Alabama Football: Fresh Faces Who Will Play Key Role for Crimson Tide in 2013

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IFebruary 19, 2013

Credit: 247Sports.com
Credit: 247Sports.com

The bar can't be set any higher than it has been in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Nick Saban has built a dynasty during his first six seasons with the Crimson Tide, winning two straight BCS national championships and three of the last four overall. So, anything less than another championship next season is sure to sit poorly with the Alabama faithful.

With a plethora of new faces on their way to Tuscaloosa in 2013, we'll highlight a trio set to play a key role in the Crimson Tide's title defense. 

 

Dee Liner, DT

Dee Liner's name will be the subject of countless jokes from now until the end of his football career, but I assure you, his game is nothing to laugh at. 

The 6'3", 275-pound defensive tackle is extremely versatile, which leads many to believe that Nick Saban could move him around plenty in 2013. Although he is better suited to playing on the inside of the defensive line, Liner can hold his own on the edge, bringing pressure as an over-sized end.

Defense reigns supreme in Saban's book, and that's why Alabama fans should expect Liner to get some looks next season. He can make an early impact while also bolstering a defensive line that has lost some firepower in recent seasons.

 

Derrick Henry, RB

A 6'3", 240-pound running back, Derrick Henry takes over where Eddie Lacy, Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram left off in the Alabama back field.

Henry has size and strength already, but is only going to get stronger as he spends more time in an SEC weight room. He also possesses tremendous speed for an athlete his size. He won't be the Tide's every-down back right away, though. Alabama has too much talent at the position to hand the ball off to Henry every play. 

But like his Alabama predecessors, Henry will be a load with the ball and a full head of steam. He won't go down easy and will make defenders look silly at times. 

 

Robert Foster, WR

The incoming big-play threat doesn't end with Derrick Henry. Wide receiver Robert Foster is one of the best high school receivers in the class of 2013.

Foster is a 6'2", 185-pound stud, who can line up all over the field and produce the same exciting results. He moves well for a player his size and looks like a natural fit for the position. Not only can Foster explode for big yards and break away from defenders, but he can cut on a dime and change direction with relative ease.

Think of Foster as a game-changing playmaker, something Alabama's wide receiving corps hasn't had since Julio Jones a few years back.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter

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