Posted on 13 January 2012.
Trent Richardson, Marquis Maze, William Vlachos, Josh Chapman, Courtney Upshaw, Dont’a Hightower, DeQuan Menzie, mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick. No, this isn’t the latest dance troupe to wow the judges of America’s got Talent. It’s the list of stud athletes that just this week played their last game at the University of Alabama. Oh, and these are only the ones that are expected to be drafted into the NFL. While Tuesday morning, every Cracker Barrel in the Heart of Dixie was filled with pleasant greetings of “Roll Tide, Roll Tide, and Roll Tide to you” among total strangers, Tuesday there were already cautious whispers of “rebuild” and “reload”. yes, it seems that the offseason will be a busy one in Tuscaloosa. But isn’t it always that way?
The fine people of Alabama are generally known for their laid back, never in a hurry, don’t sweat the small stuff approach to life. well when it comes to their football…not so much. Within mere hours of their BCS championship win over the mad Hatter and LSU, Bama fans throughout the land had already begun to look forward to next year. Who’s gone? Who’s leaving early? who in the Wide World of Sports will we have left? Relax, folks. It’s been taken care of.
Nick Saban hoards linebackers like those who fear a nuclear meltdown or the Mayan Doomsday hoard canned beans and light bulbs. The coffers in the basement of the Alabama athletic department are jam packed with everything one could need to battle at the highest level for the forseeable future. ”A 6’4 corner from Mississippi? Comin’ right up. a middle linebacker with 4.4 speed? No sweat. An offensive lineman who plays the clarinet and delivers pancake blocks like UPS does Christmas presents? Yeah, we have two of those.” Coach Saban appears to have them all. he cranks out talent like Volkswagen cranked out Beetles. Like Fort Knox stockpiles gold, Saban stocks physical specimen.
Let’s start with the running back position where Heisman finalist Trent Richardson rightfully bolted to the NFL. Richardson ran for over 1700 yards, 5.9 per carry and 21 touchdowns. Bama will rotate in Eddie Lacy and his well over 600 yards, a 7.1 average, and 7 TD’s. His backup, surely to see a bigger role in 2012, will either be junior Jalston Fowler who also averaged almost 7 per carry (albeit primarily in mop-up roles) or redshirt freshman Dee Hart. Saban’s gotcha covered.
Bama also loses three key players in the passing game. Marquis Maze, Darius Hanks and TE Brad Smelley are gone. Junior Kevin Norwood (who was huge in the title game), Duron Carter (Ohio State transfer and son of Minnesota Viking legend Chris Carter), and senior TE Michael Williams will lead the pack going into spring practice. and don’t forget 5 star signee Cyrus Jones, who could be a factor at running back, receiver OR safety. Saban’s gotcha covered.
Center William Vlachos is the only significant loss on the offensive line, and look for junior Kellen Williams to compete for that spot. nine of the top twelve on the depth chart return to the o-line for the Tide in 2012 including All-American Barrett Jones, Cyrus Kouandjio, and Anthony Steen. Saban’s gotcha covered.
Defensively, there’s quite alot to replace. We’ll begin with the defensive line, where there is not too much of an issue. Josh Chapman and Nick Gentry are gone, but they only accounted for 46 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 4 QB hurries combined. Returning next year will be seniors Damion Square and Jesse Williams, junior Ed Stinson and sophomore Quentin Dial who all saw significant time on the field this season. Also, between this recruiting class and last, Alabama has brought in no less than 5 defensive lineman ranked with 4 stars or better. Saban’s gotcha covered.
Losing Courtney Upshaw, Jerrell Harris and Dont’a Hightower would seem like the end Times to most programs. not at Alabama. Look for familiar names like senior Nico Johnson, junior CJ Mosley and sophomore Vinnie Sunseri to welcome in newcomers Tre DePriest and Reggie Ragland to the fold. Look them up. Saban’s gotcha covered.
Finishing with the defensive backfield, Dre Kirkpatrick, DeQuan Menzie and mark Barron have all departed, but Dee Miliner, Robert Lester and Sunseri were all a big part of this years team and will be joined by Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix and Landon Collins who, as you may have heard, disappointed his mama last week by choosing the Tide over LSU. Classic Youtube. Saban’s gotcha covered.
So at the end of the day, it’s like this. as Nick Saban and his staff continue to stock their fallout shelter year after year with the best that every state within a 300 mile radius has to offer. Alabama continues to crank out the kind of kids that end up playing on Sundays for a living. Reload? Rebuild? Pshaw!. not needed. All the master has to do is hit the little button on the wall and future All-Americans crank through like luggage at the airport. seriously, Saban’s gotcha covered.
Copyright © 2012 Chuck Oliver.Net
Saban’s Talent Warehouse – Rotating Stock Made Easy