The Alabama football program went full go in a scrimmage setting yesterday afternoon inside the confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Here we review yesterday’s action, and break down what we know so far.
The University of Alabama football program held it’s first scrimmage of fall camp yesterday inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. It was a closed scrimmage with absolutely no media coverage. However, TTS was able to get some updates. Here is what we have learned through fall camp 2020 so far:
***Note: there were no statistics released from yesterday’s scrimmage, so it’s important to note that this article contains information from our sources, not from the University of Alabama. Keep in mind we are simply passing along what we have heard.
In a scrimmage that we were told was dominated by the defense, there were still some bright spots and big plays made by Steve Sarkisian’s offense. Nick Saban announced post-scrimmage that Mac Jones was 21 of 36 with three touchdowns. According to what we were told, Mac Jones was under a considerable amount of pressure from the Tide’s defense, but was able to keep calm and deliver three absolute strikes that put 18 points on the board for the offensive unit that he led. The Tide’s two veteran wide receivers looked good, as expected. Freshman Javon Baker and sophomore wide-out John Metchie both had big plays during yesterday’s scrimmage. We believe the third receiver spot for Alabama will be a “receiver by committee” this upcoming season. Metchie, Baker, Jones-Bell, and Slade Bolden will all see some time at that particular spot.
The first team offensive line held it’s own, and we believe that the first unit will consist of(left to right) Alex Leatherwood, Deonte Brown, Darrian Dalcourt, Landon Dickerson, and Evan Neal. If we were to take a shot at the second team offensive line, we believe it would be Tommy Brown, Pierce Quick, Chris Owens, Emil Ekiyor, and Amari Kight. Tight end is still sort of a question mark after yesterday’s scrimmage, but the potential for greatness is definitely there for a group led by veterans like Miller Forristall and NC grad transfer Carl Tucker. Cameron Latu and Jahleel Billingsley continue to get better with each passing practice session, and we believe the latter will be a household name very soon. Sources say Billingsley was one of the young men who had a touchdown to his credit yesterday. Najee Harris and John Metchie both had touchdown grabs as well.
The Crimson Tide running backs had a good showing as well, led by Najee Harris and Brian Robinson. Trey Sanders has started to show why he was rated as one of the nation’s best running backs coming out of high school, and looks to have a big impact as part of Alabama’s three-headed monster attack at the running back position. Of the Tide’s true freshmen running backs, Roydell Williams looks like he is physically the most ready to play. Saban confirmed our reports that a few freshmen tailbacks could see a role on kick-off coverage this season, so we look for all of them to see playing time of some sort this fall.
A SUFFOCATING, WILL-BREAKIKG DEFENSE IS BACK IN TUSCALOOSA.
Throughout Nick Saban’s tenure at Alabama, Tide fans have come to expect our defense to be at the top of the defensive rankings nationally. Whether it was due to injuries to key players or a number of other factors, the Crimson Tide defense hasn’t quite lived up to Alabama fans’ expectations the past couple of years. However, I’m here to tell you this: defense is back at Alabama, and it has the potential to be the best of the Saban era. Starting up front on the defensive line, LaBryan Ray, DJ Dale, and Christian Barmore will be an absolute nightmare for opposing offensive coordinators. This is a unit that is three deep at all three or four spots. Back-ups like Justin Egoigbe and Phidarian Mathis would start almost anywhere else in the nation, and that is just barely scratching the surface when it comes to the depth along the defensive line.
The two position groups that I am most excited about for the 2020 season are middle linebacker and outside linebacker. Dylan Moses and Christian Harris are both first team All-American caliber. Moses in my opinion, will run away with the Butkus Award this season. Leading the pack outside we have a pair of vets in Ben Davis and Christopher Allen. What’s behind them though, is what has everyone buzzing as we inch closer to kick-off. During yesterday’s scrimmage, freshman outside linebacker Will Anderson was absolutely unblockable. Sources tell TTS that he had between three and five sacks. Anderson will absolutely have a large role in this year’s defense. It’s been a very long time since Tide fans have seen a truly elite pass rusher in crimson and white, and Will Anderson may be the best of the Saban era by the time all is said and done. King Mwikuta is also definitely a young man to watch at OLB. We should see a deep rotation in this position group this season. This will allow guys to stay fresh, and to play to their own respective strengths.
The defensive backfield may be on the verge of elite status as well. We all expected Patrick Surtain Jr. and Joshua Jobe to lock down the boundary corner spots. Jordan Battle and Daniel Wright make a formidable duo at safety. What many did not expect, was that a pair of true freshmen defensive backs would show up and show out at Alabama, to the point to where one of them looks to start at the Star position this season. If you’ve followed me very long at all, you will know that I’ve said Brian Branch has Minkah Fitzpatrick type abilities. The true freshman defender showcased that ability once again yesterday afternoon. The other freshman that I am speaking of is Malachi Moore. Moore had a big hit against Miller Forristall yesterday m, and continues to push to be in the top rotation of defensive backs.
Last but certainly not least, the special teams units for the Crimson Tide look to be in great shape. Will Reichard connected on a couple of kicks from 50+ yards, which is huge news for Alabama fans that have seen Tide kickers struggle a bit over the past few seasons. One thing to keep an eye on is who will end up being the primary kick and punt return man this season. Alabama has multiple guys that are capable of taking a kick to the house, and TTS will try to report more on that as we get closer to the start of the 2020 season.
According to the practice schedule, Alabama will not practice on Monday as they will hold a march to show unity and to fight for change in racial injustices and inequalities.
Stay tuned to http://www.tidetalksports.com for all your Alabama recruiting and athletics news and analysis. Big things are ahead for the Alabama Crimson Tide, and we’ll tell you all about it.
Ricky L. Green is the lead Alabama football and recruiting analyst for Team Tide Talk. Follow him on Twitter @BamaRLG. Always feel free to reach out with questions and comments. Roll Tide.
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