The young Alabama players we’ll be watching against Fresno State
Posted September 08, 2017 at 08:03 AM | Updated September 08, 2017 at 08:04 AM
Alabama Football 2017 Camp
Young Alabama players to watch against Fresno State
Let’s be honest here. After the top-3 showdown in Atlanta last Saturday, just about anything would be a step down for Alabama football in Week 2. Fresno State gets that honor at 2:30 p.m. CT in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Bulldogs (1-11 last year) took care of Incarnate Word — an FCS team coming off a 3-8 season — by a final of 66-0.
Anyway, Alabama has a few different things going on in the home opener. The annual opportunity to test young players got a twist when four linebackers went down with injuries of various degrees in the beating of Florida State.
These are the youthful players who we’ll be watching closest Saturday afternoon.
A five-star defensive lineman, Ray has spent the week practicing with the outside linebackers in the absence of the top three players at that position. It’s unclear how much he’ll play or if he will at all, but the idea of an elite talent trying a different position in the second game of his career is intriguing.
QB Tua Tagovailoa
No, we weren’t skipping him. Nick Saban said he’d be getting playing time this season and this would be a good way to infuse some experience. It only makes sense to get field time for the backup since there is exactly zero collegiate experience behind Jalen Hurts on the depth chart. Tagovailoa is always one play away from the driver’s seat, so here’s his chance to get a feel for the speed of things in a manageable situation. Plus, the kid can really spin it.
OL Jedrick Wills
Like LaBryan Ray, Wills was one of the few high-end Alabama signees who wasn’t enrolled for spring. The Lexington, Ky., product quickly impressed to the point he challenged for the starting right tackle job. He has the prototypical frame for the position and just needs some experience to go with the potential displayed in just over a month of practice time.
LB Dylan Moses
With the disruption at outside linebacker, starting middle linebacker Rashaan Evans is also out for at least a week with a groin injury. That meant increased roles for Keith Holcombe and Mack Wilson against Florida State. Also expect to see more of Moses, the 2016 national high school player of the year according to Parade Magazine. He looks the part and made a big play forcing a fumble on kickoff coverage last week. “I always tell him he’s a freak of nature,” starter Shaun Dion Hamilton said of Moses.
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Published at Fri, 08 Sep 2017 13:03:15 +0000