Alabama Football News

UA returns “bash brothers” at LB for SEC Championship with Georgia

Greg M. Cooper - USA TODAY Sports

Golden State of the National Basketball Association has the “Splash Brothers” in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but college football has something even better at Alabama.  

One of the greatest things about last season was watching Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide battle through injuries at linebacker and win a national championship; however, re-creating a lasting memory in putting its “bash brothers” back together is something special. 

The scene after its meeting with Georgia was the stuff of legends, as two players from the most close-knit position on the team met at midfield. Anfernee Jennings and Terrell Lewis make up one-half of Alabama’s wrecking crew at outside linebacker, while Christian Miller and Jamey Mosely are the other two experienced guys. Following a serious elbow injury to start the 2017 season versus Florida State, Lewis knew that Jennings had his back and the former four-star made it a priority to visit his brother after practice to encourage him. 

As Jennings started to rise with each game, the Tide found ways to win with Mosley and Keith Holcombe as starters.

Despite the loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl, Jennings saved his finest performance for the College Football Playoff semifinal against Clemson.

He had a field day versus quarterback Kelly Bryant – creating three tackles for loss, one sack and forced an interception that was collected by defensive tackle, Da’Ron Payne in Tide’s 24-6 victory. 

RELATED: Anfernee Jennings gives update on Terrell Lewis, talks chemistry with Tide’s OLBs

When things became perfect for Jennings, the injury bug circled around and hit him as he sustained a knee injury that sidelined him for the national title game. The tag-team partners witnessed a special moment in the following week, with Lewis cleared to play. 

He recorded a sack of Jake Fromm in overtime that forced a field goal in Alabama’s matchup against the Bulldogs.

If the magic between Tua Tagovailoa and DeVonta Smith on a game-winning touchdown pass did not suck people in, the raw emotion from two linebackers did.  

Nick Saban wanted Jennings at this game, Lewis wanted to see his brother’s face, and Mosley was just happy to roll the young man onto the field. Upon the eyes of Jennings and Lewis facing each other, Lewis embraced his teammate and spoke on how the performance was for him. 

“I told you I got you boy,” Lewis said to Jennings. “I told you I got you. I love you dog. You stepped up for me. I stepped up for you man.” 

In that moment, all the two could do was cry and rejoice together. 

Roughly 11 months later, the Tide and Dawgs will face each other again on Saturday with a Southeastern Conference championship on the line. Lewis has not played all season due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) he suffered to his knee on July 10, while Jennings has been a force down the stretch. For the man who sounds eerily like Mike Tyson, Lewis has practiced this week without a black jersey and looks as though the injury never happened. 

He posted a photo to Twitter with the caption “Debating on should I pick up where I left off.”

It has been a little over fourth months since the injury; nevertheless, the medical staff feels as though Saban and the coaching staff should test to see how far he has progressed.  

Lewis’ return puts the final defensive puzzle piece in line for the Tide and reunites arguably the best position group on the team.

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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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