Alabama Spring Football Preview and Top 5 Position Battles

Ask Nick Saban what he’s looking for during spring football, and the last thing he’ll probably mention is a depth chart. 

He doesn’t even use the term “administrative groupings” at this point. Alabama football is less than half a year away from the 2022 season. There are 177 administrative groups, and the first one is against Utah State on September 3. 

There will be plenty of activity over the 15 practices that culminate on April 16. 

Some will be obvious. Some will be obvious. The main goal is to improve, individually and collectively. 

“The intangible things that are really important, I think, to having a successful team,” Saban stated this at the same time last year.

“Everybody develops at a little different level and time.”

Alabama is coming off an 13-2 season which saw another Southeastern Conference championship, and College Football Playoff appearance. But, Alabama lost in the title match. 

Although there has been some change in the roster and with coaches, most of the key players are back. 

This includes both Bill O’Brien, the offensive coordinator, and Pete Golding, the defense coordinator. This is a rare occurrence during the Saban era. Usually, one or both of them are lured away. O’Brien did have discussions with NFL teams. He was in the running for prominent head coaching roles at the collegiate level. But he stayed in Tuscaloosa for at most one more season. 

Both coordinators will be able to count on their star player. 

Bryce Young will attempt to become the second college football player to win the Heisman trophy twice (Archie Griffin from Ohio State, 1974-75). 

While setting the Crimson Tide single-season marks for passing yards (4,872) and touchdowns (47), he also won the Maxwell Award, Alabama’s first Davey O’Brien Award, the Manning award as the nation’s top quarterback, and was recognized as college football’s Player of the Year by the Associated Press and The Sporting News.

Will Anderson Jr. was named the nation’s top defensive linebacker. He led the nation in sacks with 17.5) and in tackles for loss with 34.5. Anderson placed fifth for the Heisman, and was a finalist for the Bednarik Award.

The team’s leadership is set to improve as both Anderson and Beasley were chosen by their peers to co-captains in 2021.

Alabama must replace five starters on offense and four on defense. If one of those players wins, other starting jobs may be required. 

For example, if Javion Cohen is able to slide over from left guard to left tackle, another left guard will be needed. 

SEE ALSO An Early Peek: What Alabama’s 2022 Depth Chart Could Look Like

At other positions there may not be much of a competition.  

Alabama will need to find two starting cornerbacks. However, it would be surprising to see anyone other than Kool-Aid McKinstry or LSU transfer Eli Ricks there on A-Day.

Phidarian Matis is also needed to be replaced by the Crimson Tide. However, Alabama’s rotation of defensive linemen Justin Eboigbe & Byron Young has already made them starters alongside D.J. Dale.

At running back, Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams are both coming off knee injuries. Trey Sanders, Jahmyr gibbs, and some incoming freshmen will be running back. Only Sanders knows the offense. Therefore, the fall may bring the real competition. 

With that in mind, the top five position battles this spring: 

1 and 2] Left and right tackle

The candidates include Cohen, JC Latham, Tommy Brockermeyer, freshman Tyler Booker, Damieon George and Amari Kight. Vanderbilt transfer Tyler Steen (6-5 and 317 pounds) will be visiting the weekend of March 25. 

Guard Emil Ekiyor Jr. is probably the only fixture on the right side of the offensive line, with Seth McLaughlin and Darrin Dalcourt competing at center. 

3] Interior linebacker

Jaylen Moody will probably get first shot at filling Christian Harris’ old spot next to Henry To’oTo’o, but the competition will include Deontae Lawson, Demouy Kennedy and maybe even Jihaad Campbell. 

4 and 5] Wide receivers

The three-wide starters are all gone, but there’s a lot of young talent coming up. If Alabama had to play today the starting three would probably be Ja’Corey Brooks and transfer Jermaine Burton, with Traeshon Holden next on the field.  

Alabama New Faces: Players

The Crimson Tide added three players through the NCAA transfer portal:

2022 Alabama Football Transfers Roster (Alphabetical)

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/Previous School

  • Jermaine Burton WR 6-0 200 Jr. Calabasas, Calif./Calabasas/Georgia
  • Jahmyr Gibbs RB 5-11 200 Jr. Dalton, Ga./Dalton/Georgia Tech
  • Eli Ricks DB 6-2 190 Jr. Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./IMG Academy/LSU 
  • DB, 6-2, 190, Jr., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./IMG Academy/LSU

    LSU (2020-21): Played in 14 games across his two seasons with the Tigers … suffered an injury midseason that cut his 2021 campaign short … as a freshman, recorded 20 tackles to go with four interceptions and five pass breakups … posted a pair of pick-sixes against Florida and South Carolina in 2020 … earned third team All-America honors from the Associated Press as a freshman … also selected as a Freshman All-American by the FWAA … named to the All-SEC Second Team by the AP and was selected as a Freshman All-SEC honoree by the league coaches in 2020.

    HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: One of the nation’s top prep prospects in his class … played his senior season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., after transferring from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif. … ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect in the state of Florida by 247Sports, MaxPreps and Rivals … listed as a five-star cornerback by 247Sports and Rivals … rated as a four-star cornerback and the No. 29 recruit on the ESPN300 … the No. 1 cornerback out of Florida by 247Sports, MaxPreps and Rivals … played in 10 games as a senior, tallying 14 solo tackles with three interceptions … won back-to-back national championships at Mater Dei High School … selected as an All-USA First Team Defensive Player in 2018 … coached by Bruce Rollison at Mater Dei.

