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  1. #14
    BamaNation Hall of Fame GreatDanish's Avatar
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    Re: Where is a crazy early depth chart?

    Not a depth chart, but here's a glance at each position over the last two recruiting classes. Bolded players are Rivals100 prospects, and the underlined players are other four-stars. I maintain that QBs and OL (particularly OG) are the two positions where HS rating are less predictive of future success. Perhaps not coincidentally, these are the only two positions where we do not have a Rivals100 prospect.
    QB: Alec Morris, Cooper Bateman, Parker McLeod
    RB: TJ Yeldon, Kenyan Drake, Derrick Henry, Tyren Jones, Altee Tenpenny, Alvin Kamara
    TE: Kurt Freitag, OJ Howard
    OT: Brandon Hill, Grant Hill, Brandon Greene, Alphonse Taylor
    OG: Cole Mazza, Caleb Gulledge
    WR: Chris Black, Cyrus Jones, ArDarius Stewart, Amari Cooper, Raheem Falkins, Robert Foster, and Eddie Jackson

    DE: Jonathan Allen, Dee Liner, Tim Williams
    NT/DT: Dakota Ball, Korren Kirven, Darren Lake, Dalvin Tomlinson, Darius Paige, and A'Shawn Robinson
    OLB: Ryan Anderson, Denzell Devall, Tyler Hayes, Walker Jones
    ILB: Dillon Lee, Reggie Ragland, and Reuben Foster
    CB: Anthony Averett, Geno Smith, Jonathan Cook, and Maurice Smith
    S: Eddie Williams and Landon Collins
    Last edited by GreatDanish; February 10th, 2013 at 02:05 PM.

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  3. #15
    BamaNation Hall of Fame RedStar's Avatar
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    Re: Where is a crazy early depth chart?

    It's going to be really, REALLY hard to keep OJ Howard off the field. TE's with his skill set come around about once a decade.

    Howard is the first 5-star TE since Kyle Rudolph in 2008, and the highest rated TE since Martellus Bennett in 2005. He's a special player.
    Last edited by RedStar; February 8th, 2013 at 10:34 AM.
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  4. #16
    BamaNation All-SEC tide96's Avatar
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    Re: Where is a crazy early depth chart?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatDanish View Post
    OT: Brandon Hill, Grant Hill, Brandon Greene, Alphonse Taylor
    OG: Cole Mazza, Caleb Gulledge
    Don't forget Leon Brown this year. I'm beating he starts at RT in the spring.

  5. #17
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    Re: Where is a crazy early depth chart?

    I'll just concern myself with the incoming players:

    QB: nobody will be playing barring injury. Considering the bad luck of returning senior star QBs lately, lets keep our fingers crossed.

    Tailback: Henry and T. Jones have the best shot for legitimate snaps. I think Henry is the next great stud freshman we seem to get every year. Kamara has a shot to forgo the redshirt because he could be a returner.

    H-B/TE: Howard has a path to playing time but he must learn how to block at this level. Blocking has kept many a good receiving H-back types off the field here. Smelley was probably underutilized during his eligibility given his receiving ability but he was well behind Dial as a blocker and rarely saw the field until his Senior year. I think Fowler will see a lot of time as a FB/H-B if he's healthy...but the staff would love to have Howard develop into starting material by mid-season.

    WR: Robert Foster has the best chance to play in our small WR class. He's an electric returner, so he could see the field there and be a rotational guy with a chance to pass veterans with exceptional practice and play.

    OL: Leon Brown and Brandon Hill arrived early. Each will be in a battle to win the RT position. I think the plan is clearly to start the JUCO Leon Brown.

    DL: Jonathan Allen, Dee Liner, and A'Shawn Robinson all have chances to play. I think they signal a growing desire to build a true even front DL to compliment our bigger weak-side DEs and nose tackles in odd front alignments. Allen is big enough to play a traditional 4-3 WDE type position but he'll probably play Jack LB in regular defense. Robinson probably has the best chance to make an impact but Allen and Liner could be rotational guys with some situational roles in their freshman year. Don't underestimate Robinson, that was a big flip late in the process.

