Alabama Football: Why Dee Hart Will Be Breakout Star in Spring Practice

Ian BergCorrespondent IFebruary 27, 2013

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 01: Dee Hart #1 of the University of Alabama runs for a short gain as Jordan Kovacs #32 of the University of Michigan makes the stop during the game at Cowboys Stadium on September 1, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Alabama defeated Michigan 41-14.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Alabama heads into the 2013 season as the favorite to win a third consecutive national title. The program is at the height of the Nick Saban dynasty, and it has relied on strong defense and a relentless ground attack on offense to get there.

The Tide are looking to solidify the backfield this fall, and Dee Hart is a player to watch as he has the chance to become a rising star for the Alabama offense. This spring is when it begins.

Hart came to Alabama as a 5-star recruit with a lot of fanfare and storylines surrounding his signing.

He was an early enrollee, but before landing in Tuscaloosa he was heavily recruited by Auburn and Michigan.

Before committing to Michigan during the recruiting process Hart was very high on Auburn. On signing day he inked with the Tide. 

Dee Hart is one of the many recruits won by Saban in the recent showdowns on the recruiting trail with Auburn.

Ever since arriving at Alabama, he has been plagued with injuries. Hart was expected to be an immediate impact player in the return game in 2011 as a freshman, but a preseason injury sidelined him before his year began.

In 2012 Hart returned as a return specialist and running back option, but he fell to a knee injury again that required surgery against the Ole Miss.

This season is the year for Hart to burst onto the scene and become the Tide’s No. 1 option as an all-purpose back. Alabama’s offense continues to progress with each passing year, and at this point they have become a multiple scheme that can utilize up to three different backs.

Last year’s injuries limited the ability to add a third option from the backfield, but when Hart hits the field this spring, his skills will be tough to keep sidelined. He has to stay healthy, but he also has to show resilience and the explosion that made him special as a recruit in 2011.

Kenyan Drake and early enrollee Derrick Henry will challenge for time from the backfield during the spring, but neither brings the dynamic threat that comes with Hart’s speed and receiving ability.

As a returner, Hart will be one of the best in the country this fall. As a running back, he will be a potent threat for the Tide and allow for new plays and schemes to be introduced to the offense.

Look for Alabama to continue to grow its potency on offense this year and for Dee Hart to be a major part of that growth. This team is ready to charge for another crystal ball in 2013, and Hart will be one of the names affiliated with the march to a title.