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How 'freakish strength' from an Alabama OL has brought the group together up front

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Famed Member TDA
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Seth McLaughlin owes a lot to the Alabama football program, but he has also worked hard to get to where he is at.

He arrived at the University of Alabama in its 2020 recruiting class as the lowest-rated prospect.

An alumnus of Buford (Ga.) High School, McLaughlin pushed himself to become a starting center. He earned his first action as a redshirt freshman in the second half of the Iron Bowl against Auburn. McLaughlin grew from there to become one of the best centers in college football. He assisted the Crimson Tide to a College Football Playoff National Championship in 2020 and two Southeastern Conference Championships in 2020 and 2021. McLaughlin is one of several seniors to be honored Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium for senior day versus Chattanooga, but he has been impressed with the growth of a young lineman.

RELATED: Alabama center Seth McLaughlin reveals how he fixed snap issues

Jaeden Roberts, a member of the 2021 recruiting class, came to the Tide from Houston, Texas.

Roberts, a former four-star from North Shore High School, has grown into a marquee contributor for Alabama. The redshirt sophomore made his first career start versus Texas A&M, helping the Tide score 14 points in the third quarter to take over the matchup at Kyle Field. He has been a revelation for Alabama and its fans since then, pushing the Tide to strong performances against Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU, and Kentucky. Roberts assisted Jalen Milroe to have ten total touchdowns to one interception in back-to-back games versus LSU and Kentucky. He was significant in the Tide scoring 40+ points in both SEC games.

The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder resembles former Alabama All-American, D.J. Fluker. 

Roberts is a physical run-blocker while possessing the ability to keep pressure off Milroe. McLaughlin highlighted the talented sophomore in Monday's interview session with reporters. He said Roberts' 'freakish strength' has been a marquee asset.

"I have never seen a weight that Jaeden Roberts could not pick up," McLaughlin said. "Whatever we put on the bar, it goes down and comes back up very, very fast. So we may need to get a longer bar and put more weight on it for him to show us how strong he is, but he is an incredible person. He is a freak of nature with how strong he is. It has been nice playing next to him because you know his one hand is stronger than my two. If he sticks one hand out there, you will get a lot of help from him."

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Roydell Williams, a senior running back, compared Roberts' strength to the Incredible Hulk.

"I came into the weight room yesterday, and he had plates on plates on plates," Williams said about Roberts.

"I'm like, 'Is this guy really about to squat this?' It was his first set, and I'm like 'Hold on, you got two other sets to go.' That boy is strong, he's physical, he comes ready to work, and overall, he is a fantastic guy to be around. His energy is always there. He is never negative, he's always positive. He has been a big help to the offensive line."

Roberts' strength has the Tide playing its best football on offense. Milroe is beaming with confidence, and the team has established a rushing attack. Alabama matches up well with Georgia in the upcoming SEC Championship matchup, but its attention is on Chattanooga and Auburn. Roberts looks forward to continuing his growth in becoming an elite lineman. -">C -">lick here to follow the Bama Elite Podcast

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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.

This topic was modified 8 months ago by Stephen M. Smith

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