Alabama Football will retain its physical identity

Alabama v Arkansas
Alabama v Arkansas / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

When the football programs of Alabama and Washington are considered side by side, one might perceive them to be polar opposites on the surface. Both programs are products of their respective conferences, and the SEC and the league formerly known as the PAC-12 put forth very different brands and identities. 

The SEC has been the epitome of physicality and dominance in the trenches, while the West Coast has brought more of a finesse approach to college football. 

In spite of the reputation of West Coast football and Coach Kalen DeBoer’s lack of southern ties, Alabama Football should maintain its culture of physicality in 2024.

Although DeBoer has fielded some explosive passing offenses, he incorporates more smashmouth tendencies than he is given credit for. Washington’s offensive line winning the 2023 Joe Moore Award has been a common talking point, and running back Dillon Johnson led the Huskies with just under 1,200 yards and 16 rushing scores. Johnson was a physical back with SEC ties that ran for over 2,000 career yards for Mike Leach at Mississippi State before taking his talents to Seattle.

Additionally, the roster at Alabama is situated to play power football, at least to a degree. Spread concepts will certainly be used on offense, and Bama will need to be able to defend the spread as well. However, the strength of this roster lies within the tackle boxes. 

The Tide should be able to field one of the best interior offensive lines in the nation with returning guards Tyler Booker and Jaeden Roberts in addition to Washington transfer center Parker Brailsford.

Further, Alabama’s tight end room, led by seniors CJ Dippre and Robbie Ouzts, is built to run the football. A deep stable of running backs, highlighted by junior Jam Miller and sophomore Justice Haynes, should be able to put up big numbers. 

On the other side of the ball, Alabama should be well-equipped with a plethora of future NFL defensive linemen and an elite linebacker tandem in Deontae Lawson and Jihaad Campbell. 

While this will be a new chapter of Alabama Football under Coach DeBoer, physicality will always win in the SEC. Alabama should be ready to contend in 2024.