Alabama Football senior defenders Justin Eboigbe and Malachi Moore could be among the most important players on the 2023 roster. Eboigbe, a defensive lineman, and Moore, a defensive back, will likely assume critical leadership roles on the Bama defense this fall.
Both Justin Eboigbe and Malachi Moore have shown the potential to be standout players. Eboigbe has been a fixture on the Alabama defensive line for years, and was well on his way to his best season yet before an injury ended his 2022 season.
Moore was one of the most promising young defenders in the SEC as a true freshman in 2020, but has also battled injuries and inconsistency since then. Moore’s freshman campaign remains his most impressive season to date.
Both players seem primed for big seasons in 2023; they have the physical ability and experience to be difference makers. However, their greatest value may lie in their leadership. Eboigbe and Moore are both the elder statesmen in very talented position groups, and will set the example for some young players that appear to be future superstars.
Justin Eboigbe and fellow senior Tim Smith will captain the defensive line, but sophomore Jaheim Oatis might just be the anchor of this Alabama defense. Oatis pushed his way into the lineup, and eventually became a starter, as a true freshman in 2022. He could become one of college football’s top defensive tackles this season.
Incoming freshman James Smith was a 5-star recruit and the top ranked player in the state of Alabama in the class of 2023. Some anticipate that he will have an impact similar to that of Oatis in year one.
Malachi Moore, along with junior cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry, will lead the defensive backfield.
Moore and McKinstry are the key returners in a secondary that lost multi-year starters Jordan Battle, Brian Branch, and DeMarcco Hellams to the NFL Draft. These losses mean Moore must carry a much heavier burden at the safety position, but true freshman Caleb Downs figures to lighten the load.
If Downs lives up to the hype, he could be the best freshman in college football in 2023. The 5-star safety out of Georgia stepped on campus college-ready, and should help the Bama defense a great deal. Malachi Moore’s guidance should make the transition even easier for the advanced freshman.
Alabama Football looks to return to defensive dominance in 2023. Some of the most talented players on the defense are also the youngest, but seasoned vets like Justin Eboigbe and Malachi Moore will be invaluable to the unit’s success.