Middle linebackers are often viewed as the heart of any defense, but in Alabama’s 3-4 scheme, the pair of players that man the middle are central to the success of their unit.
Nick Saban’s system relies on big and athletic middle linebackers that are equally adept against the run and in pass coverage, more so than traditional run-stuffers in a 4-3 scheme.
Although Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart must find a replacement for Dont’a Hightower, they can build a pair of upperclassmen that shared the weak inside linebacker position—senior Nico Johnson and junior CJ Mosley.
Meanwhile, the battle to fill Hightower’s spot will rage on between sophomore Trey Depriest and junior Tana Patrick—plus a pair of top-flight recruits will jump into the mix when fall camp begins in August.
So how do the Crimson Tide’s middle linebackers rank when stacked up against one another?
Find out in the latest installment of positional breakdowns of the Crimson Tide roster.