Alabama Football needs youngsters to emerge at these positions

Apr 13, 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA;  Alabama defensive back Zabien Brown (15) hits Alabama running
Apr 13, 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama defensive back Zabien Brown (15) hits Alabama running / Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama Football has plenty of veteran leadership on its roster. In particular, the quarterback room, defensive line, and linebackers have lots of collective experience. However, there are other spots on the field that may necessitate freshmen or redshirt freshmen stepping up into prominent roles. 

Wide receiver

Germie Bernard, Kendrick Law, and Kobe Prentice will lead the receiver room into the 2024 season. These three juniors are all set to play bigger roles than ever before, and the pecking order has yet to be determined. Even fellow junior Emmanuel Henderson, who has dealt with injuries throughout his career, has some promising traits that could lead him to be a weapon in this offense.

This is a really solid group for Jalen Milroe and offensive coordinator Nick Sheridan to lean on. However, Alabama may need contributions from some of its dynamic freshmen to raise the ceiling of the wide receiver room.

6’5” converted tight end Caleb Odom and summer enrollee Ryan Williams are the most obvious potential answers. Both are super talented and have unique skill sets when compared to the older receivers. Bama has several other freshmen receivers who could also contribute, but no one would be surprised if Odom or Williams become a big part of the offense. 

Offensive line

The Crimson Tide’s starting offensive line is pretty rock solid, and the recent transfer addition of Geno VanDeMark gives it a much-needed “sixth man” with some experience. The reality is that six offensive linemen is probably not enough to get through a full season unscathed, especially with the introduction of the expanded playoff format.  

So, who does Bama have behind its top six up front? Freshmen. That’s it. The eight remaining scholarship offensive linemen on the roster are all either true freshmen or redshirt freshmen, and some of them may need to contribute in 2024. Redshirt freshmen like Wilkin Formby and Olaus Alinen may be the most prepared to step up. 


Cornerback is the most obvious position group that will need freshmen to play, and play well. It was the story of the spring transfer portal period for Alabama Football, who played its A-Day scrimmage with only one non-freshman at corner in Domani Jackson.

The Tide has since added another transfer in DaShawn Jones, but the freshmen are still the vast majority in this room. Bama will likely need at least two freshmen corners to play important snaps sometime this season.

Personally, I still believe there is a strong chance that one of them becomes a starter, even with the transfer portal additions. 5-star true freshmen Zabien Brown has gotten the most buzz here, and could start opposite Jackson. 

Alabama Football had freshmen step up at key moments throughout Coach Nick Saban’s tenure, and that shouldn’t change with Kalen DeBoer at the helm.