Alabama Football Position Group Countdown: Looking for proof

Alabama v Arkansas
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Quandarrius Robinson
Alabama v Mississippi State / Michael Chang/GettyImages

7. Outside linebacker (Edge/Wolf)

Bama was always elite on the edge under Coach Nick Saban. While it will go by a new name under Kalen DeBoer and Kane Wommack, the Wolf position should essentially play the same role.

Just like in Saban’s base nickel, Alabama will be able to manipulate personnel to deploy one or two edge players at a time depending on the situation. It seems that Wommack prefers to utilize one edge and three true defensive linemen in his base, so there may be fewer opportunities at this position further down the depth chart. 

Two veterans will likely open spring at the top of the depth chart at Wolf in redshirt senior Quandarrius Robinson and redshirt junior Keanu Koht. Robinson enjoyed his best season yet in 2023, playing spot snaps as a pass-rush specialist and at times looking like an NFL talent. If those glimpses are any indication, he could have a Chris Braswell-like breakout season this fall. 

If he falters, there is plenty of young, top-end talent in this room. Former 5-stars Keon Keeley, Yhonzae Pierre, and Qua Russaw all enter year two in the program. Additionally, the Tide brings in two more highly-touted freshmen in Jayshawn Ross and Noah Carter. 

Everyone is excited to see these blue-chip youngsters get on the field, but Robinson and Koht might just be good enough to hold them off for one more year. Either way, it looks like this position will continue to be stacked for years to come. 

I consider these three position groups to be “swing” positions for Alabama Football in 2024. They all seemingly have high floors due to the experience they have, and should be very solid as a baseline. However, if any of these groups transform into difference-makers, they can alter the ceiling of the team as a whole.