Alabama Football: Leadership remains the big question

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

Alabama football lost tons of leaders from last year’s team

On last year’s team, you couldn’t watch a game without seeing a handful of leaders. In every position group, there was at least one person who set the standard. Mac Jones earned the respect of the entire team as an upperclassman. Najee Harris, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle dictated the pace for skill teams, and Patrick Surtain led a young defense. You also had Dylan Moses and an elite offensive line filled with upperclassmen.

With all of those players off the roster, we will see some new faces. With Alabama football, you never have to question talent. They recruit five-star talent at every position, and they have one of the best development programs in the country. The three things you worry about are experience, system knowledge and leadership.

The defense returns plenty of experience, and almost every contributor on offense got some reps last year. That leaves leadership is the one concern, and it’s a significant one.

It’s hard to measure leadership on the stat sheet, but you can experience it by watching the games. It is clear that the Tide’s top leaders from last year went to the NFL, and it is crucial that someone steps up.

On defense, the Tide seem to be set. Christian Harris and Henry To’o To’o will be the best linebacker duo in the country, and having upperclassmen at inside linebacker is beneficial. With so many experienced defensive linemen on the roster, someone is bound to be the new leader.

The real question is on offense. Players will turn to Bryce Young as the team’s leader under center. There’s no reason to believe he won’t lead, but it’s still a must. If he fails to do so, the Tide offense will suffer.

Next. Keys for Alabama to go undefeated. dark

On the offensive line, look for Evan Neal to shine. He’s one of the few guarantees to start, and he’ll finally be playing his natural position. If he can be a leader, Alabama will be poised to go undefeated once again.