    Jahmyr Gibbs

    RB, 5-11, 200, Jr., Dalton, Ga./Dalton/Georgia Tech

    GEORGIA TECH (2020-21): Averaged 5.2 yards per carry and scored eight touchdowns across 19 career games at Georgia Tech … was named to the 2021 All-ACC Team at three different positions … voted First Team All-ACC as an all-purpose back … picked up All-ACC second-team honors as a specialist and third-team recognition at running back … accumulated 1,805 total yards during his sophomore season, the second most in Georgia Tech single-season history … rushed for 746 yards on 143 carries and four touchdowns while adding 470 yards and two scores on 36 receptions … also contributed 23 kickoff returns for 589 yards and one score in 2021 … rushed 89 times for 460 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman … added 24 receptions for 303 yards and three scores in his rookie season at Tech … named a second team freshman All-American by The Athletic and earned Honorable Mention All-ACC honors in 2020.

    HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: One of the top running backs in his recruiting cycle … rated as a four-star prospect by all major outlets … the No. 44 recruit overall and the fourth-ranked back in the country according to 247Sports … the 70th-ranked player and second-ranked running back by Rivals … the 247Composite ranked him as the No. 76 overall prospect. He is the eighth-ranked runningback and No. 10 player in the state of Georgia … listed at No. 178 on ESPN300 and the No. 19 running back nationally according to ESPN.com … coached by Matt Land at Dalton High School.

    Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver Jermaine Burton (7) celebrates in the end zone after scoring a touchdown against the Michigan Wolverines in the second quarter during the Orange Bowl college football CFP national semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium.

    WR, 6-0, 200, Jr., Calabasas, Calif./Calabasas/Georgia

    GEORGIA (2020-21): Played in 24 games in his two-year stint at Georgia … totaled 26 catches for a team-high 497 yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore … led the Bulldogs with 19.1 yards per catch in 2021 … played in all 10 games during his freshman season … caught 27 passes for 404 yards and three touchdowns.

    HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Rated as a four-star prospect by all major outlets … 247Sports ranked him as the No. 58 player nationally and the eighth-ranked player from California … the No. 15 wide receiver nationally and the No. 82 overall prospect on the 247Composite … tabbed as the No. 99 overall prospect in the ESPN300 … listed as the No. 126 overall and No. 15 wide receiver on Rivals … coached by Chris Claiborne at Calabasas High School in Calabasas, Calif. … originally from Atlanta, Ga.

    “[They’re] all guys that I think are outstanding players and certainly can make a contribution to our team in areas where we have needs,” Saban said.

    Crimson Tide New Faces: Coaches 

    Saban made four hires: 

  • Joe Cox, Tight Ends
  • Coleman Hutzler, Special Teams/Outside Linebackers
  • Travaris Robinson, Cornerbacks
  • Eric Wolford , Offensive Line
  • Colorado State Rams tight ends coach Joe Cox in the second quarter of the game against the Air Force Falcons at Sonny Lubick Field at Colorado State Stadium.

    Joe Cox is the the biggest question mark among the new coaches, but a lot of Crimson Tie fans will remember him from being Georgia’s starting quarterback in 2009.

    After one season as a tight end coach for the Charlotte 49ers, he was hired in February.

    Cox spent the 2020 season as a wide receiver coach on Will Muschamp’s South Carolina staff.

    The coach was previously a graduate assistant at Colorado State in 2015 and continued as a coach for five years. He coached the tight ends (2016-18) as well as wide receivers in his final year in Fort Collins in 2019.

    Coleman Hutzler copy

    How’s this for a coaching gig? Will Anderson Jr. and Dallas Turner are your primary players.

    Coleman Hutzler will be the Crimson Tide’s outside linebackers coach and special team coordinator. This is a unique dual title. 

    He spent last season as Lane Kiffin’s special teams coordinator. The Rebels ranked second in the SEC in punt returns and third in punt return defense.

    In 2020, he was the Texas co-defensive coordinator. He also spent four seasons at South Carolina (2016-19), as special teams coordinator. 

    Hutzler received the Broyles Award in 2017, which goes to the country’s top assistant coach. The following year he coached return specialist Deebo Samuel, who  tallied his school-record fourth career kickoff return for a touchdown, tying the SEC mark. Samuel was first team All -SEC as a returning specialist.

    Hutzler had previously served two stints at Florida. The first was as an assistant to linebackers and special team coordinators, and the second was as a handler of special teams and linebackers for the 2014 season.

    Travaris Robinson copy

    Yes, he was a standout player at Auburn, and began his coaching career at his alma matter. 

    Travaris Robinson began his undergraduate degree as a staff assistant and then became a GA.

    In 2015, he was appointed defensive coordinator. He had previously held the same position at Florida (2011-14) and South Carolina (2016)-19. 

    His other coaching stops have included Western Kentucky (2008), Southern Miss (2009) and Texas Tech (2010), but the one you might way to especially pay attention to is Miami in 2021 as the Hurricanes’ defensive backs coach. 

