The Alabama Football program has long been revered for its dominant performances on the gridiron. One of the key elements driving their success is the formidable depth and talent on the roster. In this overview series, we delve into the riches and potential challenges of the Alabama Crimson Tide’s depth chart, starting with the running back room.
With star running back Jahmyr Gibbs leaving for the NFL Draft, Alabama will be looking to the eight RBs currently on the roster for production in the backfield. Early enrollees Justice Haynes and Richard Young are looking to bring their incredible production from high school to the Crimson Tide. Haynes was the number two running back in the country when he committed to the Tide, and he’s already showing flashes of greatness.
Coach Nick Saban raved about Haynes this spring, saying “Justice has had a great spring,” Coach Saban said. “He’s a really good player. He’s a really mature guy. He’s really smart. Nothing’s really too big for him. He goes out there and competes, and if you are just a guy sitting on a log watching, you would never know he’s a freshman.” The superstar from powerhouse Buford High School in Georgia ran for 1528 yards and had 20 total TDs. He is one of the most coveted prospects in the country and one of the biggest pickups for the Tide this cycle.
Richard Young, the number 4 running back in the nation, arrived in Tuscaloosa this summer. The star running back out of Lehigh High School in Florida averaged 112.4 yards per game and had 9 rushing TDs. He is a potential star in the making for the Crimson Tide, and definitely a name to watch for this upcoming season. He shared his excitement back in April, enthusiastically tweeting “I’m ready to WORK !!! #RTR”.
The Crimson Tide also added speedy JR Gardner of Gulf Shores High School. Gardner was unranked coming out of high school, but with his speed and athleticism, he has all the tools to be an exceptional running back at Alabama.
The Tide also returns stud running backs Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams. McClellan rushed for 655 yards and 7 TDs last year, and looks to step into a bigger role this season with the departure of Jahmyr Gibbs. Williams ran for 250 yards last season and had 4 TDs, including a 2 TD performance vs LSU. With Gibbs gone to the NFL, expect the pair of stud backs to have break-out seasons, and stamp their names into Crimson Tide history.
More than an Alabama Football Trio
Alabama Football brings back sophomore Jam Miller, senior Jonathan Bennett and sophomore Michael Lorino III. Miller had a 223 yard 2 TD season last year, and brings speed and power to an already deep running back stable.
Along with Bennett and Lorino III, Alabama looks to have one of the deepest and most effective running back rooms in college football.
With the addition of run-oriented OC Tommy Rees, the Crimson Tide could see a deep rotation of backs similar to the 2017 season. With their combination of star power, depth, and versatility, the Tide’s running backs will undoubtedly play a critical role in determining the team’s destiny in the upcoming season.
As fans eagerly await the next chapter in the Alabama Crimson Tide’s football journey, the running back room stands poised to lead the charge and uphold their legacy of dominance in college football.