Alabama football turning to Josh Jobe as cornerback replacement
TUSCALOOSA - Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II who had a coverage grade from Pro Football Focus in 2019 ranked among the top five players at the position in the Power 5 for the 2020 season. It is also losing cornerback Trevon Diggs who led the Power 5 with eight games of one or fewer receptions allowed in 2019.
Despite meeting LSU’s excellent passing attack, UA had strong cornerback play throughout 2019. To do it again in 2020, it has to quickly groom an inexperienced replacement.
Players: Junior Patrick Surtain II, junior Josh Jobe, redshirt sophomore Jalyn Armour-Davis, sophomore Marcus Banks, redshirt freshman Brandon Turnage, freshman Jahquez Robinson. (Junior Ronald Williams Jr. is a cornerback, but is currently expected to play UA’s star position.)
2019 stat: The 103 interception return yards Surtain and Diggs combined for last year was more than nine SEC schools’ top two players in interception return yards. Three SEC schools failed to have more than one player compile more than 20 interception return yards, while Diggs had 79 and Surtain had 24.
Storyline: UA has plenty of options of options for its second cornerback alongside Surtain, but it seems to have placed them all on Jobe’s shoulders.
“I think the big thing in this conference and within this defense, we need to have two corners that can lock it down and I think that’s something that Patrick and Josh should be able to do for us and they’ve done well up to this point,” UA defensive coordinator Pete Golding said.
Jobe was clearly UA’s No. 3 cornerback last year, given he is the one who started the Citrus Bowl in Diggs’ absence. But UA since added two options (Williams Jr. and Robinson, who practiced a few times in December) and worked to develop its underclassmen options.
Thus, if the Jobe experiment does not go the way both parties plan it, Alabama can quickly pivot elsewhere — Williams is likely to get plenty of reps at the star position, thus won’t be out of practice. But the early reps are going to Jobe, and a change would force someone to get acclimated with less time than Jobe had.
Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson