It’s hard to believe, but the 2019 college football season is upon us.
Alabama is set to report for fall camp today, with the first practice scheduled for Friday.
Overall, there isn’t much new with the team except for a couple of summer departures. Both tight end Kedrick James and linebacker Eyabi Anoma were extremely promising reserves, but the Crimson Tide has to move on without them.
The start of the season at the end of the month is already looming large.
Enclosed is our projected depth chart plus links to our position previews that were posted throughout the summer.
However, here are five things we’ll be keeping a close eye on during Alabama’s fall camp:
1] The nickel
There have been a lot of rumbling that Josh Jobe has improved to the point that the coaching staff is comfortable in giving him a regular role in the secondary. The result may be Trevon Diggs working at cornerback in the base formation, but as the nickel in obvious passing situations. It could leave Shyheim Carter competing with Jared Mayden at safety.
2] The new guy
There hasn’t been much talk about Landon Dickerson, a graduate transfer from Florida State, primarily because he ran into injury issues at his old school, and no one has put eyes on him yet at his new one.
Dickerson was listed as 6-foot-6, 320 pounds. Originally in the signing Class of 2016, as a recruit he was considered a high 4-star prospect, the consensus No. 4 offensive tackle and No. 31 overall player in the nation per the 247Sports composite rankings.
Can he come in and immediately push the starters at guard or center?
3] The next fan favorite
Slade Bolden, who is technically a sophomore, played quarterback in high school, was recruited as a running back, went and helped out the defense when it was shorthanded at safety and seems to have finally found a home at wide receiver.
He’s a player, in every sense of the word, and can do just about everything in football. He may not be the tallest, fastest or have the most hype surrounding him, but he catches everything thrown near him and makes plays.
We saw enough from him during the spring to believe that No. 18 is about to become very popular among Crimson Tide fans.
4] Depth at linebacker, tight end and the defensive line
There’s only five tight ends on the roster, including converted linebacker Cameron Latu. Beyond Dylan Moses there’s no proven players at interior linebacker, and health has been a huge issue at outside linebacker the last two years.
As for the defensive line, Alabama added six new players into the mix, and some will have to play this season. The coaches will be looking for almost immediate separation among the newcomers as they only have a month until the regular season opener against Duke in Atlanta.
5] The quarterbacks
It seems rather obvious, but fans want to see starter Tua Tagovailoa injury-free, and who might be ready to step in should something unfortunate happen.
Redshirt sophomore Mac Jones is the backup quarterback until proven otherwise, and look for him to get plenty of fourth-quarter action much like Jalen Hurts did last season. Alabama only has four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, along with two walk-ons who had famous dads play the position, Jayden George and Braxton Barker.
That’s a lot of competition, which is exactly what coaches want.
Projected Depth Chart
There’s a bit of guesswork and some position battles will continue into the season, but here’s an idea of how the two-deep looks heading into fall camp:
QB Tua Tagovailoa (13), Mac Jones (10), Taulia Tagovailoa (5).
RB Najee Harris (22), Brian Robinson Jr. (24), Jerome Ford (27)
WR Z Henry Ruggs III (11), John Metchie (3)/Slade Bolden (18)
WR X DeVonta Smith (6), Tyrell Shavers (14), Xavier Williams (9)
WR H Jerry Jeudy (4), Jaylen Waddle (17)
TE Cameron Latu (20), Major Tennison (88), Michael Parker (80)
TE-H Miller Forristall (87), Jahleel Billingsley (46)
LT Alex Leatherwood (70), Scott Lashley (76)
LG Emil Ekiyor Jr. (55), Evan Neal (73), Landon Dickerson (NA)
C Chris Owens (79), Emil Ekiyor Jr. (55), Landon Dickerson (NA)
RG Matt Womack (77), Deonte Brown (65)
RT Jedrick Wills Jr. (74), Tommy Brown (75)
DE Raekwon Davis (99), Phidarian Mathis (48), Justin Eboigbe (92)
DT DJ Dale (94), Tevita Musika (91), Stephon Wynn Jr. (90)
DE LaBryan Ray (89), Christian Barmore (58), Antonio Alfano (56)
SLB Terrell Lewis (24), Jarez Parks (23), Ben Davis (1)
MLB Josh McMillon (40), Shane Lee (35)/Markail Benton (36)
WLB Dylan Moses (7), Jaylen Moody (42)/Ale Kajo (10)
JLB Anfernee Jennings (33), Chris Allen (4), Kevin Harris II (44)
CB Trevon Diggs (7), Josh Jobe (28), Scooby Carter (11)
CB Patrick Surtain II (2), Nigel Knott (13), Jalyn Armour-Davis (22)
FS Jared Mayden (21)/Shyheim Carter (5), Eddie Smith (25)
SS Xavier McKinney (25),Daniel Wright (3), Jordan Battle (6)
Star Shyheim Carter (5), Trevon Diggs (7)
P Skyler DeLong (10), Mike Bernier (98), Will Reichard (16)
K Will Reichard (16), Joseph Bulovas (97)
Holder Mac Jones (10), Tua Tagovailoa (13)
LS Thomas Fletcher (45), Jake Hall (59)
PR Jaylen Waddle (17), Trevon Diggs (7), Xavier Williams (9)
KR Brian Robinson Jr. (24), Henry Ruggs III (11), Jaylen Waddle (17)