Question of the Day: Looking at Alabama’s next group of defensive stars

Alabama football-Nick Saban-defensive stars-Crimson Tide football-Deionte
            Thompson-Isaiah Buggs-Raekwon Davis-Terrell Lewis-Christian Miller-Mack Wilson

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — We’re pushing through the early part of the offseason after Alabama’s championship run, and we’re here to answer any questions you may have.

The players are locked in on the spring semester while the coaching staff is looking ahead to the 2019 recruiting cycle.

Here’s our question of the day — go here for other Alabama football and recruiting questions and answers.

Who are the next group of defensive stars for Alabama football?

As they do every year, Alabama football lost a ton of talent from its vaunted defense. The departures from the 2017 unit include defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne, defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ronnie Harrison, Anthony Averett and Levi Wallace, and linebackers Rashaan Evans and Shaun Dion Hamilton.

That type of talent loss would set most teams back a few years, but Alabama is one of the few teams in the country built to absorb that type of attrition.

  • Defensive line: Alabama’s top two linemen next season will be senior Isaiah Buggs and junior Raekwon Davis. Buggs opted to return to Tuscaloosa for his final season. After finding a role last season, Buggs blossomed into a big-time playmaker for the Crimson Tide. Davis was Alabama’s most productive lineman last season, finishing third on the team with 69 tackles. He led the team with 8 1/2 sacks and finished second with 10 1/2 tackles for loss. He also had an interception and a fumble recovery.
  • Linebackers: Linebacker should be the strength of Alabama’s 2018 defense. Mack Wilson, Dylan Moses, Christian Miller, Terrell Lewis and Anfernee Jennings will be back and healthy after struggling with injuries at different points in the 2017 season. From a pure speed and athleticism standpoint, this group has the potential to be one of the best of Nick Saban’s tenure in Tuscaloosa.
  • Defensive backs: This position group is hard to figure out, but safety Deionte Thompson should have one spot locked down. You never like to see a player get hurt, but Hootie Jones’ injury provided Thompson an opportunity to get some big-game experience in the College Football Playoff. Thompson played well, flashing his range in coverage and being physical against the run. He’ll be the leader of the secondary this coming season.

The post Question of the Day: Looking at Alabama’s next group of defensive stars appeared first on SEC Country.

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