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Alabama Football Impact Players

Former Alabama linebacker has huge expectations for Mack Wilson next season

Alicia Devine - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

His head coach wants him to play with consistent energy and focus, however, Lyndell “Mack” Wilson has earned his respect at the University of Alabama in the eyes of former players. 

Hailing from Montgomery, Ala., Wilson started his career as a headhunter on special teams but has now transformed himself into a three-down linebacker. After sharing the spotlight with Reuben Foster and Rashaan Evans, all eyes will be on the former five-star in the coming fall. 

Almost every marquee name that the Crimson Tide placed in the National Football League on defense started off as stalwarts in kickoff/punt coverage. Once Saban recognizes the value of a player in one area of the field, his trust for that person grows in being able to handle more. 

Courtney Upshaw, one of three ex-Alabama standouts giving back to Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery on last week, likes what he sees in Wilson. Despite him wanting to check out the quarterbacks for A-Day, Upshaw said Wilson ‘reminds him of himself’ at Alabama. 

“I’m excited to see him step into a leadership role,” Upshaw said to yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine on Wilson. “He started out like me being a beast on special teams and I really like his style and attitude. I’m looking forward to watching him a lot next season.” 

The difference between Wilson and Upshaw is Wilson can make his NFL stock as a junior, versus what Upshaw did as a senior in 2011. A second-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens in the 2012 draft, Upshaw totaled 52 tackles while leading the Tide in tackles for loss (18), sacks (9.5) and quarterback hurries (10) in 2011. Behind him, Alabama led the nation in all five major defensive categories – including scoring defense – allowing 8.2 points per game. 

Upshaw earned first-team All-American and All-SEC honors that year and helped the program capture a BCS national championship. He won his first Super Bowl ring with the Baltimore Ravens in 2012 and came close to winning another championship in 2016 with Atlanta.  

Wilson has his eyes set on winning the Butkus Award and creating a first-round draft stock, and he should obtain both as long as he continues to grow. He recorded 40 tackles and led the team with four interceptions – one for a touchdown – in Alabama’s 2017 national championship run. 

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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Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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