Alabama Football 5 Most Important Positions: no. 5

[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]College Football Playoffs Alabama Vs CincinnatiSyndication Tuscaloosa News
[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]College Football Playoffs Alabama Vs CincinnatiSyndication Tuscaloosa News /

With fall camp rapidly approaching, we are now just five Mondays from an Alabama Football game week.

Coach Nick Saban could have one of his deepest teams yet in 2023. Bama has position battles taking place all over the field, with many of these battles featuring blue-chip talent jockeying for favorable spots on the depth chart.

As we get closer to the season, we will count down the five most important positions that must pan out for Alabama Football to be successful this season.

Alabama Football most important positions

No. 5 Nose tackle

Alabama football will be very young and yet extremely talented at the nose this fall. In an ideal situation, this position anchors the entire defense. Bama hopes to be elite on the interior defensive line this season, and it all starts with the nose.

Sophomore Jaheim Oatis looks like he could be a star. The massive lineman tallied 29 tackles and a sack in 2022, earning 10 starts as a true freshman. He should enter his sophomore campaign as a full-time starter, and should be one of Bama’s best players as well as one of the SEC’s premier defensive linemen.

True freshman James Smith was a 5-star recruit out of Montgomery. Smith has made noise since stepping on campus in the spring, and has drawn comparisons to Oatis for his readiness at such a young age. Although the defensive line is a relatively old group in its totality, James Smith could play his way onto the field as a true freshman in 2023.

Redshirt sophomore Tim Keenan III may be the next guy up on the depth chart. Keenan III hasn’t seen the field much in Tuscaloosa, but the former 4-star recruit enters his third season in the program. With Jamil Burroughs departing via the transfer portal, it may be time for Keenan III to make a jump, though available snaps will be limited.

The nose will be a critically important position for Alabama in 2023. The Crimson Tide’s ability to move opposing offensive lines and re-establish the line of scrimmage will start with the men in the middle.

Players like Oatis and James Smith carry a lot of strength and mass, but are also explosive and twitchy athletes. These are the type of interior defensive linemen capable of causing absolute chaos this fall.

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In 2023, Alabama Football looks to have as much potential at the nose tackle position as it has had in several seasons.