Alabama Football: Highlighting key Crimson Tide Redshirt Freshmen

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /

Experience has not ceased to be the best teacher in college football. Every new Alabama football class has elite players intent on earning key roles as true freshmen. Nick Saban is a development guy that values experience, but Saban is not reluctant to start the best players, no matter how many are true freshmen.

Still, with rosters always heavily populated with elite talent, many Crimson Tide players have to wait for their opportunity to shine. The wait can be one or two seasons. Occasionally, it is three, and even four seasons.

Much has been said and written about the Crimson Tide class of 2023. Some of them may earn key roles quickly.

Less attention is paid to the Tide’s redshirt freshman group. It includes 13 scholarship players. At least three of them have solid chances to earn starting roles next fall.

Alabama Football Redshirt Freshmen

Note: The list below is not ranked, but taken from by roster number.

  • No. 12 – Antonio Kite – Defensive Back – 6’1″, 182 lbs.
  • No. 15 – Ty Simpson – Quarterback – 6’2″, 203 lbs.
  • No. 18 – Shazz Preston – Wide Receiver – 6′, 200 lbs.
  • No. 20 – Earl Little II – Cornerback – 6’1″, 186 lbs.
  • No. 21 – Jake Pope – Safety – 6’1″, 192 lbs.
  • No. 22 – Tre’Quon Fegans – Defensive Back – 6’2″, 190 lbs.
  • No. 35 – Jeremiah Alexander – Linebacker -6’2″, 249 lbs.
  • No. 43 – Shawn Murphy – Linebacker – 6’2″, 225 lbs.
  • No. 57 – Elijah Pritchett – Offensive Line – 6’6″, 312 lbs.
  • No. 85 – Elijah Brown – Tight End – 6’5″, 250 lbs.
  • No. 87 – Danny Lewis Jr. – Tight End – 6’5″, 255 lbs.
  • No. 97 – Khurtiss Perry – Defensive Line – 6’2, 265 lbs.
  • No. 99 – Isaiah Hastings – Defensive Line – 6’4″, 290 lbs.

Which Redshirt Freshmen will explode up the depth chart?

It is not known how much Nick Saban’s two new Coordinators will alter formations and schemes. Both will use Alabama Football’s offensive and defensive systems. But Kevin Steele and Tommy Rees will tweak those systems and shape them with their play-calling. Examples are, Rees is known for frequently using two tight ends; Steele may move the Tide back to more use of interior defensive lineman.

Despite those gray areas it is easy to project Ty Simpson, Elijah Pritchett and Earl Little II all have good chances to start next fall. Simpson could win the QB 1 job. Practice videos indicate Pritchett is starting spring as a leader to start at left or right tackle. Earl Little could beat out Terrion Arnold as the corner opposite Kool-Aide McKinstry. Or Little, Kool-Aid and Arnold, along with safeties could make up the Tide’s nickel and dime, secondary formations.

Former 5-Star, Jeremiah Alexander might prove too good to be kept off the field. Alexander could play any of the linebacker positions. With some additional weight, he could even play defensive end.

Elijah Brown or Danny Lewis have good chances to carve out a key role at a tight end position needing consistent performers. It is possible both could do so.

Next. Spring Practice News and Chatter. dark

For the guys going through their second Crimson Tide springs, now is the time to seize opportunities.