Freshman redshirt tracker: Updates through five games


CW / Hannah Saad

The NCAA approved a rule in 2018 that allows football players to play in up to four games without using a year of eligibility. Seven Alabama freshmen played in each of the first four games last season; all seven played at least one more game, thus burning a year of eligibility. 

Of the 12 freshmen who didn’t play in each of the first four games, 11 of them stayed under the four-game threshold and redshirted. Safety Eddie Smith was the only exception.

The following players have played each of the first five games and therefore are no longer eligible to redshirt the 2019 season: cornerback Marcus Banks, safety Jordan Battle, offensive lineman Darrian Dalcourt, defensive lineman D.J. Dale, inside linebacker Christian Harris, safety Demarcco Hellams, inside linebacker Shane Lee, wide receiver John Metchie, offensive lineman Evan Neal and defensive lineman Byron Young.

Where do the rest of this year’s freshmen stand through five games? Find out below. 

Editor’s note: These are projections based on the team’s previous handling of redshirts and players’ current roles on the team. These are not reports.


OLB King Mwikuta: four games played

Saban and starting OLB Terrell Lewis have spoken highly of Mwikuta’s potential, saying they’re doing their best to move him along and get him on the field quicker. It looks like he’s the fourth OLB right now, so an injury to those ahead of him could force him into more action.

RB Keilan Robinson: four games played

Robinson has a larger role on the team than expected and he has shown the “juice” that Saban has complimented multiple times. He entered the Ole Miss game before redshirt freshman Jerome Ford, so Robinson may be the third RB now. Expect him to play more than four games regardless, as he has speed that other RBs on the roster don’t have.

K Will Reichard: four games played

It’s been an up-and-down freshman season for Reichard so far, with 48- and 49-yard field goals made but four kicks missed, including an extra point. He’s currently dealing with a strained hip flexor, but should return to kicking soon.

TE Jahleel Billingsley: three games played

Billingsley still sits third at best, possibly fourth, on the depth chart, but the group’s depth leaves a bit to be desired. He could get another game of experience, but probably not more.

CB Scooby Carter: three games played

Carter’s situation is similar to Banks and Hellams’: the coaches have the flexibility to redshirt him should they want to. It’s unlikely, however, that they could redshirt all three.

DL Justin Eboigbe: three games played

Eboigbe got first-team reps during fall camp when junior LaBryan Ray was injured, and now returns to the starting lineup with Ray out for several weeks. He would have played all four games if not for his own injury. Don’t expect him to redshirt.

OL Pierce Quick: three games played

One of the team’s higher-rated recruits in 2019, Quick has been spotted more frequently at guard than at tackle, which he played in high school. The team has the depth to redshirt him but may choose to get him more game reps with an eye to the future.

QB Taulia Tagovailoa: two games played

The younger brother of starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has thrown one pass in two games. It likely won’t be necessary to have him play more than four games, but coaches may want to accelerate his development with more in-game experience.

OL Tanner Bowles: one game played

The Glasgow, Kentucky, native made his debut for the Crimson Tide against New Mexico State. It would be a surprise if he played more than three games for the remainder of the year.

DL Braylen Ingraham: one game played

With plenty of depth on the defensive line, Ingraham didn’t make his debut until the Ole Miss game on Saturday. He will likely save a year of eligibility.

DL Antonio Alfano: zero games played

Alfano “basically quit,” according to coach Nick Saban. He has not been spotted at practice for more than a month. Alfano’s father tweeted that the former five-star recruit is coping with the illness of his grandmother and requested to enter the transfer portal.

OL Amari Kight: zero games played

A college teammate of Taulia Tagovailoa’s, Kight appears to be on track to redshirt this year.

OLB Kevin Harris: zero games played

Harris is fifth at best in the OLB rotation. Even if he does eventually see the field, it will likely be for fewer than four games.

RB Trey Sanders: zero games played

Sanders, the top-ranked running back in the class of 2019, would have had a role on the team – perhaps a significant one. But a foot injury reportedly will sideline him for the entire season.

DL Ishmael Sopsher: zero games played

The former LSU commitment from Baton Rouge is the fourth-heaviest player on the Alabama roster. At least four other D-linemen have the ability to play nose tackle, so Sopsher may not see the field much this year.

CB Brandon Turnage: zero games played

Turnage has battled some injuries, which doesn’t help with a deep freshman class of defensive backs.

QB Paul Tyson: zero games played

The great-grandson of former coach Paul “Bear” Bryant is fourth on the QB depth chart and hasn’t played yet this year.


The team also has seven sophomores who did not redshirt last year but have the ability to redshirt this year. Two of them have large roles on the team (Patrick Surtain II and Jaylen Waddle) and four more (Skyler DeLong, Josh Jobe, Ale Kaho and Jaylen Moody) play on special teams.

That leaves Eddie Smith, who has played one game in 2019 and could end up redshirting one year after many of his teammates from the same class did. That’s the route current redshirt sophomores Major Tennison, Daniel Wright and Chris Allen took: they all redshirted in 2018 after playing more than four games during their freshman years in 2017.