Nick Saban and Alabama are having to replace not just one coordinator but two this off-season. Following a championship season, defensive coordinator, Jeremy Pruitt, is heading to Knoxville and offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll, is on his way to Buffalo. The DC position does not currently appear to be filled, but reports have surfaced claiming the OC spot will be filled by way of a promotion from within.
Mike Locksley has been with the Tide for two years after serving as the offensive coordinator for four years and concurrently being named interim head coach at the University of Maryland in 2015. He spent last season in a dual-role as both the wide receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator. Since coming to Tuscaloosa, he has gained a lot of respect from his players and was believed to be on the short list to replace Steve Sarkisian last year.
Should the rumors hold true, Locksley would be taking over an offense with a surplus of potential superstars. Many of Alabama’s top receiving threats were just freshmen, and Tua Tagovailoa’s coming out party in the title game could mean he’d also get a potential superstar at quarterback. With the return of Damien Harris, the backfield will also be in good hands between him, Najee Harris, and Joshua Jacobs.
This would also mark the first time that Saban has promoted directly from within at Alabama, though Jeremy Pruitt was an assistant coach for him early in his career before leaving to become a DC elsewhere. Not the splashiest hire, if true, but his familiarity with the offensive personnel could be exactly what this talented unit needs.