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UA star linebacker makes his pitch on who should be the team’s DL coach

Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

While it lost Karl Dunbar to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the University of Alabama is in search of a new defensive line coach and one name has been thrown into the conversation. 

Rising junior linebacker Mack Wilson is known for big hits, creating turnovers and his fashion sense on social media, but he took to Twitter last week to voice his opinion on who he feels should run the Crimson Tide’s front line on defense. Regardless of the name being on a roster of a conference foe, Alabama fans saw him warm hearts at Bryant-Denny Stadium from 2002-05. 

Freddie Roach is currently on Matt Luke’s staff at University of Mississippi as a defensive line coach. He arrived in February of 2017, following two seasons of being Alabama’s director of player development and helping the program win back-to-back Southeastern Conference titles and a College Football Playoff National Championship in 2015.  

Roach became an assistant strength and conditioning coach under Scott Cochran, shortly after earning his bachelor’s in human environmental sciences in 2008. During the three-year period (2008-10), he assisted the Tide to its first conference and BCS national championship in 2009. 

Roach spent time at Murray State, South Alabama and East Mississippi Community College, before making the transition to Ole Miss. He instills technique, hard work and violence at the attack point in terms of defensive line play. In fact, it was these self-same skills that guided him to National Freshman of the Year, Freshman All-American, two-time All-SEC second team honoree and Alabama’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s in his tenure with the Crimson Tide. 

Wilson was a freshman in Roach’s first season in player development.  

After collecting eight tackles in 2016, including some crushing hits on special teams, the Montgomery native led the squad with four interceptions last season. He returns as a leader on defense and should Nick Saban return Roach to Tuscaloosa, next fall could be nice for Wilson. 

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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