Alabama Football: New Faces Set to Make Biggest Impact for Crimson Tide in 2013
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The Crimson Tide, under head coach Nick Saban, are known for dominating on the field, but also masterfully make a habit of taking home the best recruiting prospects each year.
This year was no exception to the rule for Alabama.
With three national titles in four years, it would seem like a simple task for Saban and Co. to blaze through the recruiting process, but things got off to a slow start in 2013—not typically something you see too often.
That didn't last long.
Alabama has wound up with the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation according to 247 Sports, reeling in a ridiculous six 5-star recruits.
It's business as usual for the Crimson Tide, so let's take a look at some of the new faces set to have the biggest impact next season.
Let's go ahead and start things off with a bang. In February, Alabama grabbed the consensus No. 1 linebacker in the nation with Reuben Foster, and he could play a major role right away.
Weighing in at 6'1" and 244 pounds, Foster possesses jaw-dropping speed for the position. That speed allows him to get in on every play and accelerate from sideline to sideline if need be.
Rivals.com compares him to former Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain in his play-style. Foolish off-field decisions aside, McClain was electric during his time in college and had untapped potential before retiring from the NFL for aforementioned decisions.
The kicker? Foster has an outlandish sense of style. It looks like he'll fit in just fine with his new head coach (via OA News Preps on Twitter):
Reuben Foster and Cameron Echols-Luper at Auburn High's NSD. pic.twitter.com/GNHq3G97— OA News Preps (@oanewspreps) February 6, 2013
It's an uphill battle for Foster when he gets acclimated to campus, but he has all the tools to make a major impact. Linebacker is a logjam of talent, but Foster is already on good footing.
Which new face do you think will have the biggest impact for Alabama in 2013?
Don't worry, Alabama cleaned up on the offensive side of the ball as well, starting with No. 1 ranked wide receiver Robert Foster (per 247 Sports).
Foster brings a 6'2", 185-pound frame and 4.49 40-yard dash speed to the table for the Crimson Tide right away.
He'll have to compete with guys like Kenny Bell, who is coming off an injury, and the speedy Chris Black, but the tools are there for him to succeed as early as next season.
The qualities Foster brings to the table will enable him to take the top off opposing defenses, so expect to see a lot of him next year.
We'll wrap things up with MaxPreps.com's 2012-2013 Male Athlete of the Year with the 6'3", 244-pound running back known as Derrick Henry. He recently celebrated the prestigious award via his Instagram account:
Why was Henry blessed with the award, you ask? Try breaking a 59-year old record by the conclusion of his high school career with 12,243 yards rushing—4,261 of which came in the past year.
Henry also scored 127 total touchdowns, but who's counting?
With Eddie Lacy now a member of the Green Bay Packers, Saban and Co. needed a star back to split time with T.J. Yeldon.
Henry is a tremendous answer, although he'll have to recover quickly from a broken leg he suffered in spring camp. He took to Twitter recently to reassure fans he's already 90 percent healthy:
My leg is good , I'm about 90%
— Derrick Henry (@KingHenry_2) July 15, 2013 x
Henry is easily the biggest name Alabama landed during the recruiting wars of 2013. He'll also have the biggest impact in 2013 provided he can keep his health.
Players like Henry and the rest mentioned here sure don't come around often, but when they do, they usually land with the Crimson Tide.
Follow me on Twitter for NFL analysis and more @Chris_Roling.
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