Alabama Football: What players from the 2018 class step up in ’20

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

Players in the Alabama Football, 2018 class, not named Surtain and Waddle, must step up for the Tide.

Recently we discussed how the 2020 Alabama Crimson Tide from some summer-arriving freshmen. A new class always garners attention. Alabama football fans need not forget the impact the roster’s redshirt sophomores and juniors can make.

The Alabama football, 2018 class finished ranked at No. 5 by 247Sports Composite. So far, only two, Patrick Surtain II and Jaylen Waddle have made a significant impact. The 2018 class is also remembered by a few names who ended up choosing other teams. The most prominent of those players were Penei Sewell, Tyson Campbell, Jacob Copeland, J.J. Peterson and Bobby Brown.

Worse than the misses were the exits. Jordan Davis de-committed late. Eyabi Anoma transferred after one season. He has since transferred again, this time from Oregon to Tennessee-Martin. Jerome Ford and Layne Hatcher also transferred. Tevita Musika saw little action before using up his eligibility. Saivion Smith played in all 15 games during the 2018 season.

The 2018 class plusses have been PSII, Waddle and Smith. Patrick and Jaylen are tremendous players with more Crimson Tide upside. But the 2018 class minuses are greater in number. Stephon Wynn, Tommy Brown, Eddie Smith, Michael Parker, Jaylen Moody and Skyler DeLong have contributed little. Time remains for all of them to become contributors. Many Alabama football fans fear time cannot repair talent deficiencies in these six members of the 2018 class.

There is another group of eight players from the 2018 class who may have brighter futures. Christian Barmore and Ale Kaho have already contributed, though most of Kaho’s production has come on special teams. Barmore seems on the verge of a breakout season on a defensive line needing improvement. There is no question about his talent, only whether he can learn to play disciplined, assignment football.

Redshirt sophomore Cameron Latu has shown promise since moving from outside linebacker to tight end. With Giles Amos entering the transfer portal, Latu may get a chance if his blocking improves.

Five more members of the 2018 class are expected to compete for starting roles. The most experienced of them is junior, Josh Jobe. Jobe has shown toughness and determination. In a 2020 secondary that will lack significant game experience, Job should at least be a starter in the Tide’s dime defense.

Redshirt sophomore Emil Ekiyor has a chance to win a starting job at guard. He can also play center but Landon Dickerson is expected to again start at the key position. Assuming John Metchie will be the new starter in three-wide sets, a fourth new starter is needed for four-wide sets. Redshirt sophomores, Slade Bolden and Xavier Williams will battle incoming freshmen for the fourth starting spot. Whether an actual starter or not, Bolden, Williams and one of the freshmen should see plenty of action.

Alabama football fans should not be surprised if redshirt sophomore, Jaylin Armour-Davis leaps forward. Now fully recovered from a knee injury, Crimson Tide insiders say the coaching staff expects much from Jaylin.

After two seasons ending with disappointing results, many new players must accept a bigger challenge. College football has changed rapidly in recent seasons. As it has, some of the fear factor opponents carry for the Crimson Tide has dissipated.

Next. TOP 30 Draft Prospects of Saban Era. dark

Watching the Tide’s established stars shine in 2020 will be fun. Seeing others grow into becoming stars will be more fun.