Upon returning from a knee injury that cost him a majority of the 2012 season, Jalston Fowler may be a candidate to move from running back to H-back in 2013.
With the late signing day addition of 4-star running back Alvin Kamara, Alabama’s already loaded backfield became a little more crowded (h/t, Matt Hinton, CBS Sports).
Kamara is the fourth running back in the Tide’s 2013 class—each of whom are ranked as Top 100 prospects nationally according to 247 Sports.
With a major infusion of backfield talent entering, the logjam of ball-carriers will undoubtedly mean that a few of the 10 running backs on the roster will be candidates to change positions by the time fall practice rolls around.
The question becomes which players are candidates for Nick Saban to consider for other positions?
Before answering that question, its important to note that Alabama’s system has thrived on relying on a deep stable of running backs that are versatile and attack opponents in waves.
Saban was able to convince four of the nation’s top backs to cast their lots with the Tide in part because of his ability to highlight the importance of sharing the workload in the backfield (h/t, Andy Staples, Sports Illustrated).
His pitch is clearly working, but it’s also created an overflow of talent at one position that will be one of the more intriguing storylines until the 2013 season kicks off.
Between Kamara and the other three backs in the 2013 class (Altee Tenpenny, Tyren Jones and Derrick Henry), it’s a safe bet to assume that they will get a fair shot to start out in the backfield.
Freshman All-American T.J. Yeldon is set to take over for Eddie Lacy as the lead back, and Kenyan Drake flashed enough talent during his freshman season (Alabama’s third leading rusher last season) to stay in the mix and fight for the backup role that Yeldon had in 2012.
Two backs—redshirt freshman Dee Hart and junior Jalston Fowler—are recovering from season-ending knee injuries, but each player has the skill set to contribute at another position.
Hart—who also spent time as a returner last season before his injury—is capable of playing receiver, while Fowler is a candidate to move into the H-back role upon his return.
Finally, a player that has already played three different positions already in his brief career—redshirt freshman Brent Calloway—could move back to H-back or contribute on defense as a linebacker.
The most likely candidates to switch positions appear to be Hart, Fowler and Calloway.
Of those three, Fowler (at H-back) and Calloway (at linebacker) appear to be the most natural fits to make a significant contribution at another position.