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2021 College Football Preview: #1 Alabama Crimson Tide

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Today we’ll wrap up our College Football Rankings by breaking down our #1 team, the Alabama Crimson Tide. 2020 was another banner year for Bama that culminated in another national title for head coach Nick Saban. Does Alabama have a shot to repeat as champions this year? 

The Tide offense lost most of last year’s starters to the NFL. The defense, however, returns quite a bit of talented and experienced players. Here is a closer look at the 2021 Alabama Crimson Tide.

2021 Offense

The Crimson Tide offense loses a boatload of talent as four starters from the 2020 squad were first-round NFL Draft selections. Keep in mind though that Alabama

never rebuilds, they only reload with more five-star players. The bigger question is how quickly can new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien get used to calling plays at the college level.

Sophomore Bryce Young is one of the most highly touted quarterbacks to ever set foot in Bryant Denny Stadium. Bama fans are chomping at the bit to see if Young can live up to all the hype. Young can hurt defenses with either his arm or his legs.

Brian Robinson Jr. has patiently waited his turn to shine as the starting running back for the Tide. The 6-1 228 pound senior runs with a powerful, tenacious attitude each time he touches the football.

 The receiving corps is largely inexperienced, with the exception of John Metchie. The six-foot 195 pound Canadian is always a threat to burn defenses on the deep post route. Young will also enjoy throwing to tight end Jahleel Billingsley, who is 6-4 230 pounds and runs faster than most receivers!

2021 Defense

The expectations are always sky high for Alabama on defense because of the ungodly amount of five-star recruits they sign on that side of the ball. Will Anderson and Christopher Allen are both insanely good pass rushers and both combined for 13 sacks a year ago (Sports-Reference.com).

Henry To’oTo’o transfers in from Tennessee to make this linebacking corps even more experienced. Christian Harris has the rare ability to stop both the run and the pass. He led the team in tackles in 2020 with 79.

The Bama secondary should be one of the best units in the nation this year. Cornerback Josh Jobe led the team in passes defended in 2020 with 11. Malachi Moore led the Tide in picks last year as a freshman with three.

2021 Special Teams

Will Reichard returns as Alabama’s starting kicker this year. The junior had a phenomenal 2020 campaign as he hit all 14 field-goal attempts and all 84 extra points. The Tide will have to break in a new punter in 2021 as two freshmen, James Burnip and Jack Martin, are fighting for the starting job.

It’ll be interesting to see who handles the return duties for the Tide this season. Redshirt junior Slade Bolden has the most punt return experience, but don’t be surprised if highly touted freshman Kool-Aid McKinstry takes over that role. Jameson Williams and Jase McClellan will be the ones returning kickoffs.

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