    LB: Reuben Foster will likely be much like Ragland this year. There is a minor logjam at ILB between DePriest, Mosley, and Ragland. Reuben Foster will be an impact special teamer in coverage, so much like Robert Foster...he has the opportunity to be a freely available freshman with no concerns about "wasting the redshirt" to the staff. He can earn meaningful defensive PT with good performance. Another thing to consider is that he might be considered an OLB by the staff. Devall was recruited as an ILB but nearly immediately found a home at OLB. Reuben is an absolute missile with a good deal of quickness for a guy considered to be an ILB. That is something to consider. Of course between Dickson, Hubbard, and Devall the OLB depth is just as mucuh of a logjam. I guess the point is that he provides some positional flexibility because of his skills.

    DB: We're exceptionally deep at CB and S on paper. We need a veteran to step up as a 3rd corner but we're pretty adverse to playing true freshman at corner in normal game situations. Special teams gunner duties is the path to playing time for most of these signees.



    Also, Cole Mazza the long snapper recruit is a favorite to start next year since Carson Tinker declined to use his last year of eligibility.
    Last edited by rgw; February 8th, 2013 at 10:47 AM.

  6. #18
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    Re: Where is a crazy early depth chart?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedStar View Post
    It's going to be really, REALLY hard to keep OJ Howard off the field. TE's with his skill set come around about once a decade.

    Howard is the first 5-star TE since Kyle Rudolph in 2008, and the highest rated TE since Martellus Bennett in 2005. He's a special player.
    It's really not going to be that hard to imagine a scenario where he struggles to earn playing time. If he can't block, then we can't afford to play him because that edge seal by the TE and H-B are key to our running attack. Volger and Michael Williams might have graded out better than some of the true offensive linemen in the SECCG. Smelley was poised to win the starting job in 2009 but had an atrocious game as a blocker against VT...Dial took over and Smelley didn't see the field for meaningful duty until his Senior year (2011).

    Obviously, Howard is a different kind of athlete than Smelley. They'd probably try to use him as a flexed TE in spread packages if he demonstrates playmaking ability. Still, that kind of situational use takes away the disguise of the playcall. Ideally, you want your TE personnel not to dictate the playcall before you even lineup.

    You're right though...Howard is the highest rated TE since Bennett (a pretty solid NFL TE) and Kyle Rudolph (the Pro Bowl MVP). He's going to be special if that is any indication. I'm just skeptical because I realize how key H-Back is to the whole offense. If this guy can play the run game assignments well, we're going to be onto something special.

  7. #19
    BamaNation Hall of Fame GreatDanish's Avatar
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    Re: Where is a crazy early depth chart?

    Quote Originally Posted by tide96 View Post
    Don't forget Leon Brown this year. I'm beating he starts at RT in the spring.
    Yeah, I left him and Deion Belue off because I was looking at players who will have 4 or 5 years left. Sorry I didn't explain that. Just looking at our Freshmen.

  8. #20
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    Re: Where is a crazy early depth chart?

    Quote Originally Posted by rgw View Post
    It's really not going to be that hard to imagine a scenario where he struggles to earn playing time. If he can't block, then we can't afford to play him because that edge seal by the TE and H-B are key to our running attack. Volger and Michael Williams might have graded out better than some of the true offensive linemen in the SECCG. Smelley was poised to win the starting job in 2009 but had an atrocious game as a blocker against VT...Dial took over and Smelley didn't see the field for meaningful duty until his Senior year (2011).

    Obviously, Howard is a different kind of athlete than Smelley. They'd probably try to use him as a flexed TE in spread packages if he demonstrates playmaking ability. Still, that kind of situational use takes away the disguise of the playcall. Ideally, you want your TE personnel not to dictate the playcall before you even lineup.

