We're such a role and substitution heavy defense, a guy like Pettway could make an impact even if he's only a situational player. His departure clearly opens up a sub-rusher spot for Anderson and Allen. It can be an impact position. Upshaw had a decent year as situational rusher in 2009 and came up huge with his scoop up fumble recovery in the national title. Dareus had a huge season in 2009 when he was mostly a substitution player after Deaderick came back from his gunshot wound.
I think that "first" sub-rusher, nickel back, and dime back are key cogs of the defense even if they aren't listed starters. There is a lot of playmaking opportunities to be had at those positions.
Barring injury or some other off the field nonsense, Jonathan Allen will MOST DEFINITELY be on the field next year. I've watched a LOT of highlight footage, and it's always hard to gauge how a young man will play at the next level if he's so much better than his competition. But to say I'm impressed with Allen is saying water is wet.
"........consensus five-star product Allen is physically ready to compete in the SEC as a freshman. Heís already 6-3, 250 pounds, but in his massive 18-year-old body, he possesses elite speed and pass rushing ability......... is perfect for Sabanís JACK linebacker........... rare combination of raw athleticism in such a massive frame. Donít expect Allen to get buried on the depth chart even as a freshman..... Allen and Alabama are perfect matches."