    Robinson was born in Miami. He attended Coral Park High. He was retained by new head coach Mario Cristobal (a former Nick Saban assistant coach), before saying yes to Nick Saban. 

    Robinson’s reputation as a recruiter is a strong one, and the Crimson Tide has attracted many outstanding players from South Florida.  

    Eric Wolford, Kentucky Offensive Line Coach

    He’s coached in the NFL, been a head coach, and last year helped Kentucky be a finalist for the Joe Moore Award after losing three starters from the previous season.

    It looks great on a resume. Additionally, another coach from South Carolina was on Will Muschamp’s coaching team.  

    Wolford’s professional experience was in 2015 and 2016 with the San Francisco 49ers. The head coaching experience was in his hometown as the head coach at Youngstown State (2010-14).

    Wolford was the offensive line coach and run game coordinator for South Carolina in 2009, under Steve Spurrier. He had previously served a similar position at Illinois for two years.

    His other stops include Arizona and North Texas, Houston as well as South Florida, Emporia State, South Florida, Emporia State, and Kansas State. 

    He is also a top recruiter. 

    “Coleman Hutzler will be the special teams coach,” Saban said. “He’s a defensive coach, so they’ll actually do the special teams from the defensive side of the ball. 

    “Travaris Robinson, the secondary coach, will coach cornerbacks, and Eric Wolford, the offensive line coach. All of these guys have really great pedigrees, really good backgrounds, and really good experience. These guys all have been in the SEC at one time or another and are familiar with the league. I believe they will create a positive relationship and positive effect on the relationships that they build and develop with the players on our team.”

    [Note: Saban made the comments before hiring Cox.]

    Heading into the first practice, the general makeup of the Crimson Tide is as follows:

    Bill O'Brien watches quarterback Bryce Young throw during practice.

    Bryce Young, 2020, [SIAA 2]*

    Jalen Milroe, 2021 [81]

    Early Enrollee

    SIAA No. 24: Ty Simpson*, 6-2, 195, Martin, Tenn./Westview

    One of the top quarterback prospects in the nation … a five-star quarterback on the 247Composite and the No. 24 recruit overall in the country … the No. 3 quarterback on the Composite and the No. 2 player from the state of Tennessee … PrepStar’s second-ranked quarterback and the No. 25 player on the outlet’s Top 150 Dream Team … the No. 36 player nationally, the No. 4 signal-caller and the No. 2 player in the state by 247Sports … rated No. 30 in the Rivals250 and the No. 3 quarterback in the nation while ranking as the No. 2 player in the state … No. 31 on the ESPN300 and the No. 2 quarterback in the country … also rated as the No. 17 player in the Southeast Region and No. 2 in Tennessee by ESPN.com … named the Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year after throwing for 2,827 yards and 41 touchdowns – just three interceptions – while rushing for 862 yards and 11 scores on 92 carries … led Westview High School to the 2A Tennessee State Championship under the direction of head coach Jarod Neal … participated in Nike’s “The Opening” and was selected to the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas … threw for 1,888 yards as a junior on just 203 attempts with 20 touchdowns while rushing for 311 yards and seven scores … chose Alabama over Clemson, Ole Miss and Tennessee.

    Departed

    Paul Tyson, 2019, transferred to Arizona State 

    Trey Sanders vs. New Mexico State

    Trey Sanders, 2019 [SIAA 6]*

    Jase McClellan, 2020 [47]

    Roydell Williams, 2020 [77]

    Transfer

    Jahmyr Gibbs from Georgia Tech, 2020 [76]

    Early Enrollee

    Jamarion Miller, RB, 5-10, 195, Tyler, Texas/Tyler Legacy

    Highly regarded running back recruit from the talent-rich state of Texas … a four-star prospect by all major outlets … the No. 86 player overall and No. 6 running back recruit nationally by 247Sports … also listed as the No. 16 player from Texas by 247 … listed as the No. 18 prospect from Texas along with the No. 7 running back and 97th-rated recruit overall on the 247Composite … No. 114 on the Rivals250 and the seventh-ranked running back by the site … also tabbed the No. 16 player from Texas by Rivals … ESPN.com listed him as the No. 122 recruit on the ESPN300 and the No. 9 running back overall … the 33rd-rated player from the Midlands Region and No. 25 player in Texas by ESPN … coached by Joe Willis at Tyler Legacy … totaled 1,355 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns to go with 380 receiving yards and six scores for the Red Raiders during his senior season … owns the TLHS school record for career rushing yards with nearly 5,000 across four seasons … chose Alabama over in-state Texas.

    Incoming Over Summer

    SIAA No. 23: Emmanuel Henderson*, RB, 6-1, 185, Hartford, Ala./Geneva County

    One of the top athletes and running backs in the nation … a 247Composite five-star player who is ranked 30th nationally, the No. 1 running back overall and the No. 2 player in the state of Alabama … ranked 18th on the ESPN300 and is the outlet’s top-ranked running back … also rated as the No. 12 player in the Southeast Region and No. 2 player in the state by ESPN.com … No. 45 on the Top247 list, the No. 2 running back and No. 2 player in the state according to 247Sports … Rivals.com’s No. 53 recruit on the Rivals250, the No. 4 athlete and third-ranked player in Alabama … a five-star by PrepStar who is the outlet’s No. 34 signee nationally and the No. 2 running back … selected to the Under Armour All-America Game … coached by Jim Bob Striplin at Geneva County High School where he rushed for 1,447 yards as a junior with 20 touchdowns … accounted for 1,996 yards and 32 scores as a sophomore … 2A all-state selection as a junior in 2020 … a three-sport star who also averaged double figures on the basketball court and has been timed at 11.4 in the 100-meter dash … chose Alabama over Auburn, Clemson and Georgia.

