Alabama Football: Underclassmen leading Tide’s defense

Defense801 /

Younger guys are leading the way on Alabama football’s defense

There is a national narrative that players have to wait their turn to see the field in Tuscaloosa. This season, a few underclassmen are proving that to be wrong. When you look at Alabama football’s defense, it is littered with younger players.

We knew that some underclassmen would shine this year. From the day he stepped onto campus, we expected great things from Will Anderson. Malachi Moore has been a starter all season. Younger guys like Christian Barmore and DJ Dale were stars last season. While Christian Harris was shoved into a starting role in 2019, it has helped him grow as a true sophomore this year.

This is all great, but we knew it at the beginning of the season. There are other guys who have been surprising stars as well. Sophomore Byron Young has been a stud on the defensive line. In reserve reps, Tim Smith has stepped up at defensive tackle. In the secondary, Brian Branch keeps making plays.

All of these Alabama football underclassmen have been solid, but they are peaking at the right time. Anderson has five sacks on the year, and they have all come in his past three games. Malachi Moore is proving to be the future of the Alabama secondary. While Christian Harris went down with an injury against Arkansas, he has still been the best inside linebacker for the Crimson Tide this season.

The defense has gotten better each game, but the youth speaks to the Crimson Tide’s future. Players like Malachi Moore and Jordan Battle will come back next year. The secondary is in great hands. Harris will be a Butkus contender as a junior in 2021. If Will Anderson keeps improving, he might be the best outside linebacker that Alabama has ever seen.

Next. 5 takeaways from Alabama vs. Arkansas. dark

This defense is strong, and it will keep getting stronger. Alabama football fans should be excited about the bright future.