Impact Players

Alabama LB Drew Sanders emerges as next man up with Christopher Allen out

Drew Sanders celebrates a tackle in Alabama's win over Miami
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics/SEC Media Portal

Alabama football signed three 5-star linebackers in its 2020 recruiting class.

According to Justin Smith, lead scouting/recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine, Drew Sanders was the one who carried a diamond rating of one (immediate contributor and game-changer) for his evaluation.  A native of Denton, Texas, he received an opportunity versus Miami to make plays in the absence of Christopher Allen.

The fifth-year senior suffered a foot injury in the first half and was carted into the locker room for evaluations. He did not return for the remainder of the game and was seen on crutches with a walking boot on. Per Saban, Allen has a ‘significant’ injury and will likely miss the rest of the year.

RELATED: LB Will Anderson puts college football on notice with a dominant performance against Miami

With Allen out, Sanders emerged and played well. He shot through gaps and finished third for Alabama in tackles.

The 6-foot-5, 244-pounder turned in six tackles and assisted the Crimson Tide’s defense to allow one touchdown for the Hurricanes. Sanders was in on two of Alabama’s three forced turnovers while helping the defense get a shutout in the fourth quarter on the ‘Canes. He showed he could hold his own, and Saban was pleased with Sanders. 

“Drew (Sanders) is a good player,” Saban said after the game. “We rotated those three guys all through camp and all through spring as starters. Chris Allen is a fantastic player and a really good pass rusher. It was a luxury to have him and Will (Anderson) on the edges as outside backers, but we have confidence in Drew and we have a couple of young players in Dallas Turner and others that will have the opportunity to play in that position as well.” 

Sanders was going to have a role this season, but Allen’s injury has expanded it. He was rotated with Allen and Anderson in the offseason and learned a lot from both. Alabama fans have been wanting to see the two 5-stars in Sanders and Anderson together on the field. They are about to get their wish as Sanders is the next man up.

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber-only content!*

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “watch” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Facebook Comments

To Top