Alabama DL Overview

Defensive Line Overview

 

Size matters.  And don’t let anyone tell you that it doesn’t.  At the University of Alabama, size on the defensive line is of the utmost importance.  Typically, the ends are around 290+ and the nose tackle anchors the D at well over 300 lbs.  Remember Mount Cody?  He was the quintessential nose tackle for a Nick Saban defense and now he’s making some serious coin with the Ravens.  If you are big, fast and relentless then Nick wants and needs you on that front wall of his defense.  This season, Nick may have hit the mother lode of defensive line talent.  Sit back, relax and scroll down the list of big bad mofos coming soon to a field near you….

The Starters

 

Damion Square – 6’3, 285.  Former 3 Star from Dallas, TX.

Square has quietly had a very nice career at Alabama.  After sustaining a knee injury in 2009, he’s come back with a vengeance.  A nice blend of size and speed, he’s one of the few three down linemen on the team.

Jesse Williams – 6’4, 319.  Former 4 star from Brisbane, Australia.

If Jesse is 319, then I’m about a buck fifty.  This big strong dude pumped out a 600 lb bench press during the off season and, combined with some crazy athleticism for a man this size, well, it’s going to be a long day for any center across from big Jesse.

Quentin Dial – 6’6, 294.  Former 4 star from Clay-Chalkville, Alabama.

I list Quentin here just because I like him.  He’s not the pass rusher that Ed Stinson is but he plays the run better than anyone else.  I look for him to play on first and second downs and then give way to Stinson from time to time and on third downs.

Ed Stinson – 6’4, 279.  Former 4 star, Homestead, Florida.

Stinson is more athletic than Dial but is a little lighter in the shorts.  I look for Stinson to play a lot as a DT in the nickel and dime packages.

The Backups

 

LaMichael Fanning – 6’7, 275.  Former 4 star, from Hamilton, Georgia.

Big things are expected from this big specimen.  I can’t wait to see him take the field.

Jeoffrey Pagan – 6’4, 272.  Former 4 star from Asheville, North Carolina.

Pagan has been lighting up the scrimmages and is another big dude that I can’t wait to see on Saturdays.

DJ Pettway – 6’2, 272.  Former 4 star from Pensacola, Florida.

DJ has played well in the scrimmages but seems overshadowed by Fanning and Pagan. Still, they say his interior pass rush is Nick Gentry-esque.

Brandon Ivory – 6’4, 308.  Former 3 star from Memphis, TN.

Ivory hasn’t exactly played to his size but the word from camp is that he’s improved.  Since he’s the second string NT, he’d better be improved as he may be called on much more this season.  He was blown out by the Ga Southern boys last year so I’ll be watching to see if he’s truly improved.

Chris Bonds – 6’4, 269.  Former 3 star from Columbia, South Carolina.

He was a much ballyhooed recruit but, as of now, he hasn’t quite emerged into the playing rotation.  This is a critical year for Mr Bonds as there is a bevy of young talent on the rise at his position.

Incoming

First, a note about the “Incoming” section.  These kids have only given a verbal commitment to Alabama and, as we’ve seen in recruiting, things can change before signing day.

DeMarcus Walker – 6’4, 280.  4 star from Jacksonville, Florida.

This was a big get for Alabama as they wanted him very badly.  Great size and athleticism – you know, the typical Alabama DL.

Darius Paige – 6’3, 295.  3 star from Foley, Alabama.

You may remember him as the kid who transferred from Washington High in Pensacola over to Foley at the behest, apparently, of Alabama coach Jeremy Pruitt.  There’s a lot to work with here athletically and, of course, he’s a big un.

Final Thoughts

When I look at this group, I think of a raging crimson tide, beating against the shore.  Wave, after wave, after wave of big, fast, strong, able bodied men.  It’s like an endless supply of Chippendales…or Clydesdales…or something!  While I’m excited to see what we have with the starters, I’m going to be even more excited to see the likes of Fanning, Pagan, and Pettway in there as well.  And, I didn’t even mention 2012 signees Korren Kirven or Dalvin Tomlinson who are both very good in their own right.  The cupboard keeps getting filled with goodies and it will be fun to see what Saban/Smart cook up with it!

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