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30 Alabama players to watch for in upcoming spring practice: James Smith

Alabama freshman DL James Smith (#47) working through drills in spring practice.
Photo comes via SEC Media Portal

Alabama football’s first spring practice session under Kaleb DeBoer is approaching. 

The staff at Touchdown Alabama Magazine will spotlight 30 players to watch over this spring with spring practice starting next week. 

We know look at James Smith, a second defensive lineman, after previewing Damon Payne Jr.

James Smith

Position: Defensive Lineman

Classification: Sophomore

Height: 6-3

Weight: 296

2023 stats: two tackles, a fumble recovery

Summary: James Smith was one of 10 5-stars that Alabama signed in its 2023 recruiting class.

Smith, a product of Carver High School in Montgomery, Ala., is a highly explosive and powerful defensive lineman. The 6-foot-3, 296-pounder was impressive on the high school circuit and made enough noise in fall camp to contribute in nine games for the Crimson Tide last season. He recorded two tackles and a fumble recovery for a Southeastern Conference Championship team. 

Smith has the capability to be a starter on the defensive line or get marquee playing time in the rotation.

He could be a defensive tackle or end with his size, explosiveness, and quickness. The departure of Justin Eboigbe to the NFL Draft and Isaiah Hastings and Anquin Barnes to the NCAA transfer portal opens an opportunity to Smith to become a star.

He has built up confidence with Freddie Roach, Alabama’s defensive line coach, to excel.

It will be intriguing to see how he fits into the 4-2-5 “Swarm Defense” under Kane Wommack. 

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DL Damon Payne Jr.

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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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