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: Outside linebackers
Starters returning: Anfernee Jennings
Departed: Christian Miller, Jamey Mosley, Cameron Latu (position change)
Others returning: Chris Allen, Eyabi Anoma, Ben Davis, Terrell Lewis, Jarez Parks
Newcomers: Kevin Harris
Confidence level: 9/10
Starting point: This unit should be one of the defense’s strengths, based on what’s coming back. Anfernee Jennings was quieter than some of Alabama’s other defensive players, but his production was excellent and he may be better yet in 2019. He isn’t often discussed as one of the top NFL prospects on the defense, but another big season could vault him into that mix.
The other good news is Terrell Lewis and Chris Allen should also be important players. Both would have been in the two-deep in 2018, but injuries prevented either from playing a snap. That created opportunities for some young players, like Eyabi Anoma. He should play a larger role as a sophomore, giving this group four solid options for two spots. There could be some heavy rotation here to keep talented players on the field.
To be determined: Lewis has missed almost all of the last two seasons with an injury and needs to stay healthy. The other players providing depth, like Ben Davis and Jarez Parks, are talented but unknown quantities. Anoma and Parks look like they’ll have the potential for strong careers but it’s too early to tell what kind of players they’ll be. The same goes for Cameron Latu, who was working with the tight ends when spring began after redshirting with this group in the fall.
Sal Sunseri is a proven coach, so this group is in capable hands. But Tosh Lupoi did an excellent job of creating a fearsome pass rush for four seasons. It’s worth keeping an eye on this group to see how the young players develop.