Alabama Football: Replacing Patrick Surtain no problem for Crimson Tide

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Patrick Surtain II was one of the top Alabama Football cornerbacks of all time. Like his father, PSII should have a long career as an NFL starter. Replacing first-round NFL Draft selections is a challenge for most teams. It can even be a challenge for the Alabama Crimson Tide, but thanks to Nick Saban’s recruiting machine the cupboard is never bare.

Last season, Josh Jobe was the corner other teams wanted to attack. Most of the time, opponent offenses avoided confrontation with PSII. In the coming season, the opposite will be true. Whichever Crimson Tide player starts opposite Jobe will be the one other teams will test.

The good news for Alabama football fans is the cornerback position will again be a strength for the Crimson Tide. No less than six guys will compete against each other to become the Crimson Tide’s next lockdown corner.

The current leader is redshirt junior, Jalyn Armour-Davis (JAD). Sidelined by a knee injury as a freshman, Armour-Davis has patiently put in the work to move up the depth chart. Recently Tide safety Jordan Battle praised Armour-Davis.

"Jalyn Armour-Davis is a great, great corner. He’s got great feet, great hips. We call him the ‘Kick-Slide King.’Coach Saban hates when you cross your feet when you’re in press coverage … the kick slide is like when you slide into a guy instead of moving your feet. We call him (JAD) the ‘Kick-Slide King’ because he does that the greatest and cuts off receivers on the press."

Being adept in press coverage is required of Alabama Football cornerbacks. If JAD is as good as his teammate says, the other five Crimson Tide competitors will have a major challenge beating him out.

Alabama Football Secondary has deep talent

Then again, the other five also have great skills. Nick Saban is far from ready to end the cornerback competition. Saban is always tight-lipped in praising less experienced players, particularly in the spring. Describing JAD this week, Saban said,

"Jalyn Armour-Davis has done a nice job so far."

While Saban also gave terse compliments to other corners, none but Armour-Davis gained the “nice job so far” level of praise.

The group behind JAD this spring is led by junior Marcus Banks, followed by freshman Ga’Quincy McKinstry. Also in the competition at cornerback are former JUCO, Ronald Williams, now in his second Crimson Tide season and redshirt sophomore, Brandon Turnage. The competition will heat up more when the nation’s No. 1 JUCO cornerback, Khyree Jackson arrives in Tuscaloosa.

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In A-Day matchups, there will be some second-unit wide receivers trying to make the first team Tide secondary look back. Those young wideouts will have a tough task.