Alabama’s depth along its offensive line is scary good.
In fact, it is potentially going five-deep at the center position.
For much of the offseason, it was a foregone conclusion that Chris Owens would captain the offensive front. The 6-foot-3, 315-pounder from Arlington, Texas made huge strides since arriving on campus in the 2016 recruiting class as a four-star.
He was signed as a guard, but according to senior Matt Womack, Owens has come “a long way” and knows the center’s role.
Even with his hardworking mentality and players respecting him, the man Womack refers to as “C.O.” finds himself in a tough spot.
After arriving on campus from Florida State, graduate transfer Landon Dickerson has made an immediate impact.
Hailing from North Carolina, the five-star suffered a couple of injuries – yet he is healthy now.
The 6-foot-6, 308-pounder has impressed players and coaches with his instincts, toughness, versatility and physicality up front. He strikes as a nasty road grader; however, Dickerson is highly effective in pass protection too.
During a matchup between the ‘Noles and Louisville in 2018, he assisted Deondre Francois to a season-high four touchdowns in a 28-24 win.
Dickerson has worked at both center and guard for the Tide in fall camp.
“I think Landon Dickerson has done a really good job,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said on last week about the grad transfer. “He really tough… He’s a very physical player… He’s very smart and to have that diversity as a player is really important.”
Hunger to prove himself is one thing that drives Dickerson.
The other is probably being a place that will not cheat him out of things he needs in order to become as successful as possible. Part of the demise that’s happening at FSU is how the powers above Jimbo Fisher (now at Texas A&M) did not provide him with the improvements he wanted, in terms of bettering the facilities.
Along with this, there is a good chance the Seminoles did not have the best in medical training for Dickerson – which answers the lingering injury question.
Whatever the case may be, Saban knows the offensive lineman has taken a better liking to his situation in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
He’s embraced the opportunity and judging off the way he has competed, Saban hopes the others don’t take what they have for granted and remain focused.
In the event that Dickerson beats Owens out, the first-team would be as follows:
Alabama has Owens, Dickerson, Ekiyor, Hunter Brannon and Darian Dalcourt that can navigate the position. Kyle Flood, first-year offensive line coach, inherited a goldmine and the most versatile piece might just be Dickerson.
He can play all positions along the front, but he’s aiming for center.
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