Former Alabama sophomore wideout Isaiah Bond signed with the Texas Longhorns via the transfer portal on Sunday. The news of Bond's transfer comes just days after the retirement of legendary head coach Nick Saban, who coached the Crimson Tide for 17 seasons and won 6 national titles, respectively.
The 5-foot-11 pass catcher arrived at Alabama in 2022 and was a four-star recruit out of Buford high schoool in Buford, Georgia. In 2022, Bond had 17 receptions for a total of 220 yards, respectively. In 2023, however, his numbers jumped immensely by having garnered 48 receptions for a total of 668 yards along with four touchdowns. Bond was a solid second option to Crimson Tide receiver Jermaine Burton, who led the Tide in receiving (798 reception yards) for the second consecutive year ('22-'23) and recently declared for the upcoming NFL draft.
The Tide lose both of their top pass catchers in Burton and Bond, which now leaves new Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer to find solid wide receiver talent for his new rising star quarterback Jalen Milroe ahead of the 2024 season. Alabama also lost pass catchers Ja' Corey Brooks and Malik Benson to the transfer portal. Brooks transfered to Louisville in hopes to have a bigger impact and blossum under Louisville head coach Jeff Brohm and his pass-oriented offense. Benson committed to Florida State, as he aims to become a prominent piece to the Seminoles offense after the departures of wideouts Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson, as they enter the NFL draft. Bond had a solid 2023 campaign, which included this game-winning touchdown catch against Auburn that helped keep the Crimson Tide's playoff hopes alive.
As for Texas football, this is good news considering the departure of wideouts Xavier Worthy, Adonai Mitchell, Jordan Whittington, and tight-end Ja' Tavion Sanders who are all entering the 2024 NFL draft.
Worthy led the Longhorns in receiving for three consecutive seasons ('21-'23) and was a First-team All-Big-12 selection for the second time in 2023 (selected in 2021). In 2023, the 6-foot-1 wideout accumulated 75 receptions for 1,014 yards and 5 touchdowns, respectively. Mitchell, who transferred from Georgia to Texas football after the 2022 season, tallied 55 receptions for a total of 845 and 11 touchdowns, respectively.
Whittington, who has been with the Longhorns since 2020, had 42 catches for 505 yards in 2023, respectively. As for Sanders, he was the third option behind Worthy and Mitchell as he snagged 44 catches for 669 yards in 2023, repectively. The 6-foot-4, 243Ib tight-end was elected as a first-team All-Big 12 team member twice ('22-'23). The departures of Worthy, Mitchell, Whittington, and Sanders for the NFL is obviously a big blow for the Texas offense, but with Bond's arrival, it's now his opportunity to potentially become the No. 1 receiving option for the first time in his collegiate career.
Bond was rated as the No.1 wideout and No. 2 overall player in the transfer portal according to 247Sports, as he looks to be Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers new favorite target in 2024.