How About a New Season With New Nicknames for Alabama?
By: Larry Burton
For the players on the 2018 edition of the Alabama Crimson Tide, a new season begins as they practice and prepare for the upcoming season. There are old players, new players, well known players and players you don’t know well yet.
So to get you not only to know some of the players that will have a big impact on the Crimson Tide, let’s give them a nickname that shows why they’ll have such a big impact.
This week let’s focus on defense and let the nicknames begin…
“Winnin’ with Quinnen” Williams – It all starts up front and it all starts in the middle and while you may not know this man because he’s one of the new kids on the block, this is his year to start and his year to shine.
This big 6’4” nose guard will keep running backs out of sight if they try to make yardage in his part of the pasture. Nick Saban won’t have a problem starting a freshman here, but there is plenty of good backup. But you have to like what you see in this newbie and the Tide could be “Winnin’ with Quinnen” for some time to come.
Raekwon “Wreck the Play” Davis – Here’s a guy who’s waited two years to be full time starter, but he still finished third on the team with tackles and was second on the team with tackles for loss.
In the national championship game, he came up big with a pass interception that set up a field goal to go along with his five big tackles and one quarterback sack. If your the opposing team, you better know this man is or Raekwon will wreck the play.
Mack “The Smack” Wilson – Yes he’s got ball skills, he led the Tide with four interceptions last season at linebacker. But what you notice about Mack Wilson isn’t the heady game he plays, reading a quarterback’s eyes or anticipating a running back’s cut. It’s the impact he brings to the play when he makes the tackle.
Yes, this guy brings the smack and now you know a little more about Mack “The Smack” Wilson and why this name should stick as hard as he does.
Isaiah “Squash you like the” Buggs – At defensive end, this fleet footed footballer with fury is going to “exterminate” quarterbacks like a bug. He’s going to be a handful for any offensive lineman to handle.
This 6’5” big man finished second on the team last season in quarterback hurries and now in his senior season, he’s ready to be number one.
Anfernee “Inferno” Jennings – This was a force to be reckoned with until he was hurt in the game against Clemson last season. His flame was put out before he could shine in the championship game. But once that knee is healed, as it should be by the time they’ll need him, Anfernee will become the “Inferno” this defense needs to solidify the run and pressure the passer.
As an outside linebacker, speed is expected, but his quickness in changing directions helps him snare the best “jukers” as he can cut as quickly as any ball carrier.
Dylan “Part the Line like” Moses – Last season a young freshman stepped up when injuries decimated the linebacker corps. He played inside, outside, where ever they needed him and he shined. He was just coming into his own, making a real place for himself in the lineup when he too fell to injury in getting ready for the college football playoffs.
And so just like the other Moses parted the seas to escape annihilation, this Moses will part the line with his speed and power and get his share of tackles for loss, thus cementing himself in this defense and in Crimson lore.
Treyvon “Dig ’em out” Diggs – Here’s a guy who could play on offense or defense, run back a punt or a kickoff or direct the band at halftime. But this year he’s going to concentrate his efforts on defense at cornerback.
Last season he got some valuable time at this position and this year is going to be the year he makes a name for himself. Opposing teams who put the ball in the air against him run the risk of having him dig ’em out of the air and take them the other way, and with his ball skills with the ball in his hands, that could be dangerous for the other guys.
Deionte “Tommy Gun” Thompson – Last season this young man made a name for himself with some hard hits. Last season when Hootie Jones went out just before the playoffs, Deionte came in and made himself known with some jarring hits in his first two starts at safety which ironically came in the most two important games for the Tide, the playoff wins.
Against Clemson he had four tackles and almost had a pick and against Georgia, his play included three big tackles and a pass breakup. Now he gets to display that talent in every game and you will soon see why coaches are high on his play.
“Save Your Breath” Saivion Smith – At the other corner, this former LSU / JUCO corner brings some experience as well as skill. So when trash talking receivers talk about how they’re going to torch this defensive backfield, just save your breath if you think you’re torching Savion.
While his spot isn’t settled, if he doesn’t win the corner job, he’ll be in nickel and dime packages and be rotated in and out enough to make an impact.
Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter