Former Tennessee LB Explains Decision to Transfer to Alabama

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    To'o To'o Alabama

    (Photo courtesy of Tennessee Athletics Communication)

    Former Tennessee linebacker Henry To’o To’o spent two years playing for Tennessee before transferring to Alabama in the last offseason. To’o To’o has been through an eventful 2021 that saw him leave Tennessee, join Alabama, and then be named the starting linebacker for the Crimson Tide.

    On Tuesday, To’o To’o spoke to the local media in Tuscaloosa and briefly hit on a few Tennessee-related topics. To’o To’o also gave the reasons as to why he chose Alabama in the end.

    “Who wouldn’t want to play for Coach Saban?” To’o To’o said according to Bama Insider. “And the culture. The guys around here and how they are so eager to win. It’s just a blessing for me to be here.”

    To’o To’o, a former SEC All-Freshman at Tennessee, led the Vols in tackling his final year in Knoxville. However, To’o To’o began his career as a Jeremy Pruitt commitment in the class of 2019. To’o To’o also spoke about his former head coach on Tuesday.

    “I give a lot of props to coach Pruitt,” To’o To’o said about how learning under Pruitt prepared him for Alabama. “[He] taught me a lot of the game. I’m talking a lot of the system, similar systems, similar defense. Being able to learn from him and then come here and apply the teachings that he taught me, and kind of taking on from there with coach Saban and coach Golden really helped me in my transition here.”

    Speaking of Saban, To’o To’o also spoke about his relationship with the Alabama coaches dating back to when he was in high school.

    “Alabama was in my top three,” To’o To’o said when recalling his high school recruitment. “Definitely was one of my top schools coming out of high school. I built relationships here and then honestly when I got in the transfer portal, it kind of just picked up where we left off when I was in high school.”

    Lastly, To’o To’o did say that he has not lost connection with some of his old Tennessee teammates and did watch the Vols last week.

    “Definitely,” To’o To’o said when asked if he still kept in touch with any of the Tennessee players. “Those are my brothers, man. Been to war with those guys. And those relationships you built aren’t just going to fly away. I definitely keep in touch with my Tennessee guys, watched them play last week, and I was truly happy that they got a win.”

    The Tennessee Volunteers will travel south to play To’o To’o and Alabama on Oct. 23.

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.