Alabama Football News

UA’s Matt Womack has high confidence in this year’s offensive line

Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports

Three of the biggest questions for Alabama fans each year all involve injuries, the kicking game and the Crimson Tide’s offensive line. 

As it looks to put a positive spin on all three, one player views the latter of these aspects as a strength in the coming season. Matt Womack carried a giant smile on his face inside Bryant-Denny Stadium as yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine approached him for an interview, during the media portion of Fan Day.

The 6-foot-7, 325-pounder from Mississippi returns with the most career games played (31) on this year’s group under his belt.  

Womack, a redshirt senior, came to the Tide in 2015 as a three-star recruit. 

He redshirted his initial freshman year with Mario Cristobal coaching the offensive line, while playing the last two seasons under Brent Key.

He now follows the guidance of Kyle Flood, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, and the massive right guard said this year is for the big men. 

“We have the potential to be the best group that’s come through here,” Womack said of Alabama’s offensive line. “The number of guys that we have, the depth we have, if anyone goes down, I feel like any person can jump in for us. We have the most amount of depth I’ve seen here.” 

Despite the 2015 bunch winning the Joe Moore Award and the 2012-13 duo being the best offensive units Nick Saban has had, Womack is not wrong with his statement. 

This year’s group has depth at center, guard and tackle, with Jedrick Wills and Alex Leatherwood anchoring both tackle spots. Chris Owens came to the program as a highly-recruited guard, but played some at left tackle and is ready to take on the center position. 

“C.O. has come a long way,” Womack said of Owens. “He has stepped up. He has learned offense. I am really confident in everything he does. I am confident with how he plays in the mental aspect as well as physical. I’m ready to see what he’s going to do this season.” 

After sharing a laugh with Leatherwood, who stood next to him, Womack shared what makes Flood special as a coach and how the players have gelled with him. The last time Alabama boasted a nasty, dominant front line was when it had Jeff Stoutland from 2011 to 2012. 

Womack thinks Flood is about to restore the nasty. 

“Coach Flood is really demanding,” Womack said. “He’s straightforward. It’s black and white and clear lines about what he wants from you. If he tells you there is something that needs to be fixed, you have to fix it. It’s kind of like what he always says ‘you got to fix it or get out.’ In the NFL if you don’t fix it, you will get cut. Obviously, we are not going to get cut, but everyone has taken to that.” 

Aside from Wills and Leatherwood, the rest of the line has not played much together. 

The guys will have to mesh well in fall camp, if they want to start the campaign strong in run blocking and pass protection versus Duke in Atlanta on Saturday, Aug. 31.  

They have the coaching, but now it’s time to put things together.  

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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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