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JC Latham loves the ‘maturity’ of the 2023 Alabama freshmen OL class

Alabama OL coach Eric Wolford working with the Crimson Tide's offensive line in spring practice.
Photo comes from Alabama Athletics

The identity of toughness and physicality for Alabama football starts with the offensive line.

Alabama bullied opposing defensive lines with massive guards and tackles that kept quarterbacks upright.

Nick Saban saw a nastiness up front that led to national championships in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and College Football Playoff (CFP) eras in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2020. The Crimson Tide adjusted with the times and recruited electrifying quarterbacks such as Tua Tagovailoa and Bryce Young, but its staple has always been running the football.

RELATED: Alabama DL Jaheim Oatis on the Crimson Tide’s offensive line: ‘We have nothing but leaders.”

JC Latham, a junior, wants the offensive front to be ‘ruthless’ in the fall. Coach Saban stated at Alabama’s Pro Day that much will be expected from the freshmen class. The Tide brought in an impressive group of players in the 2023 recruiting cycle, earning the No. 1 signing class in the nation. Alabama signed five offensive linemen, including a five-star in Kadyn Proctor.

Proctor, an Iowa native, earned a diamond grade of one from Justin Smith of Touchdown Alabama Magazine, meaning he projects to be an “immediate contributor or game changer.” All five guys are 300+ pounds and want to pound the football.

Latham returns as a leader, but he noted one thing he likes about the young players.

“All of the young guys have stood out to me,” Latham said about the offensive line. “They have all done great jobs. They are takinng it day by day. They make sure they are eating right and getting the right amount of treatment. They are really mature about this process. A lot of the guys handled spring break well. They did not do too much. I am proud of the group and have a lot of expectations for them.”

Proctor, Wilkin Formby, Roq Montgomery, Miles McVay, and Olaus Alinen are the five freshmen linemen.

Latham is also excited about a redshirt freshman named Elijah Prichett. Prichett, a native Georgian, came in the 2022 signing class but an injury limited him to two games. Latham is ready to see Prichett become a dominant player on the line.

“He was injured, but I see a lot of growth and maturity,” Latham said about Prichett. “He has that experience of just being in the Alabama culture, so I expect a lot out of him. I am excited about him too.”

Alabama has Latham, Tyler Booker, Seth McLaughlin, and Darrian Dalcourt as veteran players, but how many young faces could make an impact on the offensive line? We will see who rises through spring practice going into preseason camp.

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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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