Alabama Football: Predicting the 2021 RB depth chart

Mandatory Credit: Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama football has a stacked running back room in 2021

In the past, Alabama football has handled running backs in a few different ways. If one player is good enough to win the Heisman, they receive the lion’s share of carries. We saw this with Najee Harris and Derrick Henry. In most seasons, Alabama has a two-headed monster. Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs tore apart 2018 defenses, and T.J. Yeldon was elite behind Eddie Lacy.

This season, Alabama simply has too much depth for either strategy to prevail. Alabama will likely have two running backs get most of the touches, but five backs will be good enough to start on a quality team. This is despite losing Keilan Robinson to the transfer portal.

So, what will the 2021 depth chart look like for Alabama football?

1. Brian Robinson

Robinson might not get the most carries, but he will be the official starter in 2021. He’s coming back for another season with the Crimson Tide, and Alabama usually gives upperclassmen the official starting spot. Harris started above Jacobs despite Jacobs proving the be the better option in 2018. Robinson is reliable, and he has the chance to be great this year. If he struggles, Alabama will have plenty of options to use as the game progresses.

2. Jase McClellan

This is where things get tricky. Again, Alabama has plenty of options, and you really have to split hairs to predict the depth chart.

That being said, McClellan has done the most to prove that he is ready for this opportunity. He has the strength to get between the tackles and the speed to win in space. He has a small sample size, but don’t assume that means he isn’t ready to contribute in key moments.

3. Roydell Williams

Williams and McClellan have been neck-and-neck so far in their Alabama football careers, and that should extend through the 2021 season. They have similar play styles, and they’re both gifted. I give McClellan the slight edge, but that doesn’t mean that Williams is a bad option for the Crimson Tide.

4. Trey Sanders

Sanders is the hardest to place. It all comes down to how healthy he is this season.

Sanders was expected to be the next superstar for the Crimson Tide, but injuries have plagued his collegiate career. Now, we’ll have to see if he can live up to the hype.

If Sanders is fully healthy and ready to play, he can move his way up the depth chart. If not, he will have to work his way up to 100%.

5. Camar Wheaton

Wheaton is another elite running back prospect, but he’s a true freshman. He may be the best back in the room, but he’ll start at fifth on the depth chart this season.

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We’ll have to see what 2021 holds, but don’t worry about Alabama football’s depth at running back.