, Washington, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Oregon, Oregon State, San Jose State, Texas A&M, USC, Virginia, Washington State, and TCU before signing with the Volunteers.

He was the 44th-ranked player and third-ranked outside linebacker in the 2019 recruiting class, according to 247Sports.

The Tennessee football player was the team's leading tackler in 2019, tallying 72 in all, including five for loss.

The momentum carried into his sophomore season, where he had 68 tackles, including 7.5 tackles for loss. The Tennessee LB showed off his receiving skills with a 32-yard pick six against South Carolina.

All in all, To'o To'o accumulated 140 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one interception, and one fumble recovery in 22 games in Knoxville.

Henry To'o To'o Transfers to Alabama

MORE: Alabama's Next Star WR is a Blazing Fast Ohio State Transfer

To'o To'o entered the Transfer Portal in January 2021 following the dismissal of Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt. He announced he was transferring to the Alabama Crimson Tide on May 8, 2021. He was between 'Bama and Ohio State.

The Tennessee transfer should be able to play right away assuming the SEC follows the new NCAA transfer rules of allowing a one-time transfer to change schools without sitting out a year. Normally, intra-conference transfers are required to stay on the sidelines for a season.

To'o brings experience to an already experienced defense that only gave up more than 24 points twice in 2020. He joins the linebacking corps of Christian Harris and Jaylen Moody that lost Dylan Moses to the pros.

Cornerback Patrick Surtain II and defensive tackle Christian Barmore may have left Tuscaloosa for the 2021 NFL Draft, too,  but the defensive unit will come back just as strong — if not stronger — with the addition of To'o To'o.

MORE: Alabama's New 4-Star Linebacker is Already Built Like an NFL Star