Alabama Football News

Who will step up in Alabama’s secondary in its season opener?

Josh Jobe catches a pass in Alabama fall practice
Alabama CB Josh Jobe (No. 28) with a catch in fall practice/Photo comes from Kent Gidley - Alabama Athletics

Alabama football returns next week.

With the excitement Nick Saban has about the offense and certain parts of the defense, the biggest question is will the Crimson Tide have the players in the secondary he can trust to win games? In a difficult offseason, due to the Coronavirus, Alabama suffered its first big injury in fall camp. Ronald Williams Jr., a junior college cornerback from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, sustained a broken arm. The four-star defensive back came in the Tide’s signing class in February as a four-star and has the size, length, speed and athleticism to possibly be a top corner in the Southeastern Conference.

Williams got work at corner and “Money” (dime) at practice; however, the mishap will set him back.

Coach Saban has no concerns when it comes to Patrick Surtain II, Jordan Battle and Daniel Wright.

RELATED: Alabama’s Brian Robinson being a ‘vocal leader’ and is set to take advantage of every opportunity

All three guys have performed well, and the Tide will look to them as leaders. On the other hand, it is quickly locating players that can deliver winning football at the position that will be a challenge. Fortunately, Alabama has seen growth in Marcus Banks as an outside cornerback.

The sophomore from Texas would be first off the bench to replace Surtain or Josh Jobe.

Speaking of Jobe, the junior has made ‘significant’ improvement at corner per Saban.

He has done a better job of trusting his technique and at this point, he would start as the corner — opposite Surtain. Alabama’s secondary for its base 3-4 defensive alignment is set, but its nickel and dime sub packages will be interesting.

During camp, a pair of true freshmen — Brian Branch and Malachi Moore — created attention in both formations. Saban sees both players as individuals that can play in nickel or dime.

Branch, a four-star from Georgia, is more of a highlight player while Moore (four-star; Trussville, Ala.) can do a little of everything.

The Tide also has Jalyn Armour-Davis, Eddie Smith, Brandon Turnage, Kristian Story and Jahquez Robinson. DeMarcco Hellams, a sophomore, is the projected starter in dime for the Tide.

He was Xavier McKinney’s backup last season.

Alabama’s projected 3-4 in secondary

CB – Patrick Surtain II

CB – Josh Jobe/Marcus Banks

FS – Jordan Battle

SS – Daniel Wright

Alabama’s projected nickel in secondary

CB – Patrick Surtain II

CB – Josh Jobe/Marcus Banks

Star – Brian Branch/Malachi Moore/Jalyn Armour-Davis

FS – Jordan Battle

SS- Daniel Wright

Alabama’s projected dime in secondary

CB – Patrick Surtain II

CB – Josh Jobe/Marcus Banks

Star – Brian Branch/Malachi Moore/Jalyn Armour-Davis

Money – DeMarcco Hellams/Jalyn Armour-Davis

FS – Jordan Battle

SS – Daniel Wright

Alabama lost four players from its secondary to the National Football League off its 2019 roster.

RELATED: Alabama CB Ronald Williams Jr. suffers broken arm during fall practice

Saban is not only trying to create ample depth, but also consistent production. We will not know how good this group pans out, until it is shown on the field. Seeing how the Tide has some bodies in the secondary, hopefully the right ones will emerge and prove they belong on the big stage.

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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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