Players of the Crimson Tide find themselves listed on one more preseason team as the 2016 football season slowly starts coming into our view.
Mark Schlabach has released his ESPN 2016 Pre-Season All-American team, and once again the SEC placed quite a few players on the list, led by Alabama who placed three players in the lineup.
The SEC has placed the majority of the players on the preseason All-America list in the past couple of years, however, they were overtaken this year by the Big Ten who placed eight on Schlabach’s list. ESPN is under the belief that the Big Ten is ready to compete with the SEC for the college football crown, and they firmly believe that the teams have the talent this year to do it.
Out of their three players listed, only one player from the Crimson Tide made it on the offensive All-American squad, sophomore wide receiver Calvin Ridley. Ridley will without a doubt be in conversation for being the best wideout in the nation this upcoming season, and is poised for another great season.
He’s coming off a freshman season where Ridley broke the freshman receiving yard record when he hauled in 1,045 yards on 89 catches and scored seven times. Whoever wins the Quarterback position for the Crimson Tide will have a proven weapon on the outside to throw the ball to but with the wide receiver corps at Alabama being stacked with talent this year, some believe that Ridley’s numbers could see a decline.
Alabama’s other two players that are on the All-America team are found on the defensive side of the ball with one on the defensive line and the other at linebacker. The Crimson Tide’s representative on the defensive line is senior Jonathan Allen, who opted out of a probable first round draft pick to return to Tuscaloosa for his final season. Allen has improved every year at the Capstone and this year is sure to be no different as Allen looks to solidify his spot in the first round at the 2017 NFL Draft.
The last player on the All-American list for Alabama is the heir to the middle linebacker throne, senior Rueben Foster. Like Allen, Foster opted to return to Alabama for his senior season in hopes to improve his draft stock, mainly to show he can run the show without the support of a star linebacker like Reggie Ragland. Foster finished the national championship season last year with 73 tackles which was good enough for second place on the team, and that was without being an every down player. That number is sure to improve this year as Foster takes over for Alabama’s leading tackler in Reggie Ragland, and finally will get to be the quarterback of the defense for his final year at the Capstone.
It’s getting close to that time. Can we line up and play some college football?