    You're right though...Howard is the highest rated TE since Bennett (a pretty solid NFL TE) and Kyle Rudolph (the Pro Bowl MVP). He's going to be special if that is any indication. I'm just skeptical because I realize how key H-Back is to the whole offense. If this guy can play the run game assignments well, we're going to be onto something special.
    Most of that's because he wasn't asked to block in high school. He was spectacular after the catch & caught nearly everything that came his way. Hard to say he wasn't a good blocker when he was rarely asked to. When he stayed home to block, no one got by him.

    He came in as an EE, the extra time in the weight room and practice field will serve him well. I don't think it's a stretch to say he's the most talented TE we've had since Ozzie. What he does with that talent remains to be seen. But it's rare to see someone with that type of talent sitting on the bench.
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  9. #21
    BamaNation All-American Airborne Tider's Avatar
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    Re: Where is a crazy early depth chart?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatDanish View Post
    Not a depth chart, but here's a glance at each position over the last two recruiting classes. Bolded players are Rivals100 prospects, and the underlined players are other four-stars. I maintain that QBs and OL (particularly OG) are the two positions where HS rating are less predictive of future success. Perhaps not coincidentally, these are the only two positions where we do not have a Rivals100 prospect.
    QB: Alec Morris, Cooper Bateman, Parker McLeod
    RB: TJ Yeldon, Kenyan Drake, Derrick Henry, Tyren Jones, Altee Tenpenny, Alvin Kamara
    TE: Kurt Freitag, OJ Howard
    OT: Brandon Hill, Grant Hill, Brandon Greene, Alphonse Taylor
    OG: Cole Mazza, Caleb Gulledge
    WR: Chris Black, Cyrus Jones, ArDarius Stewart, Amari Cooper, Raheem Falkins, Robert Foster, and Eddie Jackson

    DE: Jonathan Allen, Dee Liner, Tim Williams
    NT/DT: Dakota Ball, Korren Kirven, Darren Lake, Dalvin Tomlinson, Darius Paige, and A'Shawn Robinson
    OLB: Ryan Anderson, Denzell Devall, Tyler Hayes, Walker Jones
    ILB: Dillon Lee, Reggie Ragland, and Reuben Foster
    CB: Anthony Averett, Travell Dixon, Geno Smith, Jonathan Cook, and Maurice Smith
    S: Eddie Williams and Landon Collins
    Good breakdown. One minor adjustment though, Eddie Jackson will be a corner.
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  10. #22
    BamaNation All-American B1GTide's Avatar
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    Re: Where is a crazy early depth chart?

    I think you will see Howard on the field as he offers such a huge size mismatch. If he doesn't prove out as a blocking TE, you convert him to receiver. Think Eifert, but with real speed.

  11. #23
    BamaNation All-American KrAzY3's Avatar
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    Re: Where is a crazy early depth chart?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedStar View Post
    It's going to be really, REALLY hard to keep OJ Howard off the field. TE's with his skill set come around about once a decade.

    Howard is the first 5-star TE since Kyle Rudolph in 2008, and the highest rated TE since Martellus Bennett in 2005. He's a special player.
    I'm probably most excited about OJ Howard. I think that if AJ is healthy and the line protects him, he could throw for 3500+ yards/ 35+ TDs. Last year Alabama lost several WRs, their third down back, and he still put up exceptional numbers. I think Howard opens up things and if AJ shows some progression it could be a remarkable season.

    I think some guys you just know will have an impact, Trent and Cody are two that come to mind for me, and I think Howard is in that class. If you go with the comparisons to Rundolph and Bennett, you see two solid NFL players.

    As a freshman, Bennett caught 18 passes for 162 yards and 3 TDs. Before leaving after his third year, he has 587 yards and 4 TDs his final season, quite hefty production from the position. Rudolf had 29 catches for 340 yards and 2 TDs his first year. He also left after three years, and had steady production (28/328/3 his final year).

