Alabama Football: SEC names Matt Womack Offensive Lineman OTW

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Has the Tide changed enough to roll on? Alabama football offensive lineman Matt Womack was honored by the SEC by being named the O-Line player of the week.

Here’s what the SEC tweeted two days ago:

Womack was a big factor in the win against the Fresno State Bulldogs. Marq Burnett of reported that “Womack helped open holes for an Alabama running game that finished with 305 rushing yards and three touchdowns.” Not bad for a sophomore.

The 6-foot-7 Right Tackle is officially listed at 316 lbs by the university, but ESPN has him in at 324 lbs. That’s a large frame for a defensive end to get around when Womack sets the edge to run or pass protect.

The Mississippi native had garnered a great deal of attention in his home state before coming to Alabama. According to, “ rated him as the No. 37 offensive tackle and the second best tackle in the state of Mississippi […] ranked as the No. 59 offensive tackle nationally by ESPN and the No. 13 player in the state of Mississippi.”

However, when he was first recruited to Alabama football, he had to prove himself. In April, Matt Zenitz of reported that Womack was a “former unheralded three-star recruit” who was “seemingly emerging as a legitimate factor in the competition for the Crimson Tide’s starting right tackle job.”

However, one may have seen the progress being inevitable.

For Womack’s size, he is pretty fast. Zenitz stated that “Womack has run the 40-yard dash in as fast as 5.25 seconds at Alabama.” Zenitz also reported that “[Womack] squatted 455 pounds this spring, 50 pounds more than this time last year. His power clean is up from 255 pounds last spring to 295 pounds this year.”

The fact that Womack is still growing in the weight room while keeping his feet moving is impressive and it is likely why he earned the RT position. The potential is seemingly being unlocked at just the right time.

The depth at RT is decent but young, with Jedrick Wills and Scott Lashley being top-ranked freshmen. Considering the woes that have plagued Alabama’s offensive line for a little more than a year, having some experience with the system and college-level play definitely helps. Womack provides that.

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Womack’s solid play and quick feet also allows for other players to be tried at different spots on the O-Line. Finding the right combination takes time. Some strong but slower linemen, who originally were tackles, may need to play guard to plug up holes during blitz packages up the middle or to get an initial push for the running game.

Possibly the most important part of Womack is the fact that he’s the RT instead of on the left side. Being right-handed, starting quarterback Jalen Hurts would naturally feel more comfortable moving toward the right side of the field. He needs solid pass protection on his blind side to the left, but if Hurts were to roll out then he needs someone who can move the protecting edge with him to set a block for a longer QB run.

The same goes for a roll-out pass: if Hurts needs a lane to throw with an Outside Linebacker barreling down in his path, Womack can move out with Hurts to knock the defender out of his QB’s way.

The proof is in Alabama’s last game. Against Fresno State, Hurts was able to throw for 128 yards, rush for 154 yards, and combined for three touchdowns. Many of his runs and throws were down the right-field seam, right where Womack was doing his job.

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The SEC thought so much of Womack’s performance that they gave him the award for the week. Granted it was against weaker competition than other programs on Alabama’s schedule; however, Womack may just be what the O-Line needed to turn the Tide into a positive direction.