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5 Alabama players with the most to prove heading into fall camp

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(@stephen)
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Fall camp for Alabama football begins on Wednesday, July 31 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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After not winning a national championship in three straight years, the Crimson Tide eyes an opportunity to capture a title in Kalen DeBoer's first season as head coach. Fall practice sets many players with something to prove up with a chance to showcase its preparation to be dominant.

The five athletes with the most to improve in this year's fall camp are below for the Tide.

1. Jalen Milroe, QB

Jalen Milroe is about to take "Let All Naysayers Know" or LANK to a new level in the fall.

He did well for Alabama as a first-year starter, but Milroe knows he can do more. Some still feel he is not the best quarterback on the Crimson Tide's roster. He delivered the Tide to a Southeastern Conference Championship and a College Football Playoff berth; however, media outlets have Carson Beck (Georgia) and Quinn Ewers (Texas) as signal-callers better than Milroe.

The native Texan has a lot to show in preseason camp. He wants to prove to Kalen DeBoer and Nick Sheridan he can run this offense while displaying to everyone else in college football that he's arguably the best quarterback in the nation. 

Milroe has had his doubters throughout his career, but this is the time he can put them to bed.

He is ready to show the world how effective he is passing the football.

2. Kadyn Proctor, OT

Kadyn Proctor left Alabama for the University of Iowa after his freshman season.

Nick Saban's retirement from coaching led him to think returning home would be better. Proctor owned up to his mistake, came back to the Crimson Tide, and is grateful to be with the program again. The sophomore has gotten after it in the weight room and on the field, yet he has to earn his spot back. Proctor started all 14 games at left tackle in 2023, improving as the season went on.

RELATED: A media outlet has Alabama QB Jalen Milroe as a top-20 NFL Draft pick for 2025

Elijah Pritchett took every started rep at left tackle in spring practice, but Proctor brings a higher upside.

Most in the locker room are happy to have him back; however, Proctor needs to show everyone how important his return is.

3. Kendrick Law, WR

Kendrick Law has been on the cusp of a breakout season in the last two years.

He came in Alabama's 2022 recruiting class as a four-star receiver from Louisiana.

Law is a dynamic athlete who know has a coach in JaMarcus Shephard that sees the leadership skills and marquee tools he possesses. He succeeded with eight catches for 103 yards and returned in 2023 with 15 catches for 135 yards.

Law is in a position where this could he be his biggest year for the Tide. He is the lone receiver, outside Kobe Prentice, with production in an Alabama uniform. Law is a willing blocker, but he is also a dangerous utility knife on the field.

Coach Shephard and the Tide have to find creative ways to get him the football. This preseason camp is crucial for Law to earn a starting spot.

4. Quandarrius Robinson, OLB

It is now or never for Quandarrius Robinson at outside linebacker.

He is one of a few players from Alabama's 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship team.

Robinson came in the 2020 class as a five-star from Birmingham, Ala. He waited behind Will Anderson Jr., Dallas Turner, and Chris Braswell for an opportunity to anchor the outside linebacker room. Robinson had good moments in 2023, including 24 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and two quarterback hurries. He has a lot of competition in his room for the starting "Wolf" position under Christian Robinson. Keanu Koht, Qua Russaw, Jayshawn Ross, and Yhonzae Pierre are all gunning for him.

Robinson has to dominate in fall camp.

5. DeVonta Smith, DB 

Health is the lone reason DeVonta Smith is on this list.

He would have been the starting free safety in 2023 if not for a foot injury.

Smith hurt himself in fall camp, which allowed Jaylen Key to emerge as the starter. The Cincinnati (Ohio) native returned later in the season, helping the Crimson Tide defeat Georgia in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game.

Smith was banged up a little in the spring, but he's the one Kane Wommack wants to see take over in the 'Husky' role in the secondary. Smith brings the energy, confidence, and intensity Alabama needs in its defensive backfield to shut down wide receivers in college football.

If he stays healthy, Smith will lock up a starting role in the secondary.

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Stephen M. Smith is the senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

This topic was modified 1 week ago by Stephen M. Smith

   
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