Fans of the Crimson Tide are excited for this edition of athletes taking the field, as Nick Saban and the program look to repeat as national champions. With 15 practice sessions – including the A-Day Game – the staff writers for Touchdown Alabama Magazine will provide in-depth previews on marquee players.
Player Name: Chris Owens
-Hometown: Arlington, Texas
-Weight: 315 lbs
-Strengths: Experience, versatility, mobility, athleticism
-Weaknesses: Pass block strength, power
On top of signing one of the best-recruiting classes in the history of the program, the biggest offseason acquisition for Alabama was the return of versatile offensive lineman Chris Owens. Utilizing his sixth year of eligibility, Owens’ return buffered what would have been a big gap in terms of experience along the offensive line.
Owens has been apart of the program since 2016 and has played for some of the best Crimson Tide offenses and in some of the biggest games.
With the loss of Alex Leatherwood, Deonte Brown and Landon Dickerson, having someone like Owens stepping in is a serious advantage.
Over the course of his long career, the Arlington, Texas native has taken snaps at every position along the offensive line. He was originally recruited as a guard where he played his freshman and redshirt freshman seasons at and then transitioned to center for his redshirt sophomore and junior seasons.
In 2020, he was the Crimson Tide’s second-string tackle and had to fill in for Evan Neal when the team played Arkansas.
But what Owens will be remembered for during his career will be stepping up in the College Football Playoffs and filling in for Dickerson who was lost for the season with a leg injury. When Owens went in, the offense didn’t miss a beat and trounced Notre Dame and Ohio State.
The area of weakness in Owens’ game is that he hasn’t shown to be overpowering in most situations. His mobility helps tremendously, especially in the passing game, but he struggle be moving some of the bigger linemen in the country one on one. This also leads to Owens getting ahead of himself on some run plays as he tries to get in the best position possible.
At the end of the day, Alabama is regaining a very smart player on the line who will be able to fill in wherever is necessary as the team gets into the early stages of building a championship team.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77