Alabama football releases depth chart going into season opener against Missouri
TUSCALOOSA — Alabama’s depth chart, released Monday as the Crimson Tide starts to prepare for Saturday’s season opener against Missouri, ended a quarterback battle and revealed one freshmen solidly in a starting spot, plus four more that either could start or are in position to receive plenty of playing time.
Here are some takeaways from UA’s depth chart release.
It was the foregone conclusion for the final weeks of camp, but Mac Jones is officially Alabama’s starting quarterback with redshirt freshman Paul Tyson and true freshman Bryce Young listed as backups behind him. The buzz around Young as a potential immediate starter was put on hold after an offseason of remote meetings and no spring practice, one not conducive to a freshman quarterback getting up to speed quickly.
Freshmen on defense
When UA does use a Jack linebacker, it will be a freshman: Will Anderson Jr. is listed as the starter with fellow freshman Drew Sanders behind him. UA’s experience at the outside linebacker position is stacked at the Sam position, with Christopher Allen and Ben Davis listed as co-starters, but UA coach Nick Saban said freshmen would contribute at the position and the depth chart repeats that projection.
Alabama will also have at least one freshman in its starting secondary, with Malachi Moore and Brian Branch listed as co-starters as its star position. If one of them is also the starter at money, both could be on the field in dime packages.
Defensive lineman Tim Smith is one of the second-string nose guards, alongside Ishmael Sopsher, paving the way for him to have a significant rotation role.
Owens or Ekiyor?
UA’s offensive line returned four starters, and with Evan Neal moving from guard to tackle to replace the departed Jedrick Wills, it was known the new starter would come in the interior. It remains to be seen where that new starter will play.
Redshirt sophomore Emil Ekiyor Jr. is listed as UA’s starting right guard, but UA also has redshirt seniors Landon Dickerson and Chris Owens both listed as starters at center. Dickerson will not be removed from the starting lineup, meaning he will either play center with Ekiyor to his right or Owens will play center with Dickerson at right guard. Other contenders for that spot – Darrian Dalcourt, Tommy Brown and Pierce Quick – fall in line as replacements at center, left guard and right guard, respectively.
Battles to be won
Alabama has yet to pick a punter among its trio of walk-on candidates: Sam Johnson, Charlie Scott and Ty Perine. It also has three candidates for its third running back slot that remain in competition for those reps: Trey Sanders, Jase McClellen and Roydell Williams.
UA also has several defensive ends that will compete for snaps during the season opposite LaBryan Ray. Justin Eboigbe, Christian Barmore and Phidarian Mathis are all listed equally at one defensive end spot.
Bryce Young OR Paul Tyson
Brian Robinson Jr.
Trey Sanders OR Jase McClellan OR Roydell Williams
Javon Baker OR Traeshon Holden
Xavier Williams OR Thaiu Jones-Bell
Major Tennison OR Carl Tucker OR Jahleel Billingsley
Landon Dickerson OR Chris Owens
Emil Ekiyor Jr.
Pierce Quick OR Amari Kight
Kendall Randolph or Javion Cohen
Byron Young OR Stephon Wynn Jr.
Tim Smith OR Ishmael Sopsher
Justin Eboigbe OR Christian Barmore OR Phidarian Mathis
Christopher Allen OR Ben Davis
Jaylen Moody OR Shane Lee
Joshua McMillon OR Ale Kaho OR Demouy Kennedy
Will Anderson Jr.
Patrick Surtain II
Marcus Banks OR Brandon Turnage
Malachi Moore OR Brian Branch
Joseph Bulovas OR Chase Allen
Mac Jones OR Slade Bolden
Sam Johnson OR Charlie Scott OR Ty Perine
Slade Bolden OR Patrick Surtain II OR Xavier Williams
Jaylen Waddle AND DeVonta Smith
Brian Robinson Jr. AND Roydell Williams