The cliche is tired, but with the Alabama Crimson Tide, it couldn't ring much truer than it does right now. Nick Saban and Co. don't rebuild—they reload.
The incoming unit is most lauded for its quality depth, but there's an air of top-heaviness among it, too.
Let's take a look at four players that Tide fans should be most excited to see don the Crimson next year.
ATH Derrick Henry
As a standout at Yulee High School in northeast Florida, Derrick Henry broke Ken Hall's career rushing record that stood for more than 50 years.
At the next level, there's a chance he won't gain a single yard.
Though Henry projects as a very good power running back, he projects equally well at outside linebacker. He has the height, speed and know-how to become one of the game's very best on that side of the ball.
With highly ranked prospects Alvin Kamara, Tyren Jones and Altee Tenpenny also joining the Tide's backfield next year—but none capable of playing linebacker—it appears likely that Henry will get his first crack on defense.
Wherever he ends up, though, Alabama fans should look forward to watching him play.
WR Robert Foster
The Tide plucked Foster away from a group of northeastern schools like Pittsburgh, and the get could soon pay dividends in the Southeastern Conference.
The Pennsylvania native is ESPN.com's second-ranked wide receiver, and after one look at the tape, it isn't hard to figure out why. He's the football version of a five-tool prospect, a guy that's capable of beating you in every which way.
Opposite (rising) sophomore speedster Amari Cooper, Foster might be counted on to play a possession role right out of the gate. But soon enough, he could find himself doing his best Julio Jones impression on the outside.
ILB Reuben Foster
As was alluded to earlier, Derrick Harvey's positional future remains in flux. Whether he plays offense or defense still remains unsolved. But either way that dilemma shakes out, the Tide know they'll have at least one blue-chip freshman linebacker.
He's made headlines for his father's wrongdoings in recent days, but it won't be long before Reuben starts making waves for his own, right reasons. He's a man among boys on defense, where his size/speed combo allows him to track down opponents left and right.
In simpler terms, he's the prototypical Alabama linebacker.
TE O.J. Howard
Alabama has utilized a number of traditional, pro-style tight ends in recent years. But the game around them has changed, and the innovation (rather, the wide-spread implementation) of newer dynamic tight ends has become all the rage.
Enter O.J. Howard, a freakish physical anomaly who could give the Tide a weapon they've been missing.
He's a little raw with the minutia of his position, but who among us wouldn't be at that age? Howard is blessed with all the things you can't teach—height, speed and athleticism.
Do you trust anybody more than Nick Saban to help him capitalize on that?
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