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Current, former Alabama players want Michael Locksley at offensive coordinator

Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

After spending 16 years in the National Football League (2000-16), one season in college football at the University of Alabama could not satisfy Brian Daboll.

News arrived Sunday afternoon via NFL insider Adam Schefter and the Buffalo Bills organization on the franchise hiring the 42-year-old as its latest offensive coordinator under head coach Sean McDermott. 

Since 2009, Alabama has won five national championships with four different play callers – including two with Jim McElwain in 2009 and 2011. Doug Nussemeier collected a national title ring when he took over in 2012, while Lane Kiffin accounted for his to end the 2015 season.  

With Tua Tagovailoa’s game-winning touchdown pass to Devonta Smith sending Daboll back to the NFL, the rumor mill of names has begun for the Crimson Tide. Despite the frenzy a couple of current and former players have already decided on who they would like to run the offense. 

Running backs Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs are both in on co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach, Michael Locksley. Locksley, an offensive analyst for the Tide in 2016, has 25 years of experience in college football with 21 of it being on the offensive side of the ball. 

As an off-field analyst, he was influential in preparing Alabama’s game plan as it averaged 38.8 points, 245 rushing yards and 455.3 total yards per game in 2016.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts totaled 3,734 yards offensively with 36 touchdowns and won the Southeastern Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year, while the program boasted four 500-yard rushers that season. 

During its run to a national championship this past season, Locksley guided the offense to 37.1 points, 251 rushing yards and 444.1 total yards a game. Per SEC Network’s Cole Cubelic, Brian Daboll told him that Locksley was a big part in the Crimson Tide’s offensive success.

Both he and Jalen Hurts completed at least 60 percent of their passes and averaged eight yards per pass attempt. With Locksley, Harris produced his second 1,000-yard season and the team had three rushers to collect at least 500 yards. Former Alabama offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor, who was a member of two national title squads, has even thrown in his vote for Locksley. 

Prior to Alabama, Locksley has been at Florida, Maryland, Illinois, New Mexico and Army (military academy) when it comes to offense.

He’s served at running backs coach, offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, wide receivers coach, tight ends coach, recruiting coordinator and head coach. He has mentored a few talented players, with Juice Williams (QB, Illinois), Arrelious Bend (WR, Illinois) and Stephon Diggs (WR, Maryland) being three of them. 

The names in the rumor mill for the Tide include Jim McElwain, Matt Canada, Chip Long, Hugh Freeze and Locksley.  

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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