JessN: ALABAMA 2021 OVERVIEW: The 2021 roster, departing players, incoming players, depth chart discussion

JessN

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A story to cover everything you would want to know about the roster heading into spring practice:

Alabama 2021: Returning players, new signees battle to keep the dynasty going
By Jess Nicholas, TideFans.com Editor-In-Chief

Alabama’s 18th national championship is in the books, and with it, the depletion of talent across the Tide’s depth chart. While Alabama certainly brings in more elite talent than most other schools, it also loses more, primarily to the NFL Draft but also to the NCAA transfer portal.

For the 2021 season, any discussion of talent on-hand is made more complicated by the NCAA’s decision to allow anyone on a roster for the 2020 season to effectively not count that season toward or against their eligibility. The NCAA still has not given schools final guidance on how to fit all these names under the 85 scholarship limit.

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Jkl0802

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A story to cover everything you would want to know about the roster heading into spring practice:

Thank you for this assessment and projection Jess. Obviously a lot of research went in to developing this, and as always your writing and background/story telling skills are fantastic.
 

B1GTide

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Didn't Smitty teach us not to underestimate receivers due to their size?

JoJo Earle and Christian Leary are both super-fast slot receivers, but their lack of size probably preclude them from being consistent performers on the outside of the formation.
 

DzynKingRTR

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A story to cover everything you would want to know about the roster heading into spring practice:

Alabama 2021: Returning players, new signees battle to keep the dynasty going
By Jess Nicholas, TideFans.com Editor-In-Chief

Alabama’s 18th national championship is in the books, and with it, the depletion of talent across the Tide’s depth chart. While Alabama certainly brings in more elite talent than most other schools, it also loses more, primarily to the NFL Draft but also to the NCAA transfer portal.

For the 2021 season, any discussion of talent on-hand is made more complicated by the NCAA’s decision to allow anyone on a roster for the 2020 season to effectively not count that season toward or against their eligibility. The NCAA still has not given schools final guidance on how to fit all these names under the 85 scholarship limit.

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Not even a mention of Waddle?
 

gtgilbert

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Good stuff. I think we will see some movement in the LB positions. Braswell still needs a lot of mass to play outside, so could shift inside like we did with Evans. Turner is also really interesting, having trained a lot as an edge player under Jason Taylor, but then also playing like a safety in 7 v7. I think he probably starts his career outside also, then he could also end up switching inside.
 
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DogPatch

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What I get out of that is that we need to find J.K. and Charlie Scott's long-lost, 18 year old brother.

Other than that, great write up.
 
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JessN

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Didn't Smitty teach us not to underestimate receivers due to their size?

JoJo Earle and Christian Leary are both super-fast slot receivers, but their lack of size probably preclude them from being consistent performers on the outside of the formation.
1. He's the exception to a fairly consistent rule;
2. He's still 6'0", and those guys are around 5'8" - 5'9". If they apply themselves in the weight room, perhaps one of them will thicken out like, say, Tyrone Prothro did, but even that didn't happen in Prothro's first year, and this is mostly about what's coming specifically in 2021.
 

JessN

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Turner is also really interesting, having trained a lot as an edge player under Jason Taylor, but then also playing like a safety in 7 v7. I think he probably starts his career outside also, then he could also end up switching inside.
The caveat there is he's about 6'2". We tend to get locked into "prototype" sizes a lot on defense and most of Bama's OLBs these days are a couple of inches taller. And we basically don't sign LBs at all anymore shorter than 6'2". When we do, they go about 250 (i.e., Blackshire) and tend to have more restricted roles unless they can prove otherwise.

If he's got that much experience at safety in 7-v-7 I expect him to follow Christian Harris' path (HS safety -> WLB with coverage responsibilities).
 
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B1GTide

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1. He's the exception to a fairly consistent rule;
2. He's still 6'0", and those guys are around 5'8" - 5'9". If they apply themselves in the weight room, perhaps one of them will thicken out like, say, Tyrone Prothro did, but even that didn't happen in Prothro's first year, and this is mostly about what's coming specifically in 2021.
We shall see.
 

gtgilbert

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The caveat there is he's about 6'2". We tend to get locked into "prototype" sizes a lot on defense and most of Bama's OLBs these days are a couple of inches taller. And we basically don't sign LBs at all anymore shorter than 6'2". When we do, they go about 250 (i.e., Blackshire) and tend to have more restricted roles unless they can prove otherwise.

If he's got that much experience at safety in 7-v-7 I expect him to follow Christian Harris' path (HS safety -> WLB with coverage responsibilities).
I know measurables often get a little exaggerated, but he is listed as 6'4", which is taller than Will Anderson when he came in (although Anderson gained an inch). There are also pics out there of him with Jason Taylor who is 6'6", and while Turner is shorter than Taylor, I'm not sure he's 4 inches shorter.

That said - you are right that the prototype for OLB for us is in the 6'3"-6'4" + range or someone slightly shorter but with longer arms. Exceptions do happen (Upshaw, Ryan Anderson) but the rule is relatively consistent. Turner is also a bit heavy for our typical ILB now, so it will be fun to see what happes.

What about Braswell? He's also not quite the ideal height nor weight for OLB. Thoughts?
 

JessN

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I know measurables often get a little exaggerated, but he is listed as 6'4", which is taller than Will Anderson when he came in (although Anderson gained an inch). There are also pics out there of him with Jason Taylor who is 6'6", and while Turner is shorter than Taylor, I'm not sure he's 4 inches shorter.

That said - you are right that the prototype for OLB for us is in the 6'3"-6'4" + range or someone slightly shorter but with longer arms. Exceptions do happen (Upshaw, Ryan Anderson) but the rule is relatively consistent. Turner is also a bit heavy for our typical ILB now, so it will be fun to see what happes.

What about Braswell? He's also not quite the ideal height nor weight for OLB. Thoughts?
A friend in the business says Turner is about 6-2.5/230. Blackshire is 250 and is purely inside, heavier than Turner. We will see if he can be laterally mobile enough at that weight, which is what has gotten a lot of ILBs turned into OLBs under us from time to time (VanDarius Cowan, Dillon Lee, and even for a time, they looked at Moses as an OLB. Hightower too during his recovery year from knee surgery).

As for Braswell, he looks slight-framed to me. The difference between him and a guy who put on a lot of size after coming here, like a Lee or an Anderson, is that Braswell doesn't look as wide-framed as he needs to be. It's sort of similar to Brandon Ale Kaho's situation. I think if Braswell goes through the winter program and then the summer program, and is still hanging around 4th on the depth chart in his second year, you will have to start wondering about his long-term status.
 

JessN

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FYI, another site is reporting Kaho is coming back. We have not confirmed that yet.
 
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JessN

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