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Alabama player unveils his expectations for Tide’s DL in the fall: “I want teams to fear us.”

Alabama freshman DL Damon Payne (#44) celebrates a fumble recovery with his teammates during the Crimson Tide's win over Austin Peay
Gary Cosby Jr. - USA Today Sports

Alabama football fans want more action than talk, but will it happen in the fall?

A player for the Crimson Tide — a former five-star — unveiled his expectations for Alabama’s defensive line last week on The Bama Standard. Damon Payne, Jr., a Michigan native, came in Alabama’s 2022 recruiting class as one of the top interior defensive linemen in the nation. He collected nine tackles and a tackle for loss in 2023, helping the Tide to a Southeastern Conference Championship and a College Football Playoff appearance. Payne looks to be a marquee leader with Justin Eboigbe heading to the NFL Draft. Alabama also lost Isaiah Hastings and Anquin Barnes to the NCAA transfer portal.

RELATED: Former Alabama players make bold statement to current Tide team and future recruits : “If you are not rolling with the Tide…. then don’t come”

Kalen DeBoer, Alabama’s new head coach, retained Freddie Roach and promoted him to assistant head coach.

He continues with defensive linemen, and his group is ready to send a message next fall.

Alabama’s Damon Payne: “Teams Will FEAR Our Defensive Line!”

“The expectation is through the roof with us,” Payne said about Alabama’s defensive line. “We want teams to fear us when we stepped on that line. We want teams to not want to play our defensive line.”

Alabama fans have not seen an aggressive defensive lineman since Quinnen Williams

The 2016 unit of Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Williams, A’Shawn Robinson, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Jarran Reed was the last one that put fear in the hearts of opponents. Payne named guys such as Jordan Renaud, Edric Hill, Hunter Osborne, and James Smith as young names that are prepared to step up. We will see how they fare soon in spring practice.

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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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