Athletes to watch in 2023-2024

Ashlee Woods, Editor-in-Chief

There have been some special athletes that have represented the crimson and white. But who should fans keep an eye on this upcoming year? Here are some names you need to know as you cheer on the Crimson Tide.  

Baseball — Colby Shelton (16)  

Infielder Colby Shelton has made waves in his first year at the Capstone. Shelton leads the Crimson Tide in doubles with 10 on the season and slugging percentage at .678. The Lithia, Florida, product has also hit 16 home runs, which is the freshman single-season record at the University. Shelton has also earned the honors of SEC Freshman of the Week, College Baseball Newspaper National Player of the Week and SEC Extra Player of the Week.  

Men’s Basketball — Rylan Griffen (3)  

(CW File)


The men’s basketball team had its fair share of impactful freshmen in the 2022-23 season, and guard Rylan Griffen was one of those. Griffen, who is originally from Dallas, Texas, appeared in all 37 games Alabama played this past season. Coming off the bench, Griffen averaged 5.9 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Griffen scored in double figures eight times last season.  




Women’s Basketball — Essence Cody  

Incoming forward Essence Cody has big shoes to fill after former center Jada Rice graduated this spring. However, the Valdosta, Georgia, native adds some much-needed depth to the forward position. Cody was named the No. 1 post player in Georgia in 2022 and is a five-star recruit, according to ESPNW. She is also a 2023 McDonald’s All-American.  

Football — Malachi Moore (13) 

(CW File)


Defensive back Malachi Moore has been a staple in the Crimson Tide’s defense since his freshman year in 2020. The senior from Trussville, Alabama, recorded 31 tackles and 1.5 sacks during the 2022 season. He earned the Dixie Howell Memorial award, given to the MVP of the A-Day game, this past spring. During the annual A-Day Game, he recorded nine tackles, three tackles for loss and one pass breakup.  



Gymnastics — Luisa Blanco  

(CW File)


Luisa Blanco — one of the most talented gymnasts to wear the crimson and white — will return for her fifth season in Coleman Coliseum. Blanco was the cornerstone of the gymnastics team in 2023, earning several accolades. The Dallas, Texas, native finished second at the NCAA championships in April on the uneven bars. Blanco also has the most perfect 10s on the balance beam in program history, with four. She also made her third consecutive All-SEC team in 2023 and was a second-team All-American in the all-around as well.  



Soccer — Gianna Paul (14) 

The 2022 Alabama soccer team included some of the most talented players the program has ever seen. Among those players is forward Gianna Paul. During her first season, Paul finished 10th in the nation in goals scored by freshmen with eight goals. One of those goals was the game-winning goal against then-No. 8 BYU, which began a run of 16 straight wins. Paul was named the 2022 SEC Freshman of the Year and was named to the All-SEC team and the SEC’s All-Freshman team.  

Softball — Kenleigh Cahalan (31)  

(CW/ Natalie Teat)



The 2022 Alabama Miss Softball has been one of the most consistent hitters on the Alabama softball team. Kenleigh Cahalan started all 55 games, mainly at the shortstop position, in her first season in Tuscaloosa. Cahalan began her career with the Crimson Tide on a 14-game hitting streak, which is the longest streak from a freshman.  




Women’s Swimming — Avery Wiseman  

Avery Wiseman finished a freshman campaign full of accolades in 2022. Wiseman was a part of the 200-medley relay team that won gold at the 2022 SEC championship. That team also set an SEC and SEC championship record with a time of 1:33.94. Wiseman also broke program records in the 100 and 200 breaststroke.