Alabama Football: It’s official, there is a depth chart, with surprises

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

Alabama football released its first official depth chart Monday with a few surprises.

Finally, it is game week and there is an official Alabama football depth chart. It was released Monday, shortly before Nick Saban did his first game preview of the season.

Not surprisingly, the depth chart is filled repeatedly with one word; ‘Or.’ The short word is used almost 30 times in what is designed as a two-deep depth chart.

Of greater interest to Alabama football fans, despite the ‘or’ designations, there are more than a few surprises. The biggest surprise is true freshman, Will Anderson listed as the starter at Jack linebacker. Anderson has wowed throughout the preseason and was expected to see plenty of action this season. It is a big surprise that he has already earned a starting role. He is somewhat light as a Jack linebacker but is arguably already the best pass rusher in the Crimson Tide defense. Anderson’s backup is another true freshman, Drew Sanders.

It has been frequently rumored, but listing a true freshman as the starting Star, is somewhat surprising. Minkah Fitzpatrick earned the role as a true freshman. Either Malachi Moore or Brian Branch is poised to take the job against Missouri.

Defensive end is not a big surprise, with an ongoing battle between Justin Eboigbe and Christian Barmore, joined by Phidarian Mathis. Many Tide fans expected Mathis to backup Dale at NG, but that role goes to Tim Smith or Ishmael Sopsher.

LaBryan Ray is set at the other defensive end. The ‘or’ backup behind Ray is surprising. Byron Young or Stephon Wynn shows Wynn has done better than most Alabama football fans expected.

Redshirt senior, Ben Davis is listed as the backup to Chris Allen as the Sam linebacker. Another linebacker surprise is Jaylen Moody or Shane Lee listed as the backup to Dylan Moses.

There were no surprises in the secondary, though the official chart only shows five defensive backs. Who will win the sixth, Money role is unclear.

On offense, the biggest surprise is better described as a clarification. The backup tackles are Chris Owens, Kendall Randolph or true freshman, Javion Cohen. As expected, Landon Dickerson is the starter at center, with Emil Ekiyor at right guard. The tackles are Neal and Leatherwood. Joining Leatherwood on the left side is guard Deonte Brown.

Miller Forristall is listed as a tight end starter. Four other Tide tight ends are listed as ‘ors.’

No surprise, Mac Jones is the starting QB. A small surprise is Mac’s backup is Bryce Young or Paul Tyson. Number three at running back is listed as an ongoing competition between Trey Sanders, Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams.

The punter job is open to Sam Johnson, Charlie Scott and Ty Perine.

The complete depth chart is available here.

Check out Nick Saban’s comments, compliments of Bama Insider.

When will all the ongoing, starting role competitions be resolved? To an extent between now and Friday. To a larger degree, some of them will continue throughout the season. Alabama football starters must earn their jobs every week.