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Rising sophomore LB ready to place his stamp on Alabama football

Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

The announcement of Lyndell “Mack” Wilson to the National Football League Draft was Alabama football’s seventh of the group under Nick Saban. 

He was a five-star inside linebacker that became a fan favorite, and though his career did not end with a national championship, Wilson moves on to provide his family with generational funds. With him departing and Dylan Moses returning as a junior, a rising sophomore looks to officially place his stamp on the University of Alabama as a star. 

Brandon “Ale” Kaho, a native of Reno, Nev., saved the Crimson Tide’s 2018 class when he came in late.

His emergence moved the Tide from sixth to fifth nationally, which led to Alabama fans being able to safely exhale. While he was originally committed to Washington, Saban ended up stealing an exceptional athlete.

As one of the nation’s top linebacker prospects, Kaho played running back, defensive end and punter in three years at Reno High School. 

RELATED: Players that are staying, leaving Alabama football for 2019 NFL Draft

He helped the program obtain a 31-7 record during his time – including three consecutive trips to the playoffs. Kaho was also a star in the shot put for track; however, the young man was a heat-seeking missile on kickoff and punt coverage for the Tide last season.

Seven of his 11 tackles came on special teams and he also recorded one fumble recovery. The 6-foot-1, 218-pounder earned Special Teams Player of the Week from the coaching staff for his efforts against Louisiana State University and Mississippi State, but looks to be more involved on defense. 

Throughout fall practice and the 2018 season, Kaho’s lateral quickness and intelligence were both consistent factors.

He possesses sound footwork and can track the football from different angles.

Pete Golding, the Tide’s co-defensive coordinator and inside linebackers’ coach, likes what the young Polynesian brings to the table.

Despite his recruitment as an inside guy, Kaho’s skill set may benefit Alabama more with him at weakside linebacker.

He is currently being compared to former All-American, C.J. Mosley.

His size, hands and quickness should bode well for next year’s group in terms of defending passes in the flat and affecting opposing quarterbacks if needed.

Spring practice should be exciting – when it returns – as Kaho will draw much attention from the media.

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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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