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Alabama Football Defense
- Defensive Line – The top two up front are Jaheim Oatis and Justin Eboigbe. Based on Saturday’s scrimmage, Tim Keenan III, who worked at nose while Oatis slid outside, is the third starter. Next, appears to be Jah-Marien Latham and Tim Smith. Saban keeps pushing Smith for more consistency. Damon Payne Jr. and Monkell Goodwine finish out a rotating seven man, two-deep. There is additional potential depth in the position group, but they are first or second-year players.
- Inside Linebacker – Deontae Lawson is the Mike linebacker. The leader to be his backup is not clear. At Will linebacker, the starter will be Trezmen Marshall or Jihaad Campbell. The pair may be rotated situationally. Two more in the position group, JUCO Justin Jefferson and Shawn Murphy are expected to be key backups with Jefferson perhaps playing in some coverage packages.
- Outside Linebacker – Potentially the most amazing thing about this position group is after losing Will Anderson Jr. to the NFL, the Tide’s OLB group could be better than last season. They will be led by Dallas Turner and Chris Braswell; two men opposing tackles will have nightmares about. Next will be Jeremiah Alexander and redshirt junior, Quandarrius Robinson, both of whom would start on nearly every other SEC team. Adding to the Crimson Tide’s wealth at the position are redshirt sophomore Keanu Koht and freshmen Keon Keeley and Qua Russaw.
- Defensive Backs – With two transfers and a freshman possibly in the top six, there could be some growing pains. Steve Sarkisian’s receivers will be a challenge. The top cornerbacks are Kool-Aid, Terrion Arnold, and Trey Amos . Close behind is Earl Little II. One of the four or Malachi Moore will play Star in the Nickel. At this point, the starting safeties will be Caleb Downs and Jalen Key or possibly Malachi Moore. Devonta Smith and Kristian Story are not far behind. Multiple guys can play multiple positions, so expect mix and match all season. At some point, maybe not until October, this position group can be one of college football’s best.
While waiting for Nick Saban’s depth chart on Aug. 28, this post will be updated with any significant developments.