5 Things to Watch on Defense
Here are a five things the Lighthouse staff will be monitoring during the next couple of Alabama scrimmages:
- The other starting corner: We all know Deion Belue has one starting cornerback position locked down but who will be the other starting corner? First, let’s just admit that we have a problem – that’s the first step to recovery, right? Any time you move a wide receiver over to corner and he’s starting right away, that’s indicative of a problem. To the good, Cyrus Jones was born to play corner. He’s outstanding. However, senior John Fulton is fully recovered from a nagging turf toe that slowed him last year and he’s not going down without a fight! Our odds are on Fulton since he’s a senior and is fully healthy but Jones is going to be a good one.
- The other starting safety: When Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is mentioned as a first round draft pick then it’s pretty safe to assume he’ll be one of the starting safeties. The question is who will be the other one??? Our cousin Vinnie Sunseri is the odds on favorite but he’s being pushed very hard by the ridiculously talented Landon Collins. It’s been said that Collins needed to get better in pass coverage but if you’ve spent any time watching the A-Day game you know Collins can be outstanding in coverage. And, if you watched the A-Day game you also know that Vinnie was beaten deep again during that game. Vinnie is super in run support and is a natural lining up as a LB in the dime package. But, in the regular set, we like Collins as a much better all-around safety. This is going to be a great battle to watch for the next couple of weeks.
- The emergence of the freshmen DL: Coach Saban recognized Dee Liner, A’Shawn Robinson and Jonathan Allen as potential contributors along the defensive line so it will be interesting to see how they progress. The better this group does, the more likely it is that LaMichael Fanning will add much-needed depth and size to the TE position. Liner, Robinson and Allen are all very talented players and it appears at least two of the three (and we are betting all three) will contribute this season.
- Dalvin Tomlinson: People have been talking about this kid glowingly for a year and a half so we are excited that he’ll finally get a chance to show out. This former Georgia heavyweight wrestling champ could be a difference maker for the entire Tide defense and we can’t wait to see what he has to offer.
- Where is Ryan Anderson?: This former 5 star was a holy terror as a pass rusher in high school so it was assumed he’d assume the Jack role. Well, a funny thing happened along the way as we saw him line up at DE, Jack and as a middle LB during the A-Day game. With as much potential as he has, it will be interesting to see how the defensive staff puts him to use this year.
These are the things we’ll be watching during fall camp. What are your concerns going into the Virginia Tech game?