The projected offensive line returning in 2012 for Alabama is, without a doubt, the most experienced and talented in college football.
At left tackle, Cyrus Kouandjio, a sophomore, is the least experienced of the bunch. However, the No. 2 overall prospect from the 2011 class is nimble, athletic and, most importantly, big. He earned playing time in his freshman season at left tackle before a season-ending injury cut him out of the lineup. Big things are now expected if Cyrus's knee is fully healed.
At left guard, Chance Warmack, a senior, will be starting in his third straight season at this position. He has started in 26 straight games for the Tide and will be a monster in his senior season.
At center, Barrett Jones, a senior, is the most versatile lineman in college football. As a freshman, Jones started 14 games for the Tide at right guard, helping Alabama secure its first-ever BCS title. As a sophomore, Jones returned to his right guard position, earning him All-American honors. As a junior in 2011, Jones took over the left tackle spot, earning distinction as not only an All-American, but also the nation's best interior lineman.
Now, in his senior year, Jones will be heading up the void left by William Vlachos at the center position. His intelligence as a lineman surely will lead him to yet another All-American distinction at, amazingly, three different positions.
At right guard, Anthony Steen, a redshirt junior, will be one of the weaker players in this line. However, Steen has had experience in 10 starts this past season and played in 13 games as a freshman in 2010.
At right tackle, D.J. Fluker, a redshirt junior, is coming off a tremendous 2011 year when he started all 13 games for the Tide. This is likely Fluker's last season as he is projected to be a top-10 pick in the 2013 draft.
This offensive line will not only give Lacy more than enough space to run, it will also set up enough time for McCarron to find his receivers. In a Heisman campaign, it will be extremely important for Lacy to have this kind of relief. With the experience of this offensive line, look for many more play-action passes and delayed handoffs.