Alabama Football 5 Most Important Positions: no. 2

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football is now less than two weeks away from kicking off its 2023 season. In covering Bama’s five most important positions heading into this season, we have already discussed defensive tackle, quarterback, and wide receiver.

What position comes in at no. 2 on the countdown? It is one of the most critical positions on any football team, and one at which Bama will likely have a freshman starter this fall.

The left tackle is primarily responsible for protecting the quarterback’s blind side, and Alabama will enter 2023 with a new starter at both positions. In order for the Bama quarterback to perform optimally, the team will have to get reliable play at left tackle, as well as the rest of the offensive line. With projected first round draft pick JC Latham manning the right side, the Tide needs a standout left tackle to bookend the line.

The left tackle competition appears to be a battle between 5-star true freshman Kadyn Proctor and former 5-star redshirt freshman Elijah Pritchett, with Proctor holding a narrow lead. Expectations were high for Proctor when he joined the program in the spring, but to start at left tackle from day one would be a remarkably quick adjustment period.

Assuming he holds onto the job, Kadyn Proctor will be one of at least two true freshmen starting for the Tide, along with safety Caleb Downs. Getting starting experience and game reps will only speed up the development of these already extremely advanced youngsters.

If Alabama opts to go in the direction of Pritchett, week one would also be his first start. Pritchett barely played last season, appearing in just two games. Either player would have to prove themselves, and would probably be learning on the fly.

Three more freshmen, Miles McVay, Wilkin Formby, and Olaus Alinen, were all 4-star recruits in the class of 2023. Bama needs at least one of these players to stay healthy and develop quickly to provide depth at the tackle positions.

If Kadyn Proctor can keep the job and eventually be as good as advertised by the end of this season, Alabama Football will be very strong across the line of scrimmage.

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For the Crimson Tide to reach its ultimate goals, Proctor (or an equally young option at left tackle) will likely have to block some of the nation’s best pass rushers and hold his own.