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Alabama DB Brian Branch raves about Eli Ricks’ performance from MSU game

Oct 22, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs wide receiver Justin Robinson (18) reaches for a pass against Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Eli Ricks (7) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama won 30-6. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama’s defensive secondary had one of its best games of the season against Mississippi State.

It created 15 pass breakups and allowed two completions over 20 yards.

RELATED: Former Alabama QB feels LSU has the Tide on upset alert

Eli Ricks played a massive role in the Crimson Tide’s 30-6 victory over the Bulldogs at Bryant-Denny Stadium. As a transfer from Louisiana State University, the California native earned his first career start at cornerback for the Tide. He prepared throughout the week of practice and brought the energy that Alabama needed on defense. Ricks forced five incomplete passes, including four breakups to share the team lead. He separated wide receivers from the ball, played with perfect technique, got his head turned to the ball, and did not commit a penalty. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder elevated the performances of Kool-Aid McKinstry (four breakups), Brian Branch (two breakups), DeMarcco Hellams (two breakups), and Malachi Moore (two breakups).

Ricks earned recognition from Alabama’s coaching staff, Pro Football Focus, and Maxwell Football Club.

Branch, a junior defensive back, raved about Ricks’ performance in Tuesday’s media availability for players.

He said Ricks showed the ability to be a shutdown defender in fall camp.

“Eli played phenomenal,” Branch said. “Every pass that was thrown his way, he shut it down. I knew he was capable of doing it, but for him to come out in his first game and do that, it’s great. I feel like big things are coming Eli’s way.”

He was a Freshman All-American at LSU, but Ricks showed Nick Saban he can ball out at Alabama.

Crimson Tide fans are hopeful he can continue performing at a high level.

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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.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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