The latest edition of my spring practice preview series delving into each unit of Alabama's roster will put the defensive line in the crosshairs.
The loss of three of the unit’s top contributors from last season makes that position one of the main storylines fans will be monitoring when practices begin on March 16.
Nick Saban will be looking for some new faces to emerge this spring to fill the spots held by outgoing seniors Jesse Williams, Damion Square and Quinton Dial.
The Tide have finished in the Top 10 nationally in rushing defense every season since 2008—including leading the country in that category in each of the last two years. For a team looking to capture its third consecutive national title, identifying new playmakers up front defensively is a high priority for Saban and his staff.
However, some of the faces—like juniors Brandon Ivory and Jeoffrey Pagan—are talented linemen who have patiently waited for their moment to crack the starting lineup.
Ed Stinson, a defensive end who is the only returning starter from the Tide’s front three, is an experienced anchor who will be counted upon to provide a steadying force for a unit undergoing a makeover.
Which players are penciled in as starters entering the spring, and which potential newcomers have a chance to make the biggest splash in the upcoming practices?
Find out in this spring practice primer for Alabama’s defensive line.