An “or” has been replaced with a slash for Alabama’s first depth chart of the 2018 season.
The coveted list of names and positions was released Monday. And no, it does not reveal who will start at quarterback. Both Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts are listed in the first-team slot. There’s a slash between the two names, which signifies that one or the other could start.
Kicker is another position up in the air. Both Joseph Bulovas and Austin Jones are listed.
“We haven’t made that decision yet,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “So we’ll keep letting both guys kick this week, and we’ll sort of see what happens.”
Alabama’s depth chart: pic.twitter.com/CT7RQcVMNa
— Terrin Waack (@terrinvictoria) August 27, 2018
Josh Jacobs and Trevon Diggs share kickoff return honors. Either Thomas Fletcher or Scott Meyer will be the long snapper.
Defensively, Saivion Smith and Patrick Surtain II are next to each other for a cornerback position, while Diggs is alone for the other.
Otherwise, all the slashes are reserved for players competing to be listed on the second team.
“In this game, it takes everybody to win,” linebacker Christian Miller said. “It doesn’t really matter exactly where you’re at on the depth chart. You never know what can happen.”
Nine true freshmen occupy 11 positions on the two-deep chart, including Surtain and punter Skyler DeLong as primaries.
No rookies made their first career start during last year’s season opener, but don’t count them out. Seventeen played throughout the course of the season.
“Anytime that we have guys that leave or guys that go down, we know we have a lot of younger guys that can step in and fill the role,” running back Damien Harris said. “We had a lot of guys who did that last year, so we never panic.”
Based on how they talk about the depth chart, the players aren’t concerned. Nothing is set in stone. The piece of paper is a formality.
And Saban will be the first to remind anyone: Whoever is ready will play.
“I owe that to every player on the team to play the best players,” Saban said. “And if a guy hasn’t done that, then somebody else should play.
“So I think there’s competition whether there’s a depth chart or not. Or whether we have a slash or not.”