    Departured

    Brian Robinson Jr., 2017 (NFL/eligibility)

    RB Camar Wheaton, 2021, No. 9 (entered name in transfer portal, is not enrolled) 

    JaCorey Brooks

    Ja’Corey Brooks, 2021, SIAA No. 45

    Christian Leary, 2021, No. 47

    JoJo Earle, 2021 No. 75

    Jermaine Burton, 2020, [82] (Georgia)

    Agiye Hall, 2021

    Thaiu Jones-Bell, 2020

    Traeshon Holden, 2020

    Early Enrollee

    SIAA No. 33 Kendrick Law, WR/DB, Shreveport (La.) Captain Shreve

    Versatile player who can contribute at multiple positions as one of the nation’s top athletes … a four-star signee by all major recruiting sites … the third-ranked athlete and No. 85 recruit nationally by 247Sports who also lists him as the No. 5 player from Louisiana … No. 85 overall and the third-ranked athlete in the country on the 247Composite … the Composite’s No. 8 player from Louisiana … ranked as the No. 92 player nationally according to the On300 list by On3 … the No. 96 ranked recruit in the On3 consensus … the No. 100 signee on the Rivals250 while also being tabbed the No. 6 athlete and 11th-rated player from Louisiana by Rivals.com … No. 83 on the ESPN300 … ESPN.com’s No. 12 athlete nationally, the No. 50 prospect overall in the Southeast Region and the eighth-ranked player from his home state … coached by Bryant Sepuvaldo at Captain Shreve High School … also excelled in track for the Gators … chose Alabama over Florida State, LSU and Texas.

    Aaron Anderson, WR, 5-9, 185, New Orleans, La./Edna Karr

    Speedy wideout who also excelled on the gridiron and the track in high school … a four-star prospect by all major recruiting sites … No. 55 on the Rivals250 and the No. 88 prospect on the ESPN300 … the eighth-ranked wide receiver and No. 13 player from Louisiana by Rivals.com … tabbed the No. 10 wideout and No. 6 player from Louisiana on the rankings from both ESPN.com and PrepStar … 247Composite listed him as the No. 96 player and No. 14 wide receiver nationally … also tabbed as the Composite’s eighth-ranked player in the state … No. 162 overall and the No. 27 wide receiver in the country by 247Sports … selected to the Under Armour All-America Game … coached by Brice Brown at Edna Karr High School where he helped the Cougars to multiple state titles … also set numerous track records while at EKHS … signed with the Crimson Tide after decommitting from in-state LSU.

    Incoming Over Summer

    SIAA No. 56: Shazz Preston WR, 6-0, 190, Saint James, La./Saint James

    Considered one of the top wide receiver prospects in the country … gives the Tide another playmaker on the outside … a consensus four-star prospect … the No. 5 receiver in the nation, No. 41 player on the Rivals100 and the No. 6 recruit in Louisiana according to Rivals.com … No. 43 on the 247Composite, the No. 3 receiver and the No. 4 player in the state of Louisiana … 108th in the Top247, the No. 17 wideout and No. 7 player in the state by 247Sports … listed at No. 90 on the ESPN300 while the site also ranked him as the No. 3 receiver, No. 9 player in the Southwest Region and the top player in Louisiana … selected to the Under Armour All-America Game … coached by Robert Valdez at Saint James High School … chose Alabama over Georgia, LSU and Texas.

    Isaiah Bond, WR, 5-11, 175, Buford, Ga./Buford

    An explosive playmaker out of Georgia … a unanimous four-star prospect … ranked No. 86 on the 247Composite, the site’s No. 2 athlete and No. 8 player in the state of Georgia … No. 89 on the Top247 list and rated as 247Sports’ No. 3 athlete and No. 8 player in the state … the No. 88 prospect on the Rivals250, the No. 17 wide receiver and No. 7 player in Georgia … No. 108 on the ESPN300, the No. 9 receiver, the No. 42 recruit in the Southeast Region and No. 9 player in the state … selected to the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas … won the Georgia 6A 100-meter (10.51) and 200-meter (21.19) state titles as a junior with personal bests of 10.48 (100 meters) and 21.05 (200 meters) … played for head coach Bryant Appling at Buford High School … chose Alabama over Florida and Georgia.

    Kobe Prentice, WR, 5-10, 171, Calera, Ala./Calera

    An explosive athlete out of Calera … a unanimous four-star prospect … the 247Composite’s 147th player nationally, the No. 24 wide receiver and the No. 8 player in Alabama … listed as the No. 76 player on the Top247 list by 247Sports … also the site’s No. 9 receiver and the No. 4 player in Alabama … No. 84 on the Rivals250 while also being listed as the No. 15 wideout and the fourth-ranked player in the state … rated as the No. 35 wide receiver by ESPN.com and the No. 19 player in Alabama … a track standout as well with a 10.8 100-meter time … finished sixth in the state at the 6A level in the 100-meter dash … caught 41 passes for 711 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior … coached by Jason Hamlin at Calera High School … chose Alabama over Mississippi State and Maryland.

