Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick will not suit up this weekend against Charleston Southern. The freshman sustained a knee injury last week against Mississippi State and is listed as “day-to-day,” according to head coach Nick Saban.
Sophomore cornerback Tony Brown and junior defensive back Maurice Smith are both competing to fill in for Fitzpatrick at “Star” in Alabama’s first team nickel package.
Brown, 6-foot, 195 pounds, has excelled on special teams.
Eight of his 12 tackles have come on kickoff and punt coverage. He brought Bryant-Denny Stadium to its feet two weeks ago against LSU, when he nailed Tigers running back Derrius Guice on a kick return before halftime. He recorded two pass breakups against the Bulldogs.
Smith, 6-foot, 199 pounds, possesses much range at safety.
He has a lot of experience in the system, despite totaling eight tackles. Smith, like Brown, has done much of his damage on special teams, but he does have solid coverage skills.
Both guys will be prepared to defend Charleston Southern’s triple-option attack. A defensive back’s job against this type of offense is read the ball, guard the edge and make good tackles.