With Roydell Williams' decision to return for next season, Alabama Football will likely have a deep running group in 2024. Williams rushed for 560 net yards in the 2023 season, making him the Crimson Tide's second-most productive runner. With 111 rushing carries, Williams was well behind Jase McClellan's 180 rushing attempts. Roydell averaged five yards per carry, just ahead of McClellan's 4.9 yards.
What McClellan will do in the 2024 season is not yet known. He could choose the NFL and be assured of being drafted, or he could decide to try to improve his future Draft stock with another season of college football. There are rumors McClellan will do the latter, but not in Tuscaloosa. Tampering is so widespread that top players have many suitors. One rumor is Lane Kiffin is pursuing McClellan. That possibly fits into the exit from Oxford by Quinshon Judkins.
The Ole Miss fan site, Ole Hotty Totty is excited about the prospect of the Rebels nabbing McClellan.
"... if the stars align and Jase McClellan does become available, it would be a huge pick-up for Lane Kiffin."- Jordan Merritt
Alabama Football and too many running backs?
Three highly respected running backs are waiting in the wings in Tuscaloosa. One of them, Justice Haynes saw increased snaps against Michigan and delivered. Before the Rose Bowl, Haynes only had 21 carries in his freshman season. Against the Wolverines, he saw early action and though he only had four rushes, he made the most of them producing a 7.8-yard carry average. Many Alabama football fans believe Haynes should be the Tide's lead back in 2024, even if Jase McClellan returns.
Along with Williams and Haynes, the Crimson Tide returns another top running back in Jam Miller. In two seasons, Miller's 74 carries have produced an average of 5.7 yards. Like Haynes, Miller would be the lead back on many SEC teams.
Not to be forgotten is former 5-Star, Richard Young. Young did not enroll early and had a quiet freshman season. He played in only three games, gaining 25 yards on nine attempts. Unlike the Tide's other backs, he had no snaps with the first unit offensive line.
Alabama signed the No. 3 running back in the 2024 class 4-Star, Kevin Riley. Recruiting insiders believe the Crimson Tide will also add 4-Star running back, Daniel Hill, who has the body of a power back, with a full package of skills.
If McClellan returns with Williams, Haynes, Miller and Young and Alabama adds Riley and Hill, the 2024 running back roster would be seven deep. It is impossible to showcase seven guys in a season. Barring injuries, four is a limit for running backs getting many meaningful snaps. That could be a problem, but for the Alabama Crimson Tide it is a good problem.
UPDATE from Friday afternoon
Friday afternoon it was reported Roydell Williams had changed his mind and will enter the Transfer Portal. Good luck to him and that's one less RB to feed.