Football releases only depth chart of season


CW / Joe Will Field

James Ogletree, Sports Editor

Alabama has concluded fall camp as of Saturday afternoon, and game-week preparations for the season opener against Duke will begin on Monday.

“It’s hard to have success if everybody didn’t do their job correctly,” coach Nick Saban said in his Monday press conference. “And that’s something that we have to prove as a team. I can sit and speculate 100 different ways on where our team is but you never know where your team is in all these areas until you actually go out and play.”

Here is a position-by-position breakdown of where the team stands after it released its only depth chart of the season on Monday afternoon.


No spot on the team is more secure than junior Tua Tagovailoa’s role as the starting quarterback. First-year offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said at the start of camp that Tua has shown “drastic improvement” in reading the entire field. After battling injuries last season, Tua said he needs to be smarter about sliding and getting out of bounds instead of trying to do too much. Redshirt sophomore Mac Jones is the backup and is “way ahead of the other guys,” according to coach Nick Saban. “The other guys” are freshman Taulia Tagovailoa, Tua’s younger brother, and Paul Tyson, great-grandson of legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. 

Running backs

Juniors Najee Harris and Brian Robinson Jr. have remained mostly healthy throughout fall camp and are the team’s top two options. Redshirt freshman Jerome Ford has battled a sprained ankle recently but should be OK for Duke. The group’s depth took a hit when freshman Trey Sanders, the top running back recruit in the class of 2019, broke his foot in practice, as he is expected to miss the entire season.

Wide receivers

The team’s strongest position group was also its quietest throughout camp. Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle all recorded at least 40 catches, 690 yards and six touchdowns last year, and none have missed any time during camp. The group has depth, too, with 6-foot-6 redshirt sophomore Tyrell Shavers, redshirt freshman Slade Bolden and freshman A-Day MVP John Metchie coming off the bench. 

Tight ends

Saban has lamented the tight end depth on multiple occasions. Redshirt junior Miller Forristall is well-rounded and reliable but took a few weeks to recover from a foot injury in the summer. Redshirt sophomore Major Tennison, redshirt freshman Cameron Latu (who converted from outside linebacker to tight end in the spring) and former walk-on Giles Amos are all at least 6-foot-4, which Tua Tagovailoa said could be an asset in the red zone. Saban and Sarkisian have both hinted that the team could use more formations with four wide receivers and zero tight ends in 2019.

Offensive line

Alex Leatherwood and Jedrick Wills Jr. are rock-solid at left and right tackle, but the team has experimented with several arrangements on the interior. Redshirt junior Chris Owens has worked at first-team center since the spring, but junior transfer Landon Dickerson is listed as the co-starter. Redshirt freshman Emil Ekiyor Jr. was playing at left guard until freshman Evan Neal got more reps in the position this week, and junior Deonte Brown will likely return to his starting role after serving a four-game suspension. Senior Matt Womack and Dickerson are listed as co-starters at right guard.

Defensive line

Junior defensive end LaBryan Ray and freshman nose tackle D.J. Dale both missed parts of camp due to injury, but they now seem close to full health. Senior defensive end Raekwon Davis was projected as a future top-10 pick after his sophomore year but looks to atone for a disappointing junior season. The team has plenty of D-line depth but not much experience, as eight of its 12 D-linemen are true or redshirt freshmen. 

Outside linebackers

Saban said three outside linebackers senior Anfernee Jennings, redshirt junior Terrell Lewis and redshirt sophomore Chris Allen can be “very productive players.” Lewis, after a year-long recovery from a knee injury, is back to full health, which is a scary prospect for opposing offensive tackles. Jennings has a steady, veteran presence on the edge, and Allen is also poised to show his potential after a serious knee injury last summer.

Inside linebackers

It looks like Alabama will start two inside linebackers whose high school sits on LSU’s campus. Last year, junior Dylan Moses was a finalist for the Butkus Award, given to college football’s best linebacker. Senior Josh McMillon was slated to start alongside Moses but injured his knee and is reportedly out for the season. Freshman Christian Harris has been next to Moses since then, and “has made plays during fall camp,” according to Saban.

Defensive backs

Alabama didn’t lose much from an underwhelming secondary last season. Sophomore Patrick Surtain II and senior Trevon Diggs return as versatile cornerbacks, and talented sophomore corner Josh Jobe gets his first crack at starting. The Crimson Tide has an experienced safety tandem with juniors Xavier McKinney and Jared Mayden. Senior Shyheim Carter, perhaps the team’s most knowledgeable defensive back, can play every position in the secondary and is listed as a co-starter with Mayden on the depth chart.


Is this the year Alabama finally develops a reliable kicking game? Freshman Will Reichard aims to end years of place kicking ineptitude and could end up as the team’s starting punter as well. He is listed as a co-starter with sophomore Skyler DeLong for the punting job. Elsewhere on special teams, Waddle is listed as the team’s primary punt returner after handling 16 of the team’s 17 returns last year. He, Diggs and Ruggs are listed as co-starting kickoff returners. Ruggs has 13 kickoff returns in his career, Diggs has nine and Waddle has zero. Tua Tagovailoa is the starting holder.