Former Carlsbad High School quarterback and Alabama freshman Julian Sayin is expected to enter the NCAA transfer portal today following the sudden retirement of longtime Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, according to ESPN.

Sources close to the situation told ESPN that Sayin’s desire to play for Saban held significant weight in his decision to attend Alabama. However, after Saban’s abrupt departure, the Lancers’ record-breaking playcaller is reportedly looking at other options by utilizing his one-time transfer exemption.

Sayin, a unanimous five-star recruit, is the nation’s top-ranked quarterback in the Class of 2024 and earned MVP honors at the Elite 11 finals heading into his senior year. After his final season, Sayin was named the CIF San Diego Section Player of the Year and California Football Player of the Year.

Sayin’s decision to transfer marks the latest in a string of high-profile departures under new Alabama coach Kalen DeBoer, including top returning wide receiver Isaiah Bond, freshman All-America safety Caleb Downs, and seven other players who have left since Saban’s retirement. In total, 25 scholarship players have exited the program this offseason, according to media reports.

During his senior year for the Lancers, Sayin threw for 2,369 yards, 24 touchdowns and one interception, garnering attention from top-tier programs like LSU, Ohio State and Texas. Some sports pundits, including sports writer Tom Loy, have projected Ohio State and USC as possible destinations for Sayin.

The Coast News will provide updates as they become available.