Alabama Football: Breakout candidates for 2022 season

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Who will shine for Alabama football?

Last season, Alabama football had plenty of stars rise to the occasion. Brian Robinson went from a rotational back to a dominant force in the offense. Phil Mathis earned himself some money after becoming a captain and leader for the Tide, and Bryce Young won the Heisman Trophy in his first year as a starter.

Every team is looking for breakout stars every year. We already know the names of key players from the 2021 squad, but who will be Alabama football‘s breakout players for 2022? Here are three candidates.

Before we start, I want to say that transfer players did not make my list. They had varying levels of success last year, and we all expect them to shine in 2022. We know their names, so I’m sticking to players who might fly under the initial radar.

Seth McLaughlin, OC

McLaughlin became the starter at center late in the year, and he played well in limited time for Alabama football. Alabama needs to improve on the offensive line, and McLaughlin could easily be the starter at center in 2022.

Alabama has question marks at tackle, and that will determine Alabama football’s ceiling. However, the interior is in good hands with McLaughlin at center.

Jaylen Moody, LB

Moody entered the Transfer Portal before choosing to come back to Tuscaloosa. He is now set to be the starting inside linebacker alongside Henry To’o To’o.

Moody has great size, and he is a strong tackler. The front seven will be a strength for Alabama on defense. Playing alongside a player like To’o To’o will allow Moody to focus simply on his own assignments and making plays.

Brian Branch, STAR

Branch is already a known name, so it might be unfair to call him a breakout candidate. However, he was competing for a starting role last year. In 2022, he will likely take over the STAR position for Alabama football. He can also play either safety position.

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Branch will be seen as one of the most versatile defensive backs in college football by the end of the season.