    Departed

    Javon Baker, 2020 (transferred to Kentucky)

    Slade Bolden, 2018 (declared for NFL draft)

    John Metchie III, 2019 (declared for NFL draft)

    Jameson Williams, 2019 (declared for NFL draft)

    Xavier Williams, 2018 (transfered to Utah State) 

    Cameron Latu celebrates with fans during Southern Miss game

    Cameron Latu, 2018

    Kendall Randolph, 2017/OL

    Caden Clark, 2020 (enrolled in 2021)

    Robbie Ouzts, 2021

    Early Enrollee 

    Elijah Brown, TE, 6-5, 230, Dayton, Ohio/Wayne

    A playmaker at tight end who hails from Ohio … a consensus four-star prospect who is equally adept at making plays in the passing game while being a proven run blocker … listed at No. 230 on the Top247 while ranking as the No. 14 tight end and No. 11 player in Ohio … 245th in the Rivals250, the No. 9 tight end in the nation and 10th-ranked player in Ohio … rated No. 300 on the 247Composite, the No. 14 tight end and No. 11 player in the state … ESPN.com’s No. 8 tight end in the country, the No. 40 prospect in the Midwest Region and the No. 10 player in the state … four-star according to PrepStar … as a junior, caught 30 passes for 278 yards and a touchdown while helping block for a ground attack at Wayne High School that churned out 1,754 yards on just 277 attempts .. played for head coach Roosevelt Mukes at WHS … chose Alabama over Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

    Incoming Over Summer

    Amari Niblack, WR/TE, 6-5, 230, Dayton, Ohio/Wayne

    One of the top athletes in his class who can slot in at wideout or tight end … a four-star recruit by all major outlets … the No. 7 athlete and No. 22 player from Florida by both 247Sports and on the 247Composite … No. 140 on PrepStar’s Top 150 Dream Team … 247’s No. 173 overall recruit and the No. 188 player on the Composite … evaluated as a wide receiver by Rivals.com who has him listed as the No. 19 receiver overall and No. 21 player from Florida … also earned the No. 92 spot on the Rivals250 list … ESPN.com’s No. 291 recruit on the ESPN300 and the No. 9 tight end/H-back in the country … ranked 38th in the state of Florida and the No. 119 player in the Southeast Region by ESPN … coached by Cory Moore at Lakewood High School … also a standout basketball player for the Spartans …chose Alabama over Florida State, Georgia Tech and Indiana.

    Danny Lewis, TE, 6-4, 255, New Iberia, La./Westgate

    Physical hybrid tight end from Louisiana … a three-star recruit by all major outlets … Rivals.com lists him as the No. 19 tight end overall … tabbed the No. 25 tight end and No. 39 player from Louisiana according to ESPN.com’s rankings … No. 30 tight end and no. 25 player in his home state by 247Sports … the Composite’s No. 40 tight end and No. 36 player from Louisiana … coached by Ryan Antoine at Westgate High School … chose Alabama over Florida, LSU and Cincinnati.

    Departures

    Jahleel Billingsley, 2019 (transferred to Texas)

    Major Tennison, 2017

    Javion Cohen

    OT Tommy Brockermeyer, 2021, SIAA No. 5*

    OT J.C. Latham, 2021, No. 8*

    G Jaeden Roberts, 2021, No. 98

    T Amari Kight, 2019, [76]

    OL Emil Ekiyor Jr., 2018

    OL Tanner Bowles, 2019

    T/G Javion Cohen, 2020

    T Damieon George, 2020

    C Seth McLaughlin, 2020

    OG Terrence Ferguson, 2021

    C James Brockermeyer, 2021

    Early Enrollee

    SIAA No. 27: Tyler Booker, OL, 6-5, 325, Bradenton, Fla./IMG Academy

    Versatile lineman who is one of the top offensive line recruits in his class … a five-star offensive tackle and the No. 7 player on the ESPN300 by ESPN.com … also tabbed the No. 5 player in the Southeast Region and third-ranked signee from Florida … the fourth-ranked offensive guard and No. 126 player on the Rivals250 according to Rivals.com … the No. 6 offensive tackle by both 247Sports and on the 247Composite … tabbed as the 10th-ranked offensive tackle and fifth-ranked player from Florida by PrepStar … No. 46 nationally and the No. 7 player from Florida by 247Sports … the Composite’s No. 51 player in the country and ninth-ranked recruit from his home state … selected to the Under Armour All-America Game … coached by former NFL linebacker Thomas “Pepper” Johnson at IMG Academy … chose Alabama over Florida, Georgia and Ohio State.

