Alabama Football: Five freshmen with best chance to start

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Alabama Football
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Nick Saban is always prepared for Alabama Football, true freshmen to earn starting roles. Julio Jones, as a true freshman caught a pass on the Tide’s first drive of the 2008 season. Julio also caught a later touchdown pass against Clemson in the season opener. Jaylen Waddle was a game-one starter in 2018. Cam Robinson and Jonah Williams were immediate freshmen starters for the Alabama Crimson Tide and both earned Freshman All-American honors.

Jalen Hurts became the Alabama Football starting quarterback in the 2016 season opener against Southern Cal. Jalen’s Crimson Tide career came on the third Tide drive of the game after Blake Barnett started. There have been others, who in their first real game after a high school season, were clearly ready to do their job as a Tide starter.

Nick Saban is also cautious of expecting too much from a young player too soon, as he explained,

"We’ve played a lot of freshmen here. We’ve had a lot of freshmen start for us and play very well. But at the same time, we have a responsibility and obligation not to put a guy out there if he’s not ready to go play with confidence, be confident in what he’s doing so he can go play fast and create value for himself."

The standard path to quick playing time for Alabama Football freshmen is special teams. Again in the 2021 season, several of the true freshmen have a strong chance to become special teams’ starters. Though technically not filling starting roles, one or two members of the 2021 class could become important to the Tide’s defensive front seven rotation