Four Alabama defensive players to watch during fall camp


1/11/21 MFB Alabama vs Ohio State
College Football Championship
Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (31)
Photo by Crimson Tide Photos

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Mason Smith

Defense wins championships, and if there’s anything the University of Alabama is known for, it’s their play on that side of the football.

Most of last season’s starters are returning to the Crimson Tide, including All-American linebacker Will Anderson and All-SEC safety Jordan Battle, but with both starting cornerbacks and two linebackers now in the NFL, there will be new starters in the Alabama secondary this fall.

With the season quickly approaching, here are some names to keep in mind heading into fall camp.

Jaylen Moody, OLB, Redshirt Senior

Moody has big shoes to fill, as he’s projected to be the successor to Christian Harris. After reneging on the tranfer portal, his main competition will be redshirt freshman Deontae Lawson.

Moody is a fifth-year senior who’s studied under Harris, and it looks like the job is his to lose going into the fall.

Eli Ricks, CB, Junior

After missing most of last season with an injury and transferring from LSU, Ricks was supposed to come into a rebuilding cornerback room and share the field with Ga-Quincy “Kool-Aid” Mckinstry.

But after the spring game, early signs point to senior Khyree Jackson taking the second starting cornerback spot. Ricks is still learning the schemes so maybe he’ll look better once camp starts, but his starting spot is far from solidified.

Ga’Quincy “Kool-Aid” McKinstry, CB, Sophomore

Aside from his nickname that earned him a Name Image Likeness deal, McKinstry had a strong freshman campaign with 25 total tackles, a sack and an interception en route to an All-SEC Freshman selection.

With Josh Jobe and Jalyn Armour-Davis both in the NFL, the Crimson Tide will look to retool around a young cornerback corp, and McKinstry will likely be the face looking to capitalize on last season’s success.

Will Anderson Jr., OLB, Junior

If Will Anderson was in last year’s draft, he would’ve gone in the top 10. He cleaned house on every major award except for the Heisman, and even that was up for debate.

The only accomplishment missing from his dominant season was a National Championship. After giving up 33 points, including 20 straight in the final quarter, Anderson and the defense look to avenge that loss.

Anderson goes into next season as one of the best, if not the best, players in college football. There is no doubt he’s headed for the NFL Draft after the 2023 season, so eyes are on him as the leader of one of the best defenses in the country.

Categories: Alabama, College Sports, Sports