    By contrast, Smelley (who just isn't as big as the rest of these guys) had a fantastic senior season (34/356/4) but up until then hadn't broken the 100 yard mark, or scored a touchdown. Michael Williams had his top year his senior year, and broke the 100 yard mark three years in a row, but his 24/183/4 could be improved on.

    I think there's a lot of reason to believe that Howard can pick up where Michael Williams left off, at as true freshman, and it's not at all unrealistic to think that we'll see production more along the lines of Rudolf his first season, or Smelley his final season. His upside, even if he leaves after three seasons is still someone that could catch 40+ passes and have 500+ yards. He's a special player and could give remarkable production out of his position.
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  12. #24
    BamaNation Hall of Fame GreatDanish's Avatar
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    Re: Where is a crazy early depth chart?

    Quote Originally Posted by Airborne Tider View Post
    Good breakdown. One minor adjustment though, Eddie Jackson will be a corner.
    Thanks. I've missed a lot of the discussion on the individual recruits, so I am sure some of the players will end up at different positions than I have listed. For example, I hear Derrick Henry is going to be .... nevermind. I won't even make the joke.

  13. #25
    BamaNation All-American colbysullivan's Avatar
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    Re: Where is a crazy early depth chart?

    Quote Originally Posted by KrAzY3 View Post
    I'm probably most excited about OJ Howard. I think that if AJ is healthy and the line protects him, he could throw for 3500+ yards/ 35+ TDs. Last year Alabama lost several WRs, their third down back, and he still put up exceptional numbers. I think Howard opens up things and if AJ shows some progression it could be a remarkable season.

    I think some guys you just know will have an impact, Trent and Cody are two that come to mind for me, and I think Howard is in that class. If you go with the comparisons to Rundolph and Bennett, you see two solid NFL players.

    As a freshman, Bennett caught 18 passes for 162 yards and 3 TDs. Before leaving after his third year, he has 587 yards and 4 TDs his final season, quite hefty production from the position. Rudolf had 29 catches for 340 yards and 2 TDs his first year. He also left after three years, and had steady production (28/328/3 his final year).

    By contrast, Smelley (who just isn't as big as the rest of these guys) had a fantastic senior season (34/356/4) but up until then hadn't broken the 100 yard mark, or scored a touchdown. Michael Williams had his top year his senior year, and broke the 100 yard mark three years in a row, but his 24/183/4 could be improved on.

    I think there's a lot of reason to believe that Howard can pick up where Michael Williams left off, at as true freshman, and it's not at all unrealistic to think that we'll see production more along the lines of Rudolf his first season, or Smelley his final season. His upside, even if he leaves after three seasons is still someone that could catch 40+ passes and have 500+ yards. He's a special player and could give remarkable production out of his position.
    Great post. I was really upset when Smelley's eligibility was gone. He was one of those guys that didn't always show up on the stat sheet, but usually had a big impact. I remember in 2011 against the Barn, he had 6 catches in the first half....all were for 1st downs including one TD. I think Howard has the chance to have that kind of impact but also light up the stat sheet. He's gonna be special.

  14. #26
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    Re: Where is a crazy early depth chart?

    The big thing with Howard is that we've had a very conducive offense to TE success but, for whatever reason, missed out on the elite talents at TE. It is a hard position to recruit though because the numbers are usually thin at the position out of high school. So many TE body-types play WR these days with spread offenses. Sometimes we've just not had a strong recruiting presence in a region with a strong TE prospect.

    We finally caught an elite TE prospect in our backyard and that is a very good thing. The way we run and often pass off the play fake, the TE is a deadly weapon in the offense. We have a guy like Gresham, Hernandez, Gronkowski, or Rudolph now. I'd love for him to be ready to go this year because we have the tailback-quarterback combination to make his opportunities come easy.

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