Alabama Football: Linebackers with best chance to start next to Henry T


One of the key position battles for Alabama Football is finding an inside linebacker, running mate for Henry To’oto’o. The senior linebacker could have opted for the NFL, but the return of the Tide’s primary, defensive signal-caller was huge for Pete Golding.

Having to replace Christian Harris is enough for the Crimson Tide Defensive Coordinator. Going into the 2022 season with two inexperienced inside linebackers would have been daunting.

A couple of days ago, we published a pre-Spring Practice two-deep depth chart. At the Will linebacker, we listed as the starter, fifth-year player, Jaylen Moody OR redshirt freshman, Deontae Lawson. Although Moody has been a game participant for four Crimson Tide seasons, it has been predominantly as a special teams player. In limited work as a linebacker, Moody has impressed.

Lawson saw action in only four games last season. Alabama football fans still buzz about Lawson’s performance in the 2021 A-Day game. The early enrollee freshman recovered a fumble, broke up two passes and had four tackles, including one tackle for a loss. What Lawson ‘almost’ did was perhaps even more impressive. Twice he was close to intercepting Bryce Young passes.

Lawson is closer to the new hybrid, inside linebacker that the Crimson Tide had in Christian Harris. Inside linebackers now have to do more than play inside the box. They must be run stoppers, while also being able to sometimes rush the QB or cover running backs, tight ends or slot receivers.

Lawson has to prove it, but his physical skills may give him an edge over the other guys competing for a starting role.

Along with Lawson and Moody, five other Crimson Tide players will compete for a spot in the inside linebacker two-deep.

Other Alabama Football Inside Linebackers

  • Junior, Demouy Kennedy – 6’3″, 220 pounds
  • Sophomore, Kendrick Blackshire – 6’2″, 235 pounds
  • Redshirt Freshman, Ian Jackson – 6’1″, 235 pounds
  • Freshman, Shawn Murphy – 6’2″, 224 pounds
  • Freshman, Jihaad Campbell – 6’3″, 225 pounds

Demouy Kennedy has an experience edge going into his third season in Tuscaloosa. He is a gifted athlete, who when running back numbers thinned last season, moved from defense to offense.

Kendrick Blackshire has a reputation as a punishing tackler, in the Reuben Foster mold.

Most interesting will be where Jihaad Campbell fits into 2021 plans. He might be best suited as an outside pass rusher, but he has the physical attributes to play inside or outside.

Next. Best options for new starters at tackle. dark

Talent means little without execution, but the Crimson Tide has such an abundance of linebacking talent, the winner of the Will linebacker position battle can become an outstanding player.