By: Garrett Franks
TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- Throughout the weeks leading up to spring practice we will break down each position for the Crimson Tide this season.
O-line was a big area of concern for the Tide this past season, allowing 41 sacks in 15 games. At Times it felt like QB Bryce Young was running for his life due to poor blocking.
There are many questions regarding this O-Line. With some mainstays departing for the NFL, and a new O-Line coach, this line could look very different in 2022.
The new Alabama offensive line coach Eric Wolford comes to Tuscaloosa from the Blue Grass State. Wolford, led the Kentucky Wildcats line to an impressive 24 total sacks. They also rushed for over 2,500 yards.
Before being in Kentucky, Wolford worked under Will Muschamp at South Carolina from 2017-2020.
Wolford, brings a wealth of knowledge to the job. In his lone season at Kentucky, he led the Wildcats to a Joe Moore award finalist sport.
He also is an excellent recruiter, bringing in guys like Barion Brown and Dylan Wonnum to their respective university. Wolford will bring a much needed breath of fresh air to the O-Line room.
Who will step up at left-tackle?
The Tide have a 6’7 330lbs hole to fill at left tackle. Evan Neal leaving for the NFL opens the left tackle spot open. Damieon George filled in at times, he participated in 12 games last season but struggled with inconsistency.
Will The tide turn to Redshirt-Freshmen such as, JC Latham or Tommy Brockermeyer? Both players were highly regarded coming out of high school as star guys. Latham might have a slight edge over Brockermeyer considering Latham did get some snaps last season.
We could also a player such as Javion Cohen move over from the guard position to tackle.
While this class didn’t boast the likes of 5-star rated O-linemen there is still plenty to talk about with this freshman class.
Tyler Booker, the 6’5 325lbs tackle from IMG looks the part with his staggering size. Booker was considered the vocal leader of the IMG National team. Booker is already on campus participating in spring practice. Usually freshmen who see the field under Saban, participate in spring ball. Saban has only ever started three true-freshman on the offensive line.
Dayne Shor and Elijah Pritchett will also vying for a starting position. Both look to be more-so long-term project players.
While it’s silly and pointless to guess on current roster attrition, transfers are an important part of the game. We’ve seen Saban utilize the portal post Spring-practice. Look at last years roster, Jameson Williams and Henry To’oto’o were mid-Summer addition to the roster.
Saban is a master of roster management, so don’t be surprised when/if he dips his hand back into the portal.