    Dayne Shor, OT, 6-6, 315, Alpharetta, Ga./Denmark

    Offensive lineman from neighboring Georgia … a four-star recruit and the No. 39 offensive tackle in the country according to ESPN.com … also listed as the No. 170 player in the Southeast Region and No. 37 signee in the state of Georgia by ESPN … earned a four-star grade from PrepStar who listed him as the No. 38 offensive tackle in the country … a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, 247Sports and on the 247Composite … the Composite’s No. 32 offensive tackle and No. 36 player in Georgia … Rivals.com lists him as the No. 37 player in his home state … coached by Mike Palmieri at Denmark High School … chose Alabama over Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas A&M.

    Incoming Over Summer

    SIAA No. 16: Elijah PritchettOT, 6-6, 300, Columbus, Ga./Carver

    One of the top offensive line prospects in the 2022 cycle who is a high four-star prospect … rated No. 31 in the Rivals250, the No. 5 offensive tackle and No. 11 player in Georgia … ranked No. 54 on the 247Composite, the No. 7 offensive tackle and No. 4 player in Georgia … listed 67th in the Top247 … rated as the No. 9 tackle and No. 6 player in Georgia by 247Sports … the No. 8 player in the state by ESPN.com while ranking 103rd on the ESPN300, the No. 14 tackle and No. 41 player in the Southeast Region … earned a spot in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas … coached by Corey Joyner at Carver High School … chose Alabama over Florida State, Georgia and USC.

    Departed 

    T/G Tommy Brown, 2018 (transferred to Colorado)

    T Evan Neal, 2019, [7]* (declared for NFL draft)

    Chris Owens, 2016, (NFL/eligibility) 

    T/G Pierce Quick, 2019, [40], [40] (transferred to Georgia Tech) 

    Freshman D.J. Dale started his first game, against Duke on Aug. 31, 2019

    Damon Payne, 2021, No. 11*

    Tim Smith, 2020, [56]

    Justin Eboigne, 2019, [62]

    Stephon Wynn Jr., 2018 [74]

    Byron Young, 2019, [77]

    Monkell Goodwine, 2021, No. 89

    Braylen Ingraham, 2019

    Jah-Marien Latham, 2020

    DJ Dale, 2019

    Jamil Burroughs, 2020

    Tim Keenan, 2021

    Anquin Barnes, 2021 

    Early Enrollees

    SIAA No. 67: Jaheim Oatis, DL, 6-4, 360, Columbia, Miss./Columbia

    Powerful offensive lineman from neighboring Mississippi … earned a five-star ranking as the No. 2 recruit in Mississippi and 10th-ranked defensive tackle nationally by PrepStar … a four-star recruit by all other major outlets … No. 24 on the ESPN300 and the fourth-ranked defensive tackle in the country … also listed as the No. 15 player in the Southeast Region and the No. 2 player in Mississippi by ESPN … the No. 83 recruit on the Rivals250 along with being tabbed the No. 6 defensive tackle and No. 3 player from Mississippi by Rivals.com … the top-ranked player in Mississippi according to 247Sports … 247Sports’ No. 10 defensive lineman and No. 80 player overall … listed as the No. 60 player and the No. 9 defensive lineman in the country on the 247Composite … selected to the Under Armour All-America Game … earned a spot on the Clarion Ledger’s 2020 All-State Team as a junior thanks to his 65 tackles, including 18 for loss and three sacks, to go with four field goal blocks … coached by Chip Bilderback at Columbia High School … chose Alabama over in-state Mississippi State and Ole Miss along with LSU.

    SIAA No. 82: Khurtiss PerryDL, 6-2, 260, Pike Road, Ala./Pike Road

    In-state defensive lineman who is rated as a four-star prospect by all major recruiting sites … the No. 3 player from Alabama by 247Sports who also listed him as the No. 55 prospect nationally and the No. 8 defensive lineman … also tabbed the No. 3 player in the state by ESPN.com who listed him as the eighth-ranked defensive tackle and 28th-ranked player in the Southeast Region … the No. 56 prospect on the ESPN300 … listed as the No. 74 recruit nationally and the No. 11 defensive lineman overall on the 247Composite … the No. 129 prospect on the Rivals250 and the No. 11 defensive tackle in the country by Rivals.com … helped Pike Road to a state championship in 2021 … recorded 76 tackles, including 22 sacks, with 30 quarterback hurries and a forced fumble as a senior … earned a spot in the 2021 All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas … coached by Patrick Browning at PRHS … chose Alabama over Auburn along with Clemson and Texas.

    Incoming Over Summer

    Isaiah HastingsDL, 6-4, 290, Toronto, Canada/Clearwater Academy International (Fla.)

    A Canadian product that joins the Crimson Tide after playing last season for head coach Jesse Chinchar at Clearwater Academy International in Florida … a four-star prospect who ranks 183rd nationally in the Top247 while ranking as the No. 22 defensive lineman and No. 21 player in Florida by 247Sports … ranked No. 310 on the 247Composite, the No. 39 defensive lineman and the No. 37 player in Florida … Rivals.com listed him as the No. 43 defensive tackle and the No. 79 player in Florida … a four-star by ESPN who also tabbed him the No. 35 defensive tackle, No. 188 player in the Southeast Region and the No. 62 recruit in the state … chose Alabama over Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Oregon.

