As much as Alabama would like to have everyone on board, maybe it will be a blessing in disguise not having Trevon Diggs and Terrell Lewis on defense. Both guys were veterans and displayed leadership; however, both have chosen to sit out the Citrus Bowl against Michigan.
With these two getting prepared for the 2020 NFL Draft, an opportunity has opened for Christopher Allen and Josh Jobe and both are taking advantage of it. Jobe, a sophomore, will start on Wednesday versus the Wolverines at cornerback.
A native of Miami, Fla., he arrived in the Crimson Tide’s 2018 signing class as a four-star. He has spent much of his time on special teams this season, but Pete Golding (defensive coordinator) believes he is ready to emerge.
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The 6-foot-1, 189-pounder has the range and athleticism that Alabama likes, but he’s continuing to learn how to not let his emotions get the best of him. Jobe has 22 tackles on the year and he will be up against a talented group of receivers – headlined by Nico Collins and Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Josh Gattis, formerly a wide receivers’ coach at Alabama, is the offensive coordinator for Michigan.
After helping the quartet of Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle become special last year, he looks to offset the Tide’s defensive secondary.
Per Golding, Jobe has had a great week of preparation.
“He is an extremely competitive kid,” Golding said of Jobe.
“He has the skill set and the length we want at the position and he has done a great job in the last two weeks. Coach Saban and Coach Scott have done a great job of helping him focus on his job and making sure he controls what he can control. Finishing on the ball in the deep part of the field is something he has been working on throughout the year, and I think he’s improved.”
Golding said Jobe understands the role he’s in and has embraced it. He also stated that Jobe has learned to control his emotions. According to DeVonta Smith, the junior at wide receiver said Jobe’s emotions stem from him being a ‘very passionate’ player. He will have a chance to create some momentum for himself for next season with a strong performance against Michigan.
When it comes to Allen, the former four-star is about to finally make his mark.
He enrolled in Alabama’s 2017 signing class as from Baton Rouge, La., and was a very explosive edge rusher.
Allen totaled 22 sacks combined in his junior and senior seasons at Southern Lab School and was in position to have a huge sophomore year for the Tide in 2018, until a serious knee injury occurred in the summer prior to the start of the season.
In his return, Sal Sunseri has the redshirt sophomore in attack mode. He’s collected eight tackles – including 3.5 tackles for loss and half a sack through 12 games.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder has two quarterback hurries and with Lewis out, Allen sets up as the team’s jack/rush linebacker.
After a few years of toiling, Golding said Allen now understands the system.
“We are extremely excited about his potential,” Golding said of Allen. “Coach Sal has done a great job with him and he understands what we are asking him to do. He has developed and he’s come a long way, so I think he will play well.”
Both Jobe and Allen will be big pieces in helping the Tide finish strong.
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