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Nick Saban Admits Standout Transfer's Had 'Difficult' Transition

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban.

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 09: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide walks on the field prior to the game against the LSU Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It's not always easy to transfer for a new program, particularly when you're coming off injuries.

On Sunday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban was asked how LSU transfer cornerback Eli Ricks has adjusted to life in Tuscaloosa. After a strong freshman season with the Tigers in 2020, Ricks was physically limited in 2021.

Because of that time missed, Saban said it hasn't been the smoothest transition for the onetime five-star recruit. 

“He’s made a lot of improvement," Saban said, via On3Sports. "I think that Eli sort of — with the injuries that he had and the time that he was off — it was really sort of a more difficult transition for him, physically, emotionally, mentally, to come from where he was to where he needs to get to to be the kind of player that he wants to be. And we certainly want to help him do that in every way we can.”

Saban added that that adversity "can affect your confidence a little bit" but said Ricks is "making very, very good progress physically and on the field."

Alabama's secondary is loaded this season on paper, so Ricks will just need to get settled in and play his role. In theory, there shouldn't be an incredible amount of pressure on the young man.

In 14 career games at LSU, Ricks picked off five passes, including four interceptions in nine games as a true freshman.