    Departures 

    Phidarian Mathis, 2017 (NFL/eligibility)

    LaBryan Ray, 2017, [SIAA 28]* (NFL/eligibility)

    Will Anderson Jr. Wins Bronko Nagurski Trophy

    OLB Will Anderson Jr., 2020, [SIAA 17]*

    OLB Chris Braswell, 2020, [19]*

    OLB Dallas Turner, 2021, [33]

    ILB Demouy Kennedy, 2020, [39]

    ILB Henry To’o To’o, 2019 (Tennessee), [44] 

    ILB Quandarrius Robinson, 2020, [65]

    ILB Deontae Lawson, Mobile, Ala. (Mobile Christian School), 2021

    ILB Jaylen Moody, 2018 

    OLB Keanu Koht, Vero Beach, Calif., 2021

    OLB Ian Jackson, Prattville, Ala., 2021

    ILB Kendrick Blackshire, Duncanville, Texas, 2021

    Early Enrollees

    SIAA No. 5: Jeremiah Alexander, OLB, LB, 6-2, 250, Alabaster, Ala./Thompson

    The top-rated player from Alabama and one of the top edge rushers in his class … a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, ESPN.com, PrepStar and on the 247Composite … the fourth-ranked player on the Rivals250 and the No. 1-ranked weakside defensive end by Rivals … No. 11 on the ESPN300, the second-ranked defensive end and No. 7 player in the Southeast Region according to ESPN … the top-ranked edge rusher and eighth-ranked prospect nationally on the 247Composite … earned a four-star grade by 247Sports, who listed him as the No. 5 edge rusher and 33rd-rated recruit in the country … the top-rated player at his position and in the state while also being tabbed as the No. 17 prospect on the Top 150 Dream Team by PrepStar … earned MaxPreps Alabama Football Player of the Year honors in 2021 … totaled 93 tackles, including 29 for loss, to go with 10 sacks and 27 quarterback hurries as a senior at Thompson High School … helped the Warriors to the state title in 2021 … selected to the Under Armour All-America Game following his senior campaign … coached by Mark Freeman at THS … signed with the Crimson Tide over Clemson and Georgia among a multitude of offers.

    SIAA No. 97, Jihaad Campbell, OLB, 6-3, 215, Erial, N.J./IMG Academy

    An elite outside linebacker/edge player … a four-star recruit ranked as the No. 23 player nationally in the Top247 while 247Sports ranked him as the third-best edge player in the country and the No. 4 player in Florida … the 247Composite’s 78th player nationally, the No. 9 edge and No. 11 recruit in the state … ESPN.com’s No. 11 outside linebacker and the No. 120 player in the ESPN300 -… listed as the No. 50 player in the Southeast Region and the No. 13 player in Florida by ESPN … Rivals.com rated him 122nd in the Rivals250 and the No. 9 outside linebacker … played his first three seasons of prep football at Timber Creek High School in Erial, N.J., for head coach Brian Wright … spent his senior season at IMG Academy for head coach Thomas “Pepper” Johnson … in 2020 at Timber Creek, Campbell played in seven games at receiver and defensive end … caught 15 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns while recording 45 tackles and seven sacks … chose Alabama over Clemson, Florida, Georgia and Texas A&M.

    SIAA No. 99: Shawn Murphy, ILB, 6-2, 215, Manassas, Va./Unity Reed

    A four-star linebacker by all major outlets … the top-ranked inside linebacker by both Rivals.com and ESPN.com … Rivals’ No. 34 prospect on the Rivals250 and the No. 2 player from Virginia … the No. 35 recruit on the ESPN300, the second-ranked player from his home state and the No. 3 overall recruit in the East Region by the site … the No. 23 player on PrepStar’s Top 150 Dream Team and the outlet’s third-ranked linebacker and second-ranked player in the state of Virginia … listed as the No. 5 inside backer and No. 57 recruit in the country on the 247Composite … the No. 127 player nationally and No. 9 linebacker by 247Sports while also being tabbed the site’s No. 3 player in Virginia … tallied 113 tackles, including 20 for loss and six sacks, to go with a pair of interceptions as a senior … selected as the 2021 Butkus Award winner for high school … also earned a spot in the Under Armour All-America Game and All-American Bowl … coached by Carroll Walker at Unity Reed High School … signed with the Crimson Tide over Florida, LSU, Ohio State and Penn State.

    Departures

    OLB Christopher Allen, 2017 (NFL draft)

    LB Jackson Bratton, 2020 (transferred to UAB)

    ILB Christian Harris, 2019 (NFL draft)

    ILB Shane Lee, 2019, [78] (transferred to Southern California)

    OLB King Mwikuta, 2019 (transferred to Arkansas State)

    OLB Drew Sanders, 2020, [22]* (transferred to Arkansas)

    Kool-Aid McKinstry

    CB Eli Ricks, 2020 [14] (LSU transfer)* 

    CB Ga’Quincy McKinstry, 2021, [29]* 

    S Jordan Battle, 2019, [SIAA 43]

    S Terrion Arnold, 2021, No. 44

    S Brian Branch, 2020, [61]

    S DeMarcco Hellams, 2019, [84]

