2015 Alabama Crimson Tide Position by Position Breakdown

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Apr 18, 2015; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry (2) of the white team is grabbed from behind by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Geno Smith (24) of the crimson team during the annual A-day game at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

– Key Departures: TJ Yeldon (NFL Draft), Jalston Fowler (graduation), Altee Tenpenny (left team)
– Key Returners: Derrick Henry (junior), Kenyan Drake (senior), Tyren Jones (kicked off)
– Key Newcomers: Bo Scarbrough (true freshman), Damien Harris (true freshman)

The Alabama backfield is nowhere near as deep as it had been in past years but it still has one of the most talented duos in the country with Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake. Henry is an athletic freak with bruising power and speed that someone his size rarely holds. Drake is one of the most versatile players on the roster, in the Reggie Bush bold, but is coming off of a broken leg last season. If both players can stay healthy it should be unbelievably fun to see how Kiffin uses the two in his offense this year. Drake will unquestionably line up at tailback, slot receiver, split out wide, and potentially even at QB in a Wildcat formation. If he is able to return to his old form he will be the X-Factor for Alabama’s offense.

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While Drake could be the x-factor, Henry will be the workhorse. He has had to share the ball his entire Alabama career but now he will be considered the #1 guy at tailback. Many fans and experts alike feel like Alabama went away from Henry in the Sugar Bowl at a time when Ohio State couldn’t seem to be able to stop the massive runner. I fully expect Kiffin to take advantage of Henry’s ability and will ride him as far as Henry can take the offense which will be up to him. I fully anticipate Kiffin to manage these two makes in the same way he managed the Reggie Bush/Lendale White duo at USC which will make things a hell of a lot easier on whoever ends up starting at QB.

Bo Scarbrough may not be able to return in time for the season after his knee surgery in the spring but that will give incoming freshman Damien Harris opportunities to get the ball earlier than he may have otherwise. Harris was one of the top running backs in this past years recruiting class and could potentially be yet another star back for Alabama in a long list of them under Saban which have included eventual NFL players Glen Coffee, Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy, TJ Yeldon, and more than likely Derrick Henry.

Jalston Fowler was one of the most underrated players in the entire country in my opinion last year and he will be missed sorely when Alabama goes to their I-formation sets. I don’t think that there is anyone on the current Alabama roster that can truly fill Fowler’s role. He played tailback, fullback, and h-back/tight end during his career. I think Brandon Greene, a converted offensive lineman, and Michael Nysewander will likely be the ones to fill the fullback/h-back spot unless a walk-on steps up or someone is moved from another position. Nysewander is a solid blocker and decent receiver while Greene is a bruising blocker that has primarily worked in goal line and short yardage situations.

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