Alabama Football: 5 Unsung Heroes for Crimson Tide in 2012

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Alabama Football: 5 Unsung Heroes for Crimson Tide in 2012
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Nick Saban will benefit from the contributions of five veteran players that have excelled throughout their careers without attracting the spotlight.

Every player that comes to Alabama is not a 5-star mega-recruit—even though it seems that way at times because of the depth of quality players that Nick Saban has been able to assemble in Tuscaloosa.

Several players have come through Saban’s program with minimal fanfare, yet worked themselves into quality contributors.

Others have been rated 3-star or 4-star prospects, and have proven their worth enough to become starters—yet they seldom seem to attract the attention that more heralded teammates have received.

Consider that Alabama still has four fifth-year seniors left over from the heralded 2008 recruiting class on the roster—a class that has already produced five first-round draft picks—with each of them expected to play a major role for Saban’s otherwise young team this fall. 

Regardless, the Crimson Tide is a team that thrives from players filling roles in a professional, business-like manner—with the overall function of the team being the primary focus.

This fall, Saban must fill the void of a few unheralded leaders—with H-back Brad Smelley and defensive tackles Josh Chapman and Nick Gentry being veteran players that were the glue behind the team’s success in 2011.

Which players on the Tide’s roster can step up and become the backbone of a roster that is as talented as any in the country?

Here are five unsung heroes on the Crimson Tide roster.

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