Alabama Football: Two main position battles early in fall camp

(Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)
(Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football’s 2023 Fall Camp begins in less than a month. It could prove to be one of the most eventful fall camps of what will be Nick Saban’s 17th season in Tuscaloosa.

Not only will the Crimson Tide go into fall camp with one of the SEC’s smallest groups of returning starters, two new starters are needed at the offense’s most important positions. The positions are quarterback and left tackle. New starters are also needed on defense at safety and inside linebacker. Those positions are also key, but the Crimson Tide secondary and linebacking groups are expected to be some of college football’s best.

Even with a defense expected to be better than last season, the 2023 version of the Alabama football offense must develop enough potency to win at least a few high-scoring games. It might not be as flashy as some recent Crimson Tide offenses, but sustained drives, chewing up the clock before producing points can be sufficient.

Key to that sufficiency for a more RPO Crimson Tide is solid quarterback play. None among the Tide’s five scholarship QBs has to be a Bryce Young. More than anything, the eventual QB1 is likely the one who makes the best reads and the fewest mistakes, while consistently getting the ball to Alabama’s playmakers.

Two or three, maybe four of those playmakers can be Alabama running backs. This leads this conversation to left tackle. Alabama is expected to settle in with a powerful right side. Tyler Booker and JC Latham will be the best right guard and right tackle combo in college football. The left side is a work in progress.

To the left of Seth McLaughlin at center, Darrian Dalcour is currently thought to become the left guard. Left of Dalcourt, will be the Crimson Tide’s biggest question mark on the offensive line. Will it be redshirt freshman, Elijah Pritchett or freshman, Kadyn Proctor? In the spring it was Pritchett.

In the 2022 class, Pritchett was rated as a 4-Star or 5-Star, depending on the source, and was one of the top offensive tackles. Proctor was rated even higher in the 2023 class. He was a consensus 5-Star and overall was the top-rated offensive lineman. Alabama football fans can feel confident that the fall winner of a left tackle competition, should be a strength rather than a weakness.

What Alabama football fans can expect and when

It is likely the competition at both positions includes the MTSU game. There could be a clear leader at left tackle as soon as the second, fall camp scrimmage, expected to be on Aug. 19. Or it is possible both Pritchett and Proctor will vie for the job well into the season.

At quarterback, look for Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson and Tyler Buchner to all play against MTSU. The two fall camp scrimmages will impact in what order the trio plays against the Blue Raiders. A best-case scenario is there is a clear QB1 for the Texas game.

Next. Turning Back the Tide's Clock. dark

Not all Crimson Tide fans are confident McLaughlin, Dalcourt and Pritchett will be physical enough for an offense determined to run the ball. The best advice is to trust Eric Wolford and Nick Saban.