Alabama Football: Plenty of opportunity Saturday deep into the roster

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Second and third team Alabama football players will get an opportunity to shine on Saturday. Pay close attention to this list of players.

A young and relatively inexperienced Alabama football team has an opportunity Saturday against New Mexico State. Somewhere between late in the second or early in the third quarter, look for mostly second-unit players. The rotation will continue until the end of the game. Even three-deep down, on the Crimson Tide depth chart, some players will participate.

Covering the gigantic 55-plus, point spread does not matter. What matters is how much depth can be identified. A quick look at the complete roster suggests as many as 33 first or second year players could see action on Saturday. And that does not count the four, true freshman starters from the opening game.

Who ends up playing on units other than special teams, will be enlightening for Alabama football fans. The less experienced players could prove their worth in providing depth at many position groups.

Out of the list of 33, we are highlighting 16 guys Alabama football fans might want to watch carefully on Saturday.

Defensive Line

Depth is needed and so far the Tide does not have it. Antonio Alfano, who reportedly has a very ill grandmother has missed some practices. We do not know how much he will play on Saturday. Justin Eboigbe is still recovering from a foot injury. Braylen Ingraham probably needs added weight from a year in the weight room. Ishmael Sopsher is reportedly not in playing shape. So, Christian BarmoreStephon Wynn and Byron Young need to step it up for the Tide.

Offensive Line

Other than starter, Evan Neal, the only other healthy freshman who looks solid this season is another true freshman, Darrian Dalcourt. Redshirt freshman, Emil Ekiyor is expected to miss a couple of weeks with a knee problem. It is not expected the first unit will be finalized until after Deonte Brown’s suspension ends.


A large group of youngsters are fighting for two-deep roles. The one who appears to be ahead of the large group is true freshman, Jordan Battle. Battle may be in contention to bypass Eddie Smith and Daniel Wright on the depth chart.

Outside Linebackers

There is plenty of talent at outside linebacker but one more solid performer is needed for depth purposes. On Saturday, watch the true freshmen, Kevin Harris and King Mwikuta.

Inside Linebackers

This is the Alabama football position group with the least depth. Two more steady players must be identified. Watch Jaylen Moody and Ale Kaho.

Running Backs

The Crimson Tide will play four on Saturday. If a fifth, Chadarius Townsend gets meaningful touches, it might show another pass-catching threat from the position.

Wide Receivers and Tight End 

Backups to the top four Tide wideouts have already been defined as Tyrell Shavers, Slade Bolden, Xavier Williams and John Metchie. Seeing them more involved could show how deep the drop-off would be if one of the top four goes down.

The Crimson Tide is solid at tight end with Miller Forristall and Major Tennison. A dependable third tight end is needed. Cameron Latu could get a chance Saturday to show he can be that guy.

Special Teams

Plenty of young guys will work on special teams. The one most needing to show something is sophomore punter Skyler DeLong.

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Saturday will not the last opportunity for less experienced players. But it might be the only chance for significant playing time until the Western Carolina game.