The Tuscaloosa News will review the Alabama roster by examining each position group entering spring practice. The Crimson Tide held its first spring practice Friday, March 8 and will resume after UA’s spring break ends Monday, March 18.
Spring football prospectus: Inside linebackers
Starters returning: Dylan Moses
Departed: Mack Wilson
Others returning: Markail Benton, Ale Kaho, Joshua McMillon, Jaylen Moody
Newcomers: Shane Lee
Confidence level: 7/10
Starting point: Dylan Moses will have a chance to show he’s one of the nation’s best linebackers in his junior year. He hasn’t reached that level yet, but he did play extensively as a freshman and continued to develop during his sophomore year. He’s athletic, intelligent and has instincts that make his abilities even more apparent. He could likely start at three or four linebacker positions for Alabama, but he’s far more valuable with this roster playing inside.
There will also be continuity from position coach Pete Golding, who returns for his second season. Only one scholarship player from the 2018 roster won’t be with this unit when spring starts, and it’s well-stocked with a freshman, sophomores, a junior and a senior.
To be determined: The second inside linebacker still has to emerge. Mack Wilson struggled at times in 2018, but there never seemed to be a real threat to replace him or take him off the field. There will be competition to replace him this spring, and one of those players is going to end up being a key part of the defense.
Coach Nick Saban has said he’d like more consistency from Markail Benton. Senior-to-be Joshua McMillon has as much experience in the program as any player but still hasn’t found much playing time. Ale Kaho and Jaylen Moody acquitted themselves well as true freshmen, but most of their play was on special teams. As much as any other group, this is a position where a player from last year needs to show he’s ready to win a starting job.