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Underrated Tide offensive line in position to win Joe Moore Award

It returns two huge starters in Jedrick Wills (right tackle) and Alex Leatherwood (projected left tackle) to its offensive line for next season; however, media pundits around college football are undervaluing the potential of this group for the University of Alabama. 

While the 2018 bunch allowed an average of one sack per game, the Crimson Tide returns experience, talent, more athleticism and has an upgrade at the coaching position. 

After two years in the National Football League, Kyle Flood arrived in Tuscaloosa (Ala.) carrying 25 years of experience with offensive linemen.

Eleven of his 25 years were spent at Rutgers University from 2005-15.

During this time, he helped the Scarlet Knights produce talents such as Ray Rice, Jawan Johnson and Mohamed Sanu. Rice, a three-time 1,000-yard rusher from 2005 to 2007, had his best year in 2007 as Flood’s offensive line set the edge for 2,012 yards and 24 touchdowns.

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He would go on to earn first team All-American honors. 

Johnson rushed for 1,075 yards in 2012, while Sanu was a 1,000-yard receiver in 2011. 

Flood is the type of coach that will push players to perform up to their size. Brent Key was one of the best recruiters in the sport, but the Tide was more finesse than physical with him. 

Per an article from 247Sports, Alabama is seventh on its list of Top-10 offensive lines for the upcoming season. The league is very high on Georgia (No. 1) and though Auburn had a difficult time protecting Jarrett Stidham, the publication has the Tigers ahead of the Tide at No. 5. 

In this airing of In My Own Words, Stephen Smith of Touchdown Alabama Magazine goes in-depth on Alabama’s offensive line and provides his reasons on why this group has the best opportunity to capture the Joe Moore Award.

It last won the honor during the 2015 season. 

You can also listen to the audio version of the podcast via SoundCloud.  

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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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