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SportsCenter has a significant question for Alabama LB Dallas Turner

Alabama's "cheetah package" of Chris Braswell, Dallas Turner, and Will Anderson against Texas A&M
Photo comes via SEC Media Portal

He impressed Alabama fans and the college football world as a freshman in 2021.

However, is Dallas Turner ready to fill the shoes left by a two-time Unanimous First-Team All-American?

SportsCenter ponders this significant question as Turner emerges to replace Will Anderson Jr. Anderson became the closest thing to Derrick Thomas for Crimson Tide fans as a fearsome pass rusher. He finished his career with 34.5 sacks and 62 tackles for loss, becoming a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2021. Anderson accomplished a lot — including helping Alabama to a College Football Playoff National Championship in 2020 — but now he’s in the National Football League as the No. 3 pick of the Houston Texans.

RELATED: Alabama LB Dallas Turner gearing up for important junior year

Turner, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., came to the Tide as a five-star recruit.

The 6-foot-4, 242-pounder earned Freshman All-Southeastern Conference and Freshman All-American honors. He collected 30 tackles, ten stops for loss, 8.5 sacks, five quarterback hurries, and a fumble recovery. Turner and Anderson combined for 26 of Alabama’s 57 sacks in 2021, pacing the program to an SEC Championship. Turner’s production dropped in 2022 as he had eight tackles for loss (37 total tackles), four sacks, nine quarterback hurries, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown versus Tennessee.

RELATED: Alabama LB Dallas Turner excited to host second football camp

Pete Golding, the Crimson Tide’s former defensive coordinator, contributed to Turner’s struggles. He had a marquee pass rusher dropping in coverage. It took away from what Turner does well. He has a chance to do similar things to Anderson; however, Turner wants to carve his path. He will be a reason behind if Alabama’s defense can return to being highly respected.

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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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