Alabama Football: Crimson Tide’s five most important sophomores

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Alabama Football Sophomore no. 3: Tyler Booker

Sophomore guard Tyler Booker returns after being one of the bright spots on the 2022 offensive line. Booker came in as a true freshman and quickly began taking reps from multi-year starter Javion Cohen on the interior offensive line. Despite being the youngest member of the line, he was often one of the most physical and gave the Alabama running game an extra edge.

Tyler Booker gained valuable experience, notching time in 12 games throughout the season. He was named to the Freshman All-SEC team and was a Freshman All-American per PFF.

Booker did not earn his first official start until the Sugar Bowl against Kansas State, where he helped pave the way for one of Alabama’s most productive offensive performances of the year.

He figures to be a full-time starter heading into 2023, and should be one of the best offensive linemen in the SEC. Booker can play either guard spot, and also has the ability to bump out to tackle, the position he was recruited at coming out of high school. His versatility gives Bama added flexibility in determining its starting offensive line.

Alabama Football Sophomore no. 2: Deontae Lawson

Redshirt sophomore Deontae Lawson could end up being the best player on the entire defense. Fan and media expectations for Lawson are lofty heading into 2023. If he meets those expectations, he will likely be one of the nation’s top defenders.

Despite starting just four games as a redshirt freshman in 2022, Lawson saw significant reps and recorded 51 tackles. He displayed glimpses of sideline-to-sideline speed, sure tackling, and the ability to be a playmaker at inside linebacker.

The question heading into 2023 will be whether or not Lawson is capable of captaining the defense from the MIKE linebacker position. If he is able to grasp the defense to that degree, he will be an upgrade at the position.

If Alabama can find someone else to step up in that position, such as transfer addition Trezmen Marshall, it will free up Deontae Lawson to continue playing on the weakside. Marshall is a physical veteran who has lots of experience playing in a similar defense, so it could make sense for him to replace Henry To’o To’o in the middle.

If Lawson is able to stay at WILL, he can rely on his athleticism and instincts to make plays in the open field.