Most of the optimism surrounding Alabama’s chances to repeat as national champions stem from the belief that Nick Saban will be able to reload in short order—thanks in part to his ability to stockpile the country’s finest collection of prep talent the last two seasons.
The Crimson Tide are a safe bet to begin the 2012 season ranked in the Top Five, which is an astounding feat considering the wealth of talent lost from last season’s squad.
While several upperclassmen are on hand to fill some spots (including defensive linemen and 2011 JUCO imports Jesse Williams and Quinton Dial), Saban will be relying on a handful of players from the 2011 recruiting class to takeover at key positions on both sides of the ball.
Which players entering their second year on campus will be major contributors this fall?
Here are seven stars from the 2011 class to look out for this season.