    S Kristian Story, 2020

    S Malachi Moore, 2020

    CB Jahquez Robinson, 2020

    S Kaine Williams, 2021

    CB Devonta Smith, 2021

    CB Khyree Jackson, 2021

    Early Enrollee

    SIAA No. 70: Trequon Fegans, Nickel, 6-2, 185, Alabaster, Ala./Thompson

    Continues the pipeline from Thompson High School to Alabama … a unanimous four-star prospect … ranked No. 104 on the 247Composite, the No. 15 cornerback and No. 5 player in the state of Alabama … earned the No. 90 spot nationally from PrepStar who also rated him as the No. 10 corner in the country and the fifth-ranked player in the state … No. 93 on the Top247 list while also being tabbed the No. 14 corner and No. 6 player in the state by 247Sports … ESPN.com’s No. 64 player on the ESPN300 … also the No. 9 cornerback, No. 32 player in the Southeast Region and No. 4 player in Alabama by ESPN … listed at 179 on the Rivals250 … also ranked as the No. 16 corner and No. 7 player in the state by Rivals.com … … selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Game … coached by Mark Freeman at Thompson High School where he helped lead the Warriors to three straight Alabama 7A State Championships … chose Alabama over Miami.

    Incoming Over Summer

    SIAA No. 45: Earl Little, CB, 6-1, 180, Fort Lauderdale, Fla./American Heritage

    One of the top defensive back prospects coming out of the talent-rich state of Florida … a unanimous four-star prospect by all major recruiting sites … the No. 73 recruit and No. 12 corner in the country by 247Sports … also tabbed as the No. 11 player from Florida by 247Sports and Rivals.com … the 75th-rated player on the Rivals100 and No. 9 cornerback nationally by Rivals … listed as the No. 101 player in the country and the No. 12 cornerback on the 247Composite … ESPN.com’s 25th-ranked corner and the No. 207 player on the ESPN300 … selected to the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas … coached by Patrick Surtain Sr. at American Heritage High School … son of former NFL player Earl Little … chose Alabama over in-state Florida State and Miami along with LSU among his 30-plus offers.

    Jake Pope, S, 6-1, 190, Buford, Ga./Buford

    Talented defensive back from neighboring Georgia … also saw time at wide receiver and as a return specialist in high school … a four-star recruit by ESPN.com, 247Sports and PrepStar … ESPN’s No. 26 safety and No. 33 player from the state … rated as the No. 28 safety nationally and the No. 32 player from Georgia by PrepStar … the No. 29 safety nationally by 247Sports who also lists him as the No. 29 player in Georgia … earned a three-star ranking from Rivals.com and on the 247Composite … coached by Bryant Appling at Buford High School … helped the Wolves to multiple state championships during his time on the varsity squad … also a highly regarded baseball player … signed with Alabama over Georgia, Notre Dame and North Carolina.

    Antonio Kite, DB6-1, 180, Anniston, Ala./Anniston

    One of the top football players in Alabama who has excelled on both sides of the football … expected to focus on defensive back at Alabama … a unanimous four-star prospect … ranked 81st on the ESPN300 … ESPN.com’s No. 5 athlete, No. 36 player in the Southeast Region and No. 5 signee from the state of Alabama … No. 173 on the Rivals250, the No. 18 athlete nationally and the No. 10 player from the state … No. 154 on the 247Composite, the No. 5 athlete and No. 9 player in Alabama … ranks No. 221 on the Top247 list by 247Sports while also being tabbed the No. 9 athlete overall and No. 11 player in the state … No. 172 recruit nationally by PrepStar and the No. 7 athlete in the nation … an outstanding basketball player as well, Kite was named the 2020 ASWA 4A Player of the Year after averaging 20.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game … coached by Rico White at Anniston High School … chose Alabama over South Carolina, Tennessee and UCF.

    Departures

    CB Jalyn Armour-Davis, 2018 (entering NFL draft)

    DB Marcus Banks, 2019 (transfer to Mississippi State)

    CB Josh Jobe, 2018 (entered NFL Draft)

    S Daniel Wright, 2017 (NFL/eligibility) 

    Will Reichard at Missouri, Sept. 26, 2020

    Will Reichard, 2019

    Walk-on James Burnip, 2021, P

    Nick Saban's coaching staff finally has some continuity in 2020

    Nick Saban Head Coach
    Holmon Wiggins, Assistant Head Coach of Offense/Wide Receivers
    Pete Golding, Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
    Bill O’Brien, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
    Joe Cox, Tight Ends
    Coleman Hutzler, Special Teams/Outside Linebackers
    Robert Gillespie, Running Backs
    Charles Kelly, Associate Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
    Freddie Roach, Defensive Line
    Travaris Robinson, Cornerbacks
    Eric Wolford , Offensive Line

    Departed 

    Doug Marrone, Offensive Line
    Sal Sunseri, Outside Linebackers (now on support staff)
    Drew Svoboda, Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends (added to support staff)
    Jay Valai, Cornerbacks

    Alabama Spring Camp Schedule

  • Friday, March 11
  • Monday, March 21
  • Wednesday, March 23
  • Friday, March 25
  • Saturday, March 26
  • Tuesday, March 29
  • Thursday, March 31
  • Saturday, April 2
  • Monday, April 4
  • Wednesday, April 6
  • Friday, April 8
  • Saturday, April 9
  • Tuesday, April 12
  • Thursday, April 14
  • Saturday, April 16 (A-Day Game,  2 p.m., SEC Network+)
  • All practices other than the A-Day Game will be closed to media and the public.

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