2019 Alabama Player Spotlights

2019 Player Spotlight: OL Matt Womack

Jason Getz - USA TODAY Sports

As we hit the summer portion of the offseason, Touchdown Alabama Magazine will release a series of player spotlight pieces on starters and marquee contributors for the 2019 football season. In these articles, we will dive into the strengths and weaknesses of each player, provide expectations for 2019, give NFL Draft projections for those who are eligible, and conclude with how each one can impact the team. 

The tenth offensive player is Matt Womack. 

Matt Womack’s attributes 

-Position: Offensive Line 

-Classification: RS Senior 

-Height/Weight: 6-7/325 

-2018 stats: 69 snaps at right tackle, seven games 

Strengths 

-Wingspan (length) 

-Run blocking 

-Hands 

SummaryHe was one of seven linemen taken by the University of Alabama in its 2015 recruiting class, and Matt Womack is back on the roster as a redshirt senior. 

After redshirting his initial freshman year, the former three-star from Mississippi has played in 31 career games – including 15 in 2017 as the Crimson Tide’s starting right tackle. 

He graded out at 90 percent or better on assignments in three games (Fresno State, Vanderbilt and Clemson), while helping the team secure a 26-23 win over Georgia for a national championship.

He would also earn Southeastern Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week honors for his performance against Fresno State. The 6-foot-7, 325-pounder has the size and wingspan to be a tackle; however, Womack’s hand strength inside makes for a perfect guard. 

RELATED: 2019 Player Spotlight: OL Chris Owens

 

He has proven to be a much better road grader than pass protector, especially with him setting the edge for three 500+yard rushers in 2017.

Damien Harris led the group with 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Behind Womack, Harris turned in three 100-yard games that season and his yards per carry average (7.41) was ranked seventh in all of college football. 

An alumnus of Magnolia Heights High School, Womack has the power to drive opposing defensive linemen off the ball. He is very intelligent and returns as someone that knows Alabama’s system. Not only will he be an asset to first-year offensive line coach, Kyle Flood, but Womack will also anchor what could be Nick Saban’s best group since 2012-13. 

Weaknesses 

-Pass protection (speedy edge rushers) 

Summary: Speed rushers off the edge get the best of Womack. 

Despite having the prototypical frame of an offensive tackle, his feet are not swift enough outside to set up his base at the attack point. Defensive linemen and outside linebackers have a way of frustrating Womack in their quest to the quarterback. He must improve his anticipation and quickness outside, if his goal to play tackle at the next level.  

For now, many NFL Draft pundits see him as a guard. 

Expectations for 2019 season 

Womack would like to be healthy at the least. 

He missed the first four games in 2018 with a foot injury, which forced Jedrick Wills to take over the starting job at right tackle. Womack, who hurt his foot in spring practice, reaggravated the issue prior to the start of last season.

He would like to see the Tide get back to having a 1,000-yard rusher, seeing how it was the first time the team has lacked the element since 2014.

Individual awards that include Outland Trophy and SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy are high on Womack’s list of things to accomplish, while also winning the Joe Moore Award as a group.  

Above all else, growing to become one of the nation’s top guards is critical. 

For Womack, he has to put himself in the best possible spot for NFL scouts to project him between the second and fourth round. He has the potential to be a substantial prospect; nevertheless, the Mississippian has to put everything together in the upcoming fall. 

Projection for 2020 NFL Draft 

Matt Womack: Third Round 

Conclusion 

Womack has always been an elite run blocker and he will have a chance to showcase more of that trait this season. He was never beaten for his starting job at right tackle, but an injury allowed for Wills to assume the role in Womack’s junior year.

He returns as the one with the most game experience on the line and will look to help others – including Chris Owens, who projects as the starting center for the Tide. An opportunity to become a better pass protector is also in the works for Womack.

Coach Flood will work with him on his timing, hand strike, footwork and quickness to neutralize defensive linemen and outside linebackers on blitzes. 

Womack wants to win one more national title, but he knows that Tua Tagovailoa must be protected in order to get it done. A strong draft stock, individuals honors and the ultimate team goal comes down to Womack doing his job well.  

He expects to be healthy and produce an exceptional year.  

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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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