By Larry Burton
Too many number one recruiting classes, too much talent on this team for one man, or even two or three to constantly be the stars the shine.
Last week had its stars, this week will have others and you can count on seeing more different ones than the same ones over and over again.
Take Kevin Norwood for example. He’s a crimson stick of dynamite that just hasn’t exploded yet. But he will. He’s tall, has great leaping ability and hands but more importantly has the size and strength to breaks a tackle and take the ball to the house on any catch, especially if they dare cover him one on one with no safety backup.
In the national championship game, he made the Honey Badger his jail house bride. He went man to man with the most hyped man on the team, a Heisman finalist, and made him a joke.
And he was a backup player at the time.
If you can’t see explosion just waiting to happen this year, then you just aren’t paying attention.
Last Saturday the defensive linemen and linebackers didn’t have sacks on their minds, they had orders to contain. But let me warn you and the rest of the people on the schedule that Adrian Hubbard is going to have a game against a pocket passer against a team like Arkansas or Tennessee when he’s given the green light to blow and go and he will do just that.
He’s going to crush some quarterbacks, stop runners in the backfield and make announcers and opponents wonder why he was on the bench last season. It won’t be because he’s a one man wrecking crew, it will be because Jesse Williams will have double teams on him and the running back will see pressure coming from the ends, it could be Damion Square or Ed Stinson or it may be both.
Those situations and the help from those men setting the table for Hubbard will allow him to clean up coming from inside.
Christion Jones is just one missed tackle or one juke from flaming an opponents punt team with a sizzling return for a touchdown.
At the rate Alabama seems possible of putting away teams and erasing hope for a win by the end of the first quarter, maybe these returns won’t represent a game changing moment, but they will be electric and could simply serve as the straw that breaks the camel’s back and breaks a team’s will to continue giving it their all.
Such moments are among the plays that Nick Saban talks about when he tells his team, “Just make their ass quit.”
And Jones is ready to his part to make that happen.
Lastly, Eddie Lacy has waited quietly for years for his magic moment. Still a bit hampered from last season’s turf toe in that last game, Lacy was glad to have freshman T.J. Yeldon have his day, but Lacy will eclipse that performance.
After all, in case you haven’t been paying attention, Lacy had a higher per yard carry than either Ingram or Richardson. Yes, you may say that this was against a more tired defense, but the argument doesn’t speak as loud as the stats.
Lacy will have his day, his year and he’ll move on to the NFL like everyone before him.
And this may be a good time to explain why Alabama running backs are so sought after by the NFL. Lacy like those before him know Nick Saban’s number one rule, if you want carries and glory you better show that you can pick up blitzes on throwing downs.
And he doesn’t just do it, he does it very well. With the NFL pass happy first, having a back that can grind out the yards AND protect your quarterback, as well as having the sense and training to leak out of the backfield as a dump off target.
There are so many more, but those are men to talk about on another day. The list just goes on and on and therein lies the wonder of Saban. He doesn’t pick one or two stars and build a team around them, he takes a whole group of men and builds a team within them.
In such cases, each will have his chance and his day to shine.