Alabama football needs help from these summer-arriving players

(Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

Summer-arriving Alabama football players are not too late to the party.

The 2020 Crimson Tide needs some young Alabama football players to contribute. The 12 summer-enrollee players include six guys who need a quick start to factor into the early season, two-deep. Nick Saban has never shied away from playing, even starting true freshmen.

"I think the expectation has changed through the years as to how rapidly some freshmen, that have the maturity physically and emotionally to be able to sustain the season. … can make a contribution to your team. My obligation to our team is to play the best players."

One argument states the summer enrollees have a lower hurdle to overcome than in normal seasons. The early enrollees still have an advantage over their fellow freshmen, but with no spring training, they are not far ahead.

All the young guys have much to learn. A six-week practice schedule until the regular season will not be enough for some. Those with the best chance to rise above third-unit roles are the ones whose speed, quickness, strength and weight are ready for the college game.

Depth in position groups is a big factor in playing early. Alabama football needs depth in the secondary, defensive line and wide receiver units. As a guard against injury depletion, a QB4 is much needed.

In terms of the secondary and quarterback, one summer enrollee could factor in both. 4-Star signee, Kristian Story is often projected as a college safety. The gifted athlete can be used on both sides of the ball. Alabama football fans should not be surprised if Story starts formal, team training sessions at quarterback.

The freshman having the best chance to contribute in the dime unit secondary is 4-Star, summer enrollee, Brian Branch. A freshman at safety is scary, particularly when the other safety may only be a sophomore. He will also compete for the Star cornerback position in the nickel defense.

The transfer portal decision of Tyrell Shavers means the Crimson Tide needs another wideout in the two-deep. The Tide’s three-wide set is probably settled. At four-wide, 4-Star, summer enrollee, Javon Baker will compete with Slade Bolden, Xavier Williams, possibly Chadarius Townsend and two more freshmen. Baker, Bolden and Williams are likely to get the most snaps.

A return to elite defense is a 2020 must. To get there, the Crimson Tide needs more defensive line depth. It will most likely come from 4-Star, summer enrollee, Tim Smith. Getting to nine guys who can effectively rotate should be a priority for the Alabama football coaching staff. Other, summer-arriving freshmen 4-Stars, Jamil Burroughs and Jah-Marien Latham should not be counted out.

Next. 2020 Realistic Expectations. dark

How many of these guys will see meaningful action against Southern Cal or Georgia? The tough 2020 schedule could mean later in the season is more